CLARK NABS NATIONAL SERIES AND QLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Reigning Australian V8 Dirt Modified Champion David Clark added the 2014 Queensland Championship to his already impressive resume with a thrilling victory at Brisbane's Supercheap Auto Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night.
In a repeat of the recent Australian Championship result, Clark held out a determined Jai Stephenson by the narrowest of margins, with perennial contender Andrew Pezzutti coming home in third.
" This season has been a cracker for us with the Aussie Title, and the Queensland Title is one we have been chasing for a long time" said a relieved Clark post-race. " I've never won a state title so to win one at home here in Brisbane was pretty big"
Clark started the 30-lap Championship decider from pole after top-qualifier Stephenson elected to start from the outside of the front row. Despite a spirited first-lap challenge from Stephenson, Clark maintained the top spot for the entire race distance.
" In lapped traffic I went to the high line and it felt pretty good" said Clark. " But I was just conscious of the low line because i knew (Andrew) Pezzutti was there early so I went to the safe option (bottom) as opposed to around the top. But over the last 5 laps I think the top was defiantly better. and it was a bit of a mistake on my part not to go to the top over the last few laps."
The race ended in somewhat controversial fashion, with Clark and Stephenson making contact on the exit of turn four as Stephenson tried a last-gasp outside pass for the race lead. The Grafton (NSW) racer ultimately made heavy contact with the wall, crossing the line in second with a badly damaged race car.
"I really wanted to win this for my crew" said a dejected Stephenson on the podium. " We copped a raw deal a few weeks ago down in Lismore and I thought Dave (Clark) would have given me a car-width up there".
After reviewing a video replay, officials cleared Clark of any fault in the collision.
" I wasn't doing anything different to any other lap" explained Clark. " I just came out and he (Jai) was there. I was doing my thing and trying to go for the line as much as he was and we just got caught up there. It's not as though I pulled up on him because I didn't know he was on the outside."
Ray Eggins and Kevin Britten rounded out the top five, with only Tony Dunn, Mark Robinson and Geoff Philips failing to go the distance.
The Queensland Championship also doubled as the final round of the national Five Star Dirt Series, with Clark's win and incoming points leader Brandon Rawlings' eighth-place finish enough to secure the Aussie Champ a narrow 11-point victory in the Series over Rawlings, with Stephenson a further nine points back in third.
Earlier in the night, heat race wins went to Pezzutti, Stephenson (2), Clark, Mitchell Gee and Robinson.
The season will draw to a close for V8 Dirt Modifieds at the Maryborough Speedway on May 31.
2014 Queensland V8 Dirt Modified Championship
1st David Clark, 2nd Jai Stephenson, 3rd Andrew Pezzutti, 4th Ray Eggins, 5th Kevin Britten, 6th Mitchell Gee, 7th Daniel Scott, 8th Brandon Rawlings, 9th Ray Klarich, 10th Mick Kiraly, 11th Dallas Czerwinsky, 12th Trevor Blanch, 13th Phil McNamara, 14th Paul Booker, 15th Darren Collins, DNF: Tony Dunn, Mark Robinson, Geoff Philips.
Five Star Dirt Series Final Standings (Top 10)
1st David Clark 545, 2nd Brandon Rawlings 534, 3rd Jai Stephenson 525, 4th Kevin Britten 504, 5th Mitchell Gee 496, 6th Andrew Pezzutti 465, 7th Geoff Phillips 406, 8th Ray Klarich 381, 9th Ray Eggins 367, 10th Mark Robinson 317.
Mann flawless in penultimate KRE round at Archerfield
Racing last night was high-octane at Supercheap Auto Archerfield Speedway with multiple crashes and rollovers but Bryan Mann put in a flawless drive from pole position to take the win for round 14 of the KRE Race Engines Sprintcar Series.
Cooler temperatures permitted a dew to set-in prior to the 30 lap feature, the track ended up hooky in the turns and slick in patches; hard work for all.
Danny Reidy almost made it around the outside of Mann a couple of times and maybe, just maybe, would have got the job done if it wasn’t for the final red light with around 12 laps to go. Mann was too good off the restart and Reidy had to settle for second.
Kevin Titman was right in the mix with Australian Sprintcar champion Dave Murcott, both fighting equally as hard for third until Murcott backed it into the turn 3 wall, 13 laps in. Titman enjoyed some better luck and steered clear of trouble to take third; he was more than happy to load the John Titman Racing #59 into the trailer unassisted.
Luke Oldfield rolled out of turn 1 in the feature, 12 laps in, and although he DNF’d he’s likely to hold onto his second place in the KRE series with Titman remaining in third; the point’s difference too great.
