• In yet another remarkable performance, Luke Oldfield has advanced from position 16 to emerge victorious in round ten of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship at Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (May 20). Having initially qualified on pole position, Oldfield accepted the BK Trading Challenge to invert the field with the lure of an additional $2500 prizemoney if he could find his way to victory lane from the eighth row of the grid. Despite a couple of near misses as his rivals crumbled under pressure, Oldfield meticulously made his way through the field to assume the lead with 10 laps remaining. Ryan Newton raced into second spot, with Adam Butler bagging his best result for the season in third place ahead of Dylan Menz, Kevin Titman and Brent Kratzmann who, for the second week in a row, surged through the field after transferring from the B Main. Next best were Mark Pholi and Darren Jensen, with Randy Morgan and Harry Stewart rounding out the top ten,

    The Super Sedan GP53 Graham Pascoe Memorial feature race trophy remained in the family when Queensland champ Brad Pascoe outpaced father Matt, who had won the previous two stagings of the event, to ink his name in the history books as the last ever Super Sedan feature race winner at Archerfield. When Sean Black charged into third spot, he looked as though he might make a play for the lead, only to fall away in the latter stages and switch his focus to (successfully) keeping Steve Jordan at bay. Having led the first 15 laps of the race, Zac Pascoe would finish fifth ahead of Sam Roza, Hayden Brims, Tyson Moon, Mick Nicola Jnr and Ash Bergmeier.

    Other feature race winners on the night were James Kennedy (Formula 500s), Dan Moes (Development Sprintcars), Wayne Kirkman (Open Sedan A) and Matthew Hannigan (Open Sedans B).

    A couple of late scratchings left a 33-car field to contest Sprintcar time trial qualifying and it was no surprise to anybody that Oldfield would emerge with KRE Fast Time, stopping the clock at 11.567 on this occasion. Taylor Prosser (11.702), Jack Bell (11.743), Tim Farrell (11.749) and Jy Corbet (11.781) were next quickest ahead of Menz, Nathan Pronger, Newton and former national champ Jamie Veal, with Nicholas Whell and Randy Morgan the last of the sub-12 second runners.

    With a front row start, Veal would make easy work of the opening heat, leading all the way to finish ahead of Newton and Menz.

    Titman took out heat two ahead of Oldfield, who charged from sixth despite the fact that his time trial heroics and a front row start in his next heat all but assured him a place in the Dash, with Corbet home in third spot.

    The first incident of the night came on the opening lap of heat three when a somewhat ambitious attempt from Aaron Kelly to squeeze under Morgan resulted in contact that sent the latter upside down on the back straight, with Kelly also unable to make the restart. Butler would become the third heat winner from pole position in downing Tarhlea Apelt and Brent Kratzmann, who would surge from row five.

    A couple of restarts following spins from Pronger and Veal proved no obstacle for Bell in heat four as he downed Farrell and Newton.

    Oldfield was untroubled in leading throughout to win heat five in advance of Corbet and Prosser before Morgan bounced back from his earlier upend to prevail in the final heat over Kelly and Liam Williams.

    The first of the Petzyo Development Series heats saw Anthony Vanderreyden, possessing more Sprintcar experience than the rest of the starters combined, outpace the field to finish first ahead of Harry Dixon and Craig Hyde.

    It was a jubilant Carlo Moiola who held firm to win the second heat in the face of a fast-finishing Dan Moes, leaving Jason Rae in third.

    The first attempt to get the Development Series feature underway was abandoned with Vanderreyden deemed to have jumped the start, only for Hyde to somehow end up in the turn two wall as the field slowed for the restart. Having inherited pole with Vanderreyden being relegated to row two, Rae raced away from the field before finding himself under pressure from Moes late in the race. It would be a last lap pass that would take Moes to the front, leaving Rae to rue what might have been, with Moiola third ahead of Vanderreyden, Noah Ball and Ron Hendrickson.

    From the outside front row, Veal would leap to the lead at the start of the B Main and would face no resistance in his drive to victory. Northern Territory-based Will Carroll looked to have second spot safely in his keeping, only to miscue in his attempt to put Pronger a lap down, the resultant contact pitching Pronger into a spectacular somersault through turn one and also putting Carroll out of action. Kratzmann would move to second for the final four laps, with Whell and Kevin Britten next in line, although neither would start the feature, making way for Tyler Stralow and Harry Stewart to join the field.

    As top qualifier from the preliminaries, Oldfield then cemented his position when he selected pole position in the pre-race draw for the Boss Hogg’s Steakhouse Dash and raced away to win. Bell snared second ahead of Newton, Prosser, Farrell, Titman, Menz and Jensen. Having rejected each previous offer, Oldfield finally relented to take up the BK Trading Challenge, much to the delight of the crowd but no doubt to the chagrin of Bell, who would now find himself starting on row five alongside Oldfield instead of the outside front row.

    The 16-car inversion for the feature would land Kelly on pole position for the 35-lapper with Allan Woods alongside, followed by Pholi, Corbet, Williams, Butler and the rest. Kelly shot to the front at the green and looked as though he was finally rid of the bad luck that has plagued him all season, only to find himself unable to avoid a spun Corbet in turn three on lap 12. With both Kelly and Corbet now out of the picture, Morgan took over the top spot with Oldfield already up to eighth in his march forward. When Williams came to rest against the turn three wall on lap 14, Morgan continued to lead from Newton, Woods, Veal, Pholi, Butler and Oldfield, who advanced two spots within one lap to move into the top five. When Veal spun himself out in turn one on lap 18, Oldfield was unable to avoid contact but escaped serious harm, dropping a spot to now found himself fifth, but pouncing immediately at the restart to relegate Newton, Pholi and Woods to slip into second spot, which would become the lead when Morgan spun himself to a halt in turn two with 12 laps remaining. With the lead now in his possession, Oldfield maintained his advantage through to the chequer to score a most remarkable win. Newton and Butler filled the minor placings ahead of Menz, Titman, Kratzmann, Pholi, Jensen and Morgan, who had cut the quickest lap of the race before throwing away the lead. Stewart and Apelt were the last runners on the lead lap, with Bell and Farrell the remaining finishers.

