It has been a hot minute since Sprintcars graced the hallowed clay of Archerfield Speedway, with a break in local competition to accommodate the staging of some high profile events interstate, including the Australian Championship. However, the thundering V8’s are back with a vengeance this Saturday night (February 18) with more than 40 drivers nominated for round six of the East Coast Logistics Track Championship, incorporating the Petzyo Development Series. With Track Championship leader Luke Oldfield not amongst the entries due to commitments in Western Australia, this looms as the most open contest of the season thus far with one extra spot on the podium now up for grabs and a guarantee that somebody new will visit victory lane. With Midgets, Wingless Sprints and Open Sedans also on the program, race fans will again be treated to a feast of action with more than 100 competitors to hit the track.
In the absence of the series leader, things suddenly get very interesting in the battle for ECL Sprintcar Track Championship honours as, beyond Oldfield’s significant lead, there are very few points separating the rest of the top ten. Sitting second overall in the standings more than 80 points behind Oldfield, Jy Corbet will need to keep the likes of Kevin Titman and Ryan Newton at bay if he intends on securing the significant points haul he needs to narrow the margin. Titman sits in third place overall just 10 points behind Corbet, with Ryan Newton a further 25 points adrift in fourth. Corbet and Newton are returning home after interstate campaigns that took in the Grand Annual Classic in Warrnambool and the Australian Championship in Perth, with Newton upstaging many a big name to secure a top ten finish in the national title final. Corbet, meanwhile, made headlines for all the wrong reasons when he rode out a wicked wreck in Warrnambool before bouncing back to qualify into the final in Perth, only to find himself on the infield with nine laps to run. Behind this trio, Brent Kratzmann has climbed to fifth overall and is looming ominously in search of his first podium result for the season, while a mere three points behind Krtatzmann is Compact Speedcar convert Harry Stewart, who is enjoying a stellar rookie season. Just two points separate Stewart and Trent Vardy, with another rookie in Tyler Stralow also currently entrenched inside the top ten. Mitch Gowland is next best and, with 10th-placed Karl Hoffmans not amongst the entries this weekend, the likes of Adam Butler, Aaron Kelly and Jack Bell have a great opportunity to advance their championship position. Add the likes of Randy Morgan, Tim Farrell and Taylor Prosser into the mix and there really is a plethora of possible permutations that could play out over the course of the night.
A couple of drivers in the field in Dan Moes and Dave Fanning will be having their first run for the season in a late start to their respective campaigns, while an interesting inclusion amongst the entries is Nash Morris, the son of Bathurst 1000 winner and former Sprintcar racer Paul Morris. Having thus far pursued racing endeavours on bitumen in a variety of categories and currently competing in the Dunlop Super 2 Series, Morris Junior will no doubt relish the opportunity to tackle a form of motorsport that is more challenging and exciting than any of those in which he has competed previously.
As always, the Sprintcar Development Series features some first-timers amongst the entries, with fresh faces Connor Keiler, Kinser Claridge, Kaydon Iverson and Todd Gaudry to take on the usual mix of experienced campaigners, low budget racers and category newcomers, with Claridge and Iverson the latest additions to a growing list of those making the transition from the Formula 500 ranks. Jared Desmares has perhaps been the form driver amongst those nominated, although Libby Ellis will certainly garner great support from her vocal fans and will be determined to repay their faith.
In contrast, given the fact that the Midgets do most of their racing at Archerfield and will therefore be one of the categories most affected by the impending closure of the track, it is surprising that there are several teams who are seemingly happy to forego the opportunity to race at their local track while they still can. As such, the 14-car field is smaller than we might expect but, make no mistake, with hard chargers such as Charlie Brown, Brock Dean and Casey O’Connell amongst the starters, there is no question with regard to the quality of the racing that we can expect. Both Boyd Chaffey and Tim Devine have emerged this season as genuine podium contenders and they are edging closer to a breakthrough result with each outing, while we can also expect Dylan Menz, Brad Dawson and DJ Raw to be in the thick of the action.