KRE series leader Andrew Scheuerle crashed in his second heat. Substantial damage was done to the Ausdeck Patios and Roofing #25 but after qualifying second in time trials and a good first heat, Scheuerle had enough points to go straight through to 10th in the A-Main; he eventually finished fourth and holds onto his series lead.
Murcott had the speed in time trials; fastest with an 11.310 second lap. Racing in the first round of heats was fast with Ben Hilder, Mick Sauer and Brodie Tulloch all notching wins.
Murcott, Sauer and Luke Oldfield diced it up in heat 5, scintillating stuff as they repeatedly cut through each other’s wake however Mark Pholi, David Whell and Brent Kratzmann ended up with the heat wins.
Highest point scorer once again - Dave Murcott - drew the number #4 board to invert from fourth in the Lucas Oils Dash. Eventual winner Bryan Mann chose not to take the Kratzmanns Caravans challenge; a wise move as it turned out.
In the Modlites, last night’s 20 lap journey was cut short and declared after a total of 6 stoppages; opposite to the feature at the last round which ran non-stop. Eight of the 22 contenders didn’t make the chequered flag and Chris Ruane walked away from a spectacular crash along the front-straight wall after contact with teammate Clayton Woodford.
Australian champion Jamie McHugh strengthened his lead in the Western Landscape Supplies/David Grose Real Estate Modlites Driver to America Series and led flag to flag in the feature. Cliff Whitehill crossed the line in second and Dylan Menz converted his B-Main win to finish third in the feature; he’s likely to move up one spot into second in the series and replace Ruane – check out www.facebook/modlitesaustralia for full results.
Mitchell Gowland took the lead with 7 to go in the Wingless Sprints feature and didn’t look back. An inverted start in the Compact Speedcar division saw Australian champion Darren Vine win from the rear. Ryan Skennar led the Formula 500 freight train from the get-go and he stuck it out to take the win and in the SSA Juniors, Maddie McGee showed the regulars the way to the checker.
Next week V8 fans will get their fix as the V8 Dirt Modifieds stage their Queensland Title. The Modified Productions return to continue the sedan tradition known as the ‘Cannonball’ supported by Lightning Sprints, Stock Cars, ASCF Four cylinder sedans and the FordvHoldenvSigma. Check www.brisbanespeedway for ticket prices and times and check www.facebook/archerfieldspeedway for updates.
All Stars 2014-15 Schedule
The Mainline DynoLog Dynamometers All Star Series is very pleased to announce their schedule for the oncoming season.
The series will kick off in Murray Bridge as has been tradition for the past few seasons and then heads off to Heartland Raceway, Moama and then Swan Hill. Nyora Speedbowl has again locked in their regular Christmas date.
Simpson has taken 2 rounds this season and teams can use the January 3 date as a shootout for the Mainline DynoLog Dynamometers All Star Challenge 2 weeks later. Borderline Speedway is next on the calendar with the Tyson Perez Memorial.
Blue Ribbon Raceway, Horsham are next on the calendar with the Series Final is being held at Timmis Speedway, Mildura again.
November 8 – Murray Bridge Speedway, SA
November 15 – Heartland Raceway, Moama, NSW
November 29 – Swan Hill Raceway, Swan Hill, Vic
December 6 – Heartland Raceway, Moama. NSW
December 27 – Nyora Speedbowl, Vic
January 3 – Heytesbury Stockfeeds Simpson Speedway, Vic
January 17 – All Star Challenge Heytesbury Stockfeeds Simpson Speedway, Vic
February 7 – Tyson Perez Memorial. Borderline Speedway - Mount Gambier, SA
February 14 – Blue Ribbon Raceway, Horsham, Vic - TBC
February 28 – Timmis Speedway, Mildura. Vic
Smee Cements His 50-Lap Status
Racing last night at Supercheap Auto Archerfield Speedway was a win for the fans on the hill. An intimate crowd wowed through multiple crashes and rollovers but the highlight of the night was the American Tire and Racing Services 50 Lapper Midget race. Sydney’s Nathan Smee cemented his status as a dominant of the distance off the back of a 50 Lapper win in Sydney last weekend.
Smee’s toughest adversary was five-time Kiwi champion and newly crowned Queensland Midget champion Michael Kendall. Some bold moves and three early restarts aided their flight from an inverted fifth row of the start grid. Kendall catapulted to the lead by lap 5 and Smee worked his way to second place by lap 10 but Kendall maintained a convincing lead until a fourth stoppage regrouped the field with 30 left to go. Turn two started to take rubber while 3 and 4 became increasingly rough; busy work in the car and passing becoming a challenge.