    The final Super Sedan show at Archerfield attracted 34 cars from six states and it was the interstate contingent who dominated the early heats, the first of which saw Tasmanian veteran Dave Nichols resist the persistent pestering of Jordan to secure a win, with Mick Nicola Jnr home third.

    Heat two was a cracker as another Tasmanian in Steve Latham saw off the outside advances of Brad Pascoe to clinch the win, with South Australia’s Dave Gartner home third.

    The biggest winning margin of the night so far saw Bergmeier finish more than two seconds clear of Darren Kane to win heat three, with Zac Pascoe home in third spot.

    Zac Brims made an early, and spectacular, exit from the event in heat four he hiked the front wheel a little too high and launched off the cushion into a roll through turn three, with Josh McLaren and JJ Hamilton also joining Ryan Cats on the infield. Of the four cars that remained, Black bested Australian champ Trent Wilson, Bob McCosker and Daniel Taylor.

    Cats bounced back to win heat five over McCosker and Bergmeier, who started third but fell behind Sam Hughes before reclaiming the spot on lap four when Hughes spun in turn four.

    The only driver in the field devoid of V8 power, Michael Kendall kept his rotary-powered Mazda glued to the pole and held firm at the front of heat six to lead home yet another Tasmanian in Luke Gunn, with Brad Pascoe surging from the fourth row to grab third.

    South Australia’s Paul Blenkiron led the first few laps of heat seven before being rounded up by Hayden Brims. Blenkiron remained second to the chequer, followed by Sam Roza.

    Mick Nicola Snr drew upon all of his guile and experience to keep Matt Pascoe at bay to win the final heat of the night, with Zac Pascoe home third.

    The Dash/Shootout saw Jordan advance through three knockout rounds against the clock, downing Roza, Nicola Jnr, Kane, McCosker, Matt Pascoe and Zac Pascoe to take on Bergmeier, Brims and Brad Pascoe in the final run. Whilst it was Brims who topped the timesheets in that final clash to pick up a $500 bonus, the whole exercise ultimately had no bearing on the starting order for the feature race, with Brims to launch from the outside of row five as Zac Pascoe and Bergmeier found themselves on the front for the 53-lap memorial feature race.

    The B Main saw Tyson Moon first to the flag ahead of Justin Randall and Rob Hamilton. Having failed to fire a shot in the heats aboard the Ian Boettcher Race Parts #34, Callum Harper clinched the final transfer spot into the feature, only for the gremlins to continue and prevent him from completing any of the 53 laps.

    With Zac Pascoe leading the way, the first dozen laps produced action throughout the field as a multi-lane racetrack afforded opportunities to move forward, as evidenced by Brad Pascoe rounding up McCosker, Roza, Bergmeier and Nicola Jnr to move into second spot behind his brother. The first interruption came on lap 14 when Gunn stopped in turn one and it was immediately after the restart that Matt Pascoe, who started from row five alongside Brims, would pounce to round up both of his boys and assume the lead. On lap 18, the race was halted again when Latham tipped over in turn three, the incident also putting Cats out of action. Back underway and the Pascoe trio led Jordan, who started seventh, with Nicola Jnr, Roza, Black, Bergmeier and Brims next in line. When Kane spun on the main straight to bring about another restart with 27 laps remaining, Black had moved ahead of Roza and Nicola Jnr to be fifth behind Jordan while, at the front of the parade, Brad Pascoe had moved ahead of his brother to occupy second spot. On lap 31, Brad Pascoe pounced to grab the lead from his old man, maintaining his advantage through a final restart on lap 31 as hopes of a trifecta were dashed when Zac Pascoe was rounded up by both Black and Jordan. Ensuring the family also picked up all of the lap bonuses on offer, Brad Pascoe would lead through the final 20 laps to finish ahead of Matt Pascoe, with Black settling for third ahead of Jordan, Zac Pascoe, Roza, Brims and the biggest mover through the field in Moon. After running strong early, both Nicola Jnr and Bergmeier fell back to ultimately finish ninth and tenth respectively, with Wilson, Nicola Snr, Randall, Hamilton, Kendall, McCosker and Nichols rounding out the finishers.

    James Kennedy made easy work of the Formula 500 events, winning both heats before downing Brady Argles, Wayne Jukes, Brock Thornton and Scott Jukes in the feature race to join the list of last ever winners.

    In Open Sedan action, Wayne Kirkman was gifted a win in the A ranks when all his opponents struck trouble, with Colin Morris limping home in second as the only other finisher. In the B division, Matthew Hannigan was home first after a race-long duel with Michael Cheeseman, who finished second ahead of Tim Swart, Shaun Donnelly and Brett Fischer, with Mark Anderson, Aaron Stone, Robert Gorman and Scott Aitkens the remaining finishers.

    The next event at Archerfield Speedway is The Last Race on June 2 and 3, the final meeting ever to be staged at the venue. Two nights of action will feature upwards of 65 Sprintcars chasing a spot in the field for the $15000-to-win feature race on Saturday night. Also on the program over the two nights will be AMCA Nationals, Wingless Sprints, Modlites and the 50-lap Midget feature race.

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