Anointed top dog of the sunshine state Sprintcar scene as a result of his win in the Queensland Championship less than two weeks ago, Mitchell Gee returns to the scene of his state title triumph this weekend to contest the penultimate round of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship on Saturday night (May 19) at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway. With the state title trophy safely in his keeping, Gee now has his sights set on chasing down current leader Andrew Scheuerle in a bid to win the ultimate double by also snaring the track championship crown. The Sprintcar showdown is part of another huge Archerfield program that will also feature the Wingless Sprint 50-lapper and the final round of the Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship, plus Modlites, Late Models and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans.
The fight for the ECL Sprintcar Track Championship is, realistically, a battle in three between Scheurle, Gee and defending champion Luke Oldfield, although it will take something out of the ordinary for Scheuerle to be denied. With 679 points accrued across the 14 completed rounds, Scheuerle has a 57-point lead over Gee in the standings with just two rounds remaining. Oldfield is a further 23 points adrift in third spot, his absence from the rescheduled round 11proving costly. Whilst both Gee and Oldfield are (mathematically at least) still capable of catching Scheuerle, it will require a couple of particularly bad nights from the series leader, which seems unlikely given the consistency with which Scheuerle goes about his racing. However, the good thing for race fans is that neither Gee nor Oldfield are the type to settle for second when there is a sliver of hope that victory is within which, so expect plenty of action as they set forth on their mission to maximise their points haul at the expense of each other and the man they are chasing.
Ben Hilder and Peter Lack sit fourth and fifth overall in the championship standings at the moment and whilst a series win is beyond their reach, there is certainly plenty of opportunity to climb into the top three if they can find their way to the podium. Hilder has been the quiet achiever in the championship, going about his business with a minimum of fuss, while Lacks best results have been tempered somewhat by a series of misfortunes that have prevented him from contending with any consistency. Fresh from a podium finish in the Queensland Championship behind Gee and Oldfield, Bryan Mann looms as a potential spoiler, as does Sydney racer Michael Saller, who scored a slashing feature race win here just a few weeks ago. Of the rest, expect Brent Kratzmann, Cody Maroske and Jarrod Peacock to be amongst the front runners while, perhaps buoyed by the success of Saller, James Duckworth is also making the trek from NSW looking to replicate the podium result he secured in Sydney earlier in the season.
Like Gee, AMCA Nationals ace Nathan Durston makes his first appearance since winning the Queensland Championship, looking to finish his season in style with a repeat performance. Durston was in superb form during the state title showdown against drivers from four states and he will again face some interstate challengers this weekend, with the NSW-based trio of Darren Miller, Aaron Knox and Shane Newstead taking advantage of the longer Queensland season. Having finished third in the state title, Steve Potts will be a threat as always, along with the likes of Michael Mason, Russ Hardy, Thomas Vickery and Steve Price, who endured a wretched run of misfortune at the state title.
A strong 20-car field has been assembled for the Wingless Sprint 50-lapper, led by the two standout performers of the season thus far in Cody OConnell and Brant Chandler. Both are feature race winners at Archerfield and elsewhere this season and have earned the right to share pre-race favouritism. However, Sydney’s Harley Smee returns to Archerfield as a previous winner of this event and he will lead a sextet of southerners into battle against the likes of OConnell, Chandler, Josh Dreaver, Paul Robinson, Glenn Wright, Brad Keiler and a trio of Thomsens.
The Modlite show will no doubt feature national/state champion Klinton Hancey and former titleholder Terry Leerentveld in the lead roles once more, with a solid supporting cast that includes Steve Collins, Chris Were and former state champ Will Butler, with a cameo appearance from Modified Sedan standout Rodney Pammenter.
Development Sprintcars, Late Models and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans complete the program, with gates opening at 4.00pm and early racing from 5.00pm. Sprintcar time trials will kick off at 5.30pm and the main program is scheduled for a 6.00pm start. As always, racing will be completed by 10.30pm.
East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship round 15 nominations: Andrew Corbet, Andrew Scheuerle, Ben Hilder, Brad Ayers, Brent Kratzmann, Brock Dean, Bryan Mann, Cody Maroske, Dan Murray, James Duckworth, Jayden Peacock, Karl Hoffmans, Kris Jennings, Kristy Bonsey, Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Michael Saller, Mitch Gowland, Mitchell Gee, Peter Lack, Peter Milnes, Randy Morgan, Scott Genrich, Stewart Craig
Development Sprintcar nominations: Andrew Baumber, David Kenway, Jason King, Libby Ellis, Liam Atkinson, Peter Campbell
Wingless Sprint nominations: Brad Keiler, Brant Chandler, Brody Thomson, Cody OConnell, Corey OToole, Geoff Davey, Glenn Wright, Harley Smee, John Slack, Joshua Dreaver, Kevin Willis, Matthew Wright, Michael Butcher, Mick Reid, Natasha Herne, Paul Robinson, Ryan Harris, Scott Thomsen, Steve Thomsen, Tyson Williams
AMCA Nationals nominations: Aaron Knox, Dallas Czerwinski, Damien Groer, Darren Miller, Declan Brownsey, Hans Van Der Ryken, Matthew Herne, Michael Denning, Michael Mason, Nathan Durston, Nick Storey, Ricky Sendall, Russ Hardy, Shane Newstead, Steve Potts, Steve Price, Thomas Vickery
Modlite nominations: Adam Walker, Chris Were, Dan Lewis, Darren Cardiff, Dylan Hunter, Jac Carnell, Klinton Hancey, Nathan Politch, Neil Gregson, Rodney Pammenter, Steve Collins, Terry Leerentveld, Tim Jackson, Will Butler
Late Model nominations: Aaron Van Zeeland, Allan Schultz, Carter Armstrong, Darren Kane, David Doherty, Josh Schultz, Michael Jenner, Steve Van Zeeland, Tim Walters
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