• Lismore’s Jacob Jolley leads the chase for the 2022/2023 Australian Wingless Sprint Championship after the opening night of competition at Archerfield Speedway. Jolley scored a narrow win in the 20-lap preliminary feature race and, as a result, sits atop the championship standings with a margin of 4.5 points over Queensland champ Scott Thomsen. Third home in the feature and sitting in the same position overall is Victoria’s Todd Hobson, with NSW’s Jason Bates and and South Australia’s Rylan Furler filling the top five ahead of a couple more Queensland hopes in Brody Thomsen and Tim Harris, with defending champ Kyle Mock next best. Numerous competitors, including several fancied contenders, suffered significant setbacks in their pursuit of championship glory, but there was plenty of good racing to be had in between the various wipe-outs, all of which played out through turns three and four.

    A last-start feature winner at Archerfield, Bailey Goodwin got the night underway when he romped home to win the opening heat by more than seven seconds over Hobson and Anthony Joyce.

    South Australian champ Tyson Martin struck trouble in heat two, grinding to a halt along the back straight on the opening lap as Lachlan Robertson led every circulation to win ahead of Chad Gardner and Chris Catchpole, with Tyson Williams enjoying a similarly straightforward run to win heat three from Ian O’Toole and Casey O’Connell.

    Heat four featured a great scrap between Tim Harris and Jenna Kervers, with the pair swapping the lead on more than one occasion before Harris ultimately prevailed, leaving Robert Mazzer third at the flag.

    Travis Millar triumphed in heat five over Mark Blyton, who tangled with Millar in the early going, with Mason Cattell third.

    Having driven splendidly to secure the lead after starting from the third row in heat six, Blake Walsh made a spectacular exit when he rode the wheel of fellow Victorian Brock Argus and flipped out. Argus would go on to take the race in advance of Liam Atkinson and Jolley, who started last in the 12-car field.

    Heat seven proved costly for several drivers, the first casualty being Allan Woods with an end-for-end tumble through turn four on the opening lap. Lap six saw Andrew Sayre ride a wheel along the back straight before somersaulting to a halt in turn three. Having biffed, banged and barged his way through the field, Goodwin wiped himself out in the final turn as Tasmanian champ Brad Whitchurch led his South Australian counterpart Tyson Martin to the chequer, with Graham Flood third.

    Luke Weel downed Brett Hehir and Ben Manson to win heat eight, with Bates besting Scott Irons and Ian O’Toole in heat nine.

    Heat ten went the way of Rylan Furler over Robert Mazzer and Mark Blyton, who survived a scare on the opening lap when he rode a wheel along the back straight, only for his engine to expire after the chequer.

    Jolley led throughout to win heat 11 over Jack McCarthy, who rounded up Brody Thomsen in the final corner, with Mock charging through the field in impressive fashion to clock the fastest lap of the race in his advance to fifth.

    John Egan downed Tim Harris and Mitchell Broome to win heat 12 before Michael Butcher outpaced Cody O’Connell and Matt Gamble in heat 13 as Whitchurch fought his way back to fourth after spinning in turn four on lap two and launching Flood into a roll.

    Hillyer led home Martin and Weel in heat 14, Hobson outpaced Casey O’Connell and Bates in heat 15, with Mock cruising home in heat 16 over Furler and Joel Buettel

    The Thomsen brothers shared the spoils in the final heats of the night, with Scott downing McCarthy and Jolley before Brodie bested Cooper Wilson and Ian Milnes. In the final heat, Egan had second spot secured until a clash with Mitchell Broome sent him crashing out just two laps from home.

    From pole position, Jolley jumped to the lead in the preliminary feature race and occupied that position across all 20 laps. Scott Thomsen held second spot initially but Bates took over that spot on lap two, with Hobson fourth ahead of Furler. Chaos reigned on lap five when Weel was launched skyward along the main straight in a wild moment that put the two-time podium placegetter on the infield with extensive damage. Mazzer and Nicholas Whell were also forced out, while Casey O’Connell was deemed the culprit and ordered to the rear of the field, but opting instead to head infield. Back underway and the first four set about distancing themselves from the pack, with Jolley leading Bates, Thomsen and Hobson. Despite the fact that all three of his challengers were clocking faster lap times, Jolley held firm at the front. In fact, Bates cut the quickest lap of the race but his refusal to move from the bottom of the track would see him fall to fourth as both Thomsen and Hobson advanced. In the end, Jolley was able to maintain his position to take the race and put himself atop the championship standings with one heat race remaining. Thomsen and Hobson joined him on the podium, with Bates fourth ahead of a fast-finishing Furler. Next best were Brody Thomsen and Mock, with McCarthy, Harris and Hillyer rounding out the top ten. Whitchurch, Williams and Butcher were next in line, leaving Wilson, Broome and Andrew Seery as the remaining finishers.

    Paul Reeves led the early laps of the opening heat for AMCA Nationals until Bruce Marshall swept to the front on lap five. The final lap would prove costly for Reeves as he fell to fourth behind Steve Price and Tony Blanch.

    Steve Potts romped home to win heat two in advance of Lewis Gamble and Brett Robotham, while a terrific outside pass from Lee McKinnell would see him triumphant in heat three, with Tim Gamble and Price in the minor placings.

    The final heat of would see Blanch chase down Nik Stacey to grab the lead and the win, with Marshall home in third spot.

    Whilst it was Potts who would occupy pole position for the 20-lap Shock Absorber Therapy feature race, Marshall launched from the outside row to lead the field away. In a race that was interrupted on numerous occasions by spins from those running at the back of the field, Marshall remained in control through the various restarts, with Potts likewise maintaining possession of second spot. McKinnell occupied third spot until a flat tyre sent him backsliding through the field and elevated Blanch onto the podium. Price and Tim Gamble completed the top five, followed by Graeme Holland, Russ Hardy, Lewis Gamble and Reeves. Brett Robotham completed the top ten runners, with Maverick Dack and Robert Turner the best of the rest.

    Australian champ Harry Stewart teased his rivals in the first of the Compact Speedcar heats before pouncing on the final lap to deny Luke Williams, with Dave Collins third. The second heat saw Stewart romp home to finish more than four seconds clear of Richard Treanor and third-placed Williams.

    In the RJR Kitchens feature race, Stewart again toyed with his opponents, allowing Williams to lead the first few laps and even dropping to third behind Treanor before roaring around the outside of both on lap five to secure the lead and a clean sweep of the night. Williams finished second as Collins moved ahead of Treanor for third, leaving Queensland champ Andrew Parkes in fifth ahead of Ron Williams and Jeremy Ennever.

    Racing in the Australian Wingless Sprint Championship continues tonight, along with round eight of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship, plus Formula 500s and Lightning Sprints.
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