Continuing his stellar start to the 2018/2019 season, Lachlan McHugh raced to victory in round three of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (November 10). McHugh qualified his Castrol/Sedl Contracting Cool on pole position for the 30-lap feature race and led every circulation to secure his second feature race win for the season and emerge as the only driver to have finished inside the top four in all three completed rounds. Bouncing back big time from a previous round that saw him fail to qualify into the feature race, Queensland champ Mitchell Gee chased McHugh throughout to finish second ahead of Luke Oldfield and Allan Woods, with previous round winner Peter Lack running strongly again to finish fifth.
Wingless Sprints were out in force for their first Archerfield outing of the season and the feature race produced plenty of action as the field tried in vain to chase down Paul Robinson. David Eggins powered his way around the outside to surge into second, with Scott Thomsen taking third by the merest of margins over Mason Cattell.
Ryan Skennar ran away with the NuPave Formula 500 feature race, leading home Liam Williams and Kristin Brown, while Sean Iacono proved too pacey in the Lightning Sprint feature in downing Keith Blatch and Tyler Stralow.
A 27-car field signed in for Sprintcar qualifying and it was Oldfield who emerged at the top of the timesheets, stopping the clock at 11.761 on a track that slowed considerably over the course of the session. Brent Kratzmann was second quickest with 11.769, with Lack (11.831), Gee (11.839) and McHugh (11.853) next in line. In only his second Sprintcar outing, Ryan McNamara was sensational in sixth, with Andrew Corbet, Brock Dean, Darren Jensen and Clem Hoffmans rounding out the top ten.
The opening heat of the night saw Woods hold on to win ahead of Oldfield and Randy Morgan, with defending track champion Andrew Scheuerle taking heat two in advance of Kevin Titman and McHugh. Heat three went to Brent Aprile over Gee and Lack before Woods backed up to win again in heat four, downing Oldfield once again with Dean third on this occasion.
Mitch Gowland looked to have heat five in his keeping, but McHugh had other ideas and executed a late pass to snatch the win, leaving Gowland second at the flag in front of Aprile.
The final heat of the night saw Nelson Redacliff keep Kratzmann at bay to secure a win, with Jensen third.
The Spanloc Pole Shootout got underway with Gee and Dean advancing from the opening round to take on Kratzmann and Lack in round two. Lack and Gee subsequently took the top two spots and earned the right to take on McHugh and Oldfield in the final showdown. It was McHugh who prevailed in the finale and, having declined to take up the BK Trading Challenge, secured pole position for the feature race.
The B Main proved an all-the-way win for Steven Johnson over Titman. Morgan and Reddacliff clinched the final direct transfers into the feature, although sixth-placed Kristy Bonsey would be rewarded for her great drive from the back of the field by also being granted a start in the main event.
McHugh shot to the front at the drop of the green and led the field away for the first of 30 laps through which he would maintain his position at the head of the pack. After disposing of Lack to grab second as early as lap two, Gee tried valiantly in his pursuit of McHugh, with both young guns glued to the high part of the track. In the closing stages, Gee found himself in the sights of Oldfield, who had fallen to fifth at one point in the wake of Woods surging to fourth after starting tenth. By lap 15, Oldfield had moved back ahead of Woods and has also deposed Lack with his sights set on the leading duo. However, when Aprile and Dean tangled in turn two with 11 laps remaining and triggered a restart, Oldfields momentum seemed to be lost and he was unable to mount any concerted pressure on Gee who, likewise, could not edge close enough to McHugh to make a serious bid for the lead. There was plenty happening back in the pack with Morgan surging from 17th to secure sixth ahead of Scheuerle, Titman and Bonsey, who followed her B Main heroics with another great run from the back to finish ninth. Corbet closed out the top ten, with Reddacliff, Johnson, Dean, McNamara and Hoffmans completing the finishers.
Round three of the Ian Boettcher Race Parts Wingless Sprint Club Championship delivered some great racing from a big field of cars, many of which looked immaculate and delivered on performance as well. Following heat wins to Robinson, Eggins, Brant Chandler and Ben Hull, it was Robinson who bolted in the early laps of the feature and, with the chasing pack embroiled in a furious fight for positions, he was able to extend his lead. However, using the outside to very good effect, Eggins eventually rounded up his rivals and surged into second spot before closing in on Robinson as the laps wound down. Eggins ran out of laps though and followed Robinson to the flag to secure second spot ahead of Thomsen, who had also used the highline to advance his position. Mason Cattell filled fourth, Hull finished fifth and Dan Moes snared sixth, with Andrew Robinson, Michael Butcher, Chandler and Matt Wright rounding out the top ten.
Round five of the NuPave Formula 500 Series saw Liam Williams relegated for the first time this season as Ryan Skennar upstaged the national champ to win the 15-lap feature race. Williams loomed large over the final few laps but, having won two heats and finishing third in the other, Skennar was the man of the moment and was not to be denied, leaving Williams to settle for the somewhat unfamiliar runner-up spot. As the only other heat winner, Kristin Brown started alongside Skennar on the front row and held second spot momentarily before Williams advanced, leaving Brown third at the chequer. Tarhlea Apelt filled fourth, followed by Bryn Upshall, Tristan Johnson, Brady Argles, Tomas Partington, Adrian Farrell and Brock Thornton.
After trailing Kurt Wilson home in the first Lightning Sprint heat, Sean Iacono took out his second heat race and then prevailed in the feature race. Keith Blatch finished second ahead of Tyler Stralow and Andrew Sparks, who also recorded a heat win. Michael Gollagher was next best, followed home by Darren Baldwin, Jim Kennedy, Jason Rae and Jason George, while Wilsons night had ended early when he rode out a roll through turn two in his second heat.
The next meeting at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway is on Saturday, November 24 featuring round four of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship and round three of the Polar Ice Midget Track Championship, plus Wingless Sprints, Compact Speedcars, Formula 500 Juniors and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans.
Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway is proudly supported by: Ausdeck Patios and Roofing East Coast Logistics Polar Ice Queensland Speedway Spares