The next 28 adrenalin-charged laps ran non-stop. Smee’s battle with Kendall was elastic through lapped traffic; right on his tail and then back five or so car lengths repeatedly but Smee was patient and with 5 to go, made his move. They raced wheel-to-wheel through turn 2, all the way down the back straight, continued through 3 then Smee took the lead out of turn 4 around the outside.
A fifth race stoppage with 2 to go didn’t impact any and Smee cruised to the finish. “I was just biding my time and then I tried to pick the pace up and I showed him (Kendall) the bottom and he got even quicker. I tried all lines with 11 to go and I lost a bit on him,” Smee said on the podium.
It was a case of ‘so close’ for Kendall; he led for 40 laps and has never won a 50 Lapper. “It was frustrating to get that far. The car was flawless. Nathan was on the spot when I got held up in lapped traffic and just ran me down at the end,” conceded Kendall.
Western Pool Supplies racer Anthony Chaffey put in a solid performance. He locked down third place on lap 5 and maintained that position right to the chequered flag. West Australian Lee Redmond finished fourth but no such result for fellow Sandgroper Dayne Kingshott who became involved in a crash on lap 2; prematurely ending his race (and his season). Chris Singleton rounded out the top 5 followed by Michael Harders, Brock Dean, Kiwi racer Brock Maskovich, Jason Bell and Brad Young.
Ten finished, ten did not. Brendan Palmer made a stoic recovery from a crash earlier in the night to meet the green for the A-Main but again, a misfire brought the Polar Ice car to a stop – this time with just one lap remaining. Scott Wilson was involved in a major crash which flipped his car to lordly heights in turn 3 on lap 5 of the Feature. After scans last night he’s been released from hospital around midday today; very bruised and sore.
The top 9 in time trials ran sub-14seconds but the fastest lap went to Michael Kendall (13.413 seconds). Heat wins went to Rob McKay, Nathan Smee (x2), Brendan Palmer, Brock Dean and Rusty Whittaker. Brock Maskovich didn’t achieve a result for time trials which put him well down the order but he pulled it together to win the B-Main and transfer along with Brett Thomas, Jason Bell and Scott Wilson.
The Stock Cars held their Queensland Title and Dudley Ward seemed assured of the win until half way through their Feature race, his right rear tyre launched into the air. Martin Wilkinson and Shane French raced on, rounding up the field; Wilkinson took the Title with French in second and John Melbourne finishing third.
Matt Hardy won the AMCA Feature, in the 360 Spec Sprintcars Darren Silcock was triumphant, Tony Norton won the Lightning Sprint Feature and in FordvHoldenvSigma David Tookey trailed Bernie Wright but caught him right on the line to take another win.
Next week the Sprintcars return their penultimate round of the KRE Race Engines Series, supported by the Modlites who will stage round 3 of the chase in the Western Landscape Supplies/David Grose Real Estate Driver to America Series. The Compact Speedcars are also on the schedule as are the Wingless Sprints, Formula 500’s and the SSA Juniors.
Can Smee Net Another Fifty Win?
The 2014 American Tires & Racing Services (ATRS) 50 Lapper at Supercheap Auto Archerfield Speedway this Saturday night will be epic. It’s the fifth running of the event and again, it’s allured a high calibre field. Ex Australian Midget champion Nathan Smee showed he has the goods after winning the 50 Lapper in Sydney recently; from the back of the field mind you.
Prior to Smee’s 2014 Australian Championship defence at Archerfield in January (where he finished fourth) the Sydney based driver was undefeated in his last three appearances at the track. Defending ATRS champion Adam Clarke won’t be racing but there are 25 other contenders that will attempt to go the distance.
Brock Maskovich knows what it takes to finish such events; he finished third to Michael Pickens and Bryan Clauson in the World POWRi Midget Championship 50 Lapper in New Zealand earlier this year and came second in the World 40 Lap Derby – to Clauson, Smee finished third. He has made the podium 11 times this season with 3 wins; some strong results this year – his racing career now 12 years in the making.
Maskovich will leave his Auckland base to come and drive the Keith McAllen owned car that Adam Clarke drove to victory in this year’s Australian Midget championship.
During the off season Maskovich will fly to America and join Bryan Clauson Racing as part of Bryan’s ‘Driven Driver Development Team’ which includes racing all five nights of Indy Midget Week.
Michael Kendall was last year’s ATRS 50 Runner Up and has the speed this season. The five-time New Zealand midget champion had had plenty of podium finishes this year and recently added the Queensland Midget Title to his list of career achievements.
Kendall is just one of four ex-pat Kiwis racing this weekend - Gavin Websle, Kaz Fahey and Andy Hassan also call Australia home now and the trio will head north from New South Wales.
Clarke may be absent but West Australian contenders Dayne Kingshot and Lee Redmond will make every effort to take the title back across the Nullarbor.