With their Australian Championship scheduled at Archerfield in just a few weeks, it is hardly a surprise to see a field of 35+ Wingless Sprint competitors nominated for round nine of the Wildink Club Championship this weekend, including a dozen interstaters. Given the way in which Scott Thomsen, Brodie Thomsen and Jamie Usher have dominated the results so far this season – which continued last weekend in Bundaberg when they filled the first three spots in the feature race – it might just be the influx of visitors that proves the catalyst for change at the front of the field. Certainly, Lismore’s Jacob Jolley and Dubbo veteran Mark Blyton have enjoyed success at Archerfield and seem the most likely disruptors, although the likes of Andrew Sayre, Blake Darcy and Bailey Goodwin are making the haul from Sydney hell-bent on finding the fastest way around Archerfield in preparation for what will be the last national championship event to be staged at Archerfield.
Gates open at 3.00pm for online ticket holders, with general admission tickets on sale from 4.00pm. Early racing gets underway from 5.00pm while the main program, which will also feature a solid field of Open Sedans seeking to deny Tim Swart yet another feature race win aboard his trusty Cortina, is scheduled for a 6.00pm start.
East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship round three nominations: Aaron Kelly, Adam Butler, Andrew Baumber, Brad Ayers, Brent Kratzmann, Cody O’Connell, Dan Moes, Dan Murray, Daniel Bridge, Daniel Helmore, Dave Fanning, Harry Stewart, Jack Bell, Jy Corbet, Kevin Titman, Kye Jensen, Mark Pholi, Mitch Gowland, Nash Morris, Nathan Pronger, Peter Campbell, Randy Morgan, Ryan Newton, Tarhlea Apelt, Taylor Prosser, Tim Farrell, Tony Bridge, Trent Vardy, Tyler Stralow
Petzyo Development Sprintcar nominations: Anthony Vanderreyden, Carlo Moiola, Conner Keiler, Jared Desmares, Kaydon Iverson, Kinser Claridge, Libby Ellis, Luke Manttan, Noah Ball, Robert Munro, Ron Hendrickson, Thomas Button, Thomas Clarendon-Blair, Todd Gaudry
Midget nominations: Boyd Chaffey, Brad Dawson, Brock Dean, Casey O’Connell, Charlie Brown, Chris Moor, Darren Dillon, Daniel Griffith, DJ Raw, Dylan Menz, Scott Doyle, Tim Devine, Tom Clauss, Ty Horne
Wild Ink Wingless Sprint Club Championship round nine nominations: Andrew Robinson, Andrew Sayre, Anthony Joyce, Bailey Goodwin, Ben Manson, Blake Darcy, Brayden Shute, Brody Thomsen, Chris Catchpole, Corey O’Toole, Dave Sansby, Errol Campbell, Ian Milnes, Ian O’Toole, Jacob Jolley, Jacob Waller, James Grady, Jamie Usher, Jayden O’Toole, Jeremy Burt, Lachlan Robertson, Lance Dawson, Liam Atkinson, Mark Blyton, Matthew Brown, Matthew Gamble, Matthew Nikiforoff, Mitchell Allan, Neil Howard, Nicholas Whell, Robert Mazzer, Scott Fitzgerald, Scott Thomsen, Stuart Jefferies, Tim Harris, Timothy Harris, Tom Robertson, Zeth Cox
Open Sedan nominatons: Caitlyn Healey, Colin Morris, Drew Craft, Gary Kivela, Harley Dabinett, Ian Ducat, Jamie Olsen, Jayden Marengo-Hartley, Ricky Price, Robin Bains, Ronnie Young, Scott Atkins, Shaun Donnelly, Stevie Love, Tim Swart, Troy Dawes, Wayne Kirkman
For further information and event updates, please stay tuned to Facebook or the track website at www.brisbanespeedway.com.au