This year’s POWRi SSS winner Brett Thomas has a strong chance. After round 9 of Polar Ice Series at Archerfield a fortnight ago, Thomas is coming second in the point’s standings. Michael Harders is in third, he’s found another car to run this weekend whilst his new car is still in the workshop. Anthony Chaffey and Matt Greenwood are also strong contenders, both are in the top ten after round 9.
There’ll be fast racing within the support divisions - AMCA’s, 360 Sprints, Mcrosprints, Lightning Sprints, Stock Cars and the popular FordvHoldenvSigma. Pit gates open at 3pm, spectator gates open at 4pm and there will be early racing from approximately 5pm with the main program commencing at 6pm. Check www.brisbanespeedway.com.au for prices and facebook.com/archerfieldspeedway for updates.
Murcott Means Business
Australian Sprintcar champion Dave Murcott carved his own groove all the way to the chequered flag last night at Supercheap Auto Archerfield Speedway. There were minimal passing opportunities but he piloted the Mainline DynoLog Dynamometers #A1 ‘around the outside’ to take the Preliminary Feature race win for the Queensland Title.
He admits it’s only the first night but it was a relief to turn things around and make it back on to the podium.
Three restarts diminished Murcott’s lead in the feature but there was no way he was letting it go. Brent Aprile challenged early on, he capitalised after assuming Luke Oldfield’s position on the front row alongside Murcott when Oldfield pulled out with engine issues just prior to the green flag.
Robbie Farr held firm in second but just didn’t have the package on the night to go wheel-to-wheel with Murcott.
James McFadden came on strong toward the end advancing from his seventh place start to finish third, Andrew Scheuerle also moved up the grid to cross the line on fourth but the drive put in by Shaun Dobson was a blinder; he finished fifth after starting from 14th.
Luke Oldfield will hopefully sort out engine issues and make the start tonight but maybe not so for Brent Kratzmann who is in doubt for night 2; also with engine issues.
Another to have engine issues is Garry Brazier but he’s confident he’ll make the start tonight but maybe not so for Trevor Green; word is he’s withdrawn from the event.
Luke Oldfield and the JB Automotive team won Quick Time (11.880 seconds) and were one of only two to run sub 12 seconds; Dave Murcott being the other. Heat wins went to Darren Jensen (x2), Scheuerle, Shaun Dobson (x2) and Sam Walsh.
The top ten heading into tonight’s final reads 1. Dave Murcott (137 points); 2. Robbie Farr (120); 3. Andrew Scheuerle (110); 4. James McFadden (108); 5. Luke Oldfield (102); 6. Bryan Mann (102); 7. Danny Reidy (99); 8. Shaun Dobson (98); 9. Mark Pholi (94); 10. Brent Aprile (92).
The top ten after night one of the Australian Compact Speedcar Title is 1. Robert Stewart (75); 2. Darren Vine (70); 3. Scott Stirling (65); 4. Wayne Corbett (63); 5. Gary Hudson (63); 6. Craig Hickey (49); 7. Dave Collins (47); 8. Barry Gibbes (44); 9. Nicholas Hudson (44) 10. Chris Paolini (44). As the top five suggests, last night they were in a class of their own.
Archerfield Promoter John Kelly anticipated records would be broken this weekend and as it turns out, he was on the money; 4 records fell… and nearly a fifth.
Robert Stewart broke the 1 lap record for Compact Speedcars in heat 9 (14.440 seconds) and the 8 lap record in heat 5 (1 minute 58.789 seconds). In the Modlites, Australian champion Jamie McHugh broke their 20 lap record (5 minutes 28.247 seconds) and his son Lachlan broke the 15 lap record in the SSA Juniors (4 minutes 42.469 seconds) and took the feature race win. Shaun Dobson was only two-tenths of a second off breaking the 10 lap Sprintcar record in heat 3.
The Modlites staged their ANZAC Day International Challenge and in the feature race Jamie McHugh led flag to flag. Terry Leerentveld wasn’t too far behind in second and Cliff Whitehill crossed the line in third. Chris Ruane came from way down the start order to finish fourth and Luke Whitehill rounded out the top 5; Canadian racer Josh Sliter finished 7th. The Modlites make two appearances in May for the final two rounds of the chase in the WLS/DGR Driver to America Series.
Tonight’s racing will be intense as Sprintcars and Compact Speedcars crown their champions of their respective titles on the final night of competition. The Open Sedans and the Formula 500’s are support divisions so join us trackside for all the action; it’ll be white hot.
Main gate opens at 4pm, pit gate open at 3pm and there will be early racing from approximately 5pm with the main program commencing at 6pm. Check www.brisbanespeedway.com.au for prices and facebook.com/archerfieldspeedway for updates.