East Coast Logistics Crispy Memorial To Murcott

After an intense rain system passed through Brisbane on Friday afternoon many parts of the river city were left more than a little damp and AusDeck Patios Archerfield Speedway was no exception. Despite clear skies all day Saturday the infield area of the track remained far too wet and the event was postponed until Sunday 03 May 2015. It would be an afternoon event, with racing starting from 1pm, and concluding by 6pm. Several of the nominated drivers were unable to make the Sunday afternoon event, leaving twenty-five Sprintcars to contest another round of the East Coast Logistics Crispy Memorial Series. David Murcott was the standout from the beginning, setting quick time, winning a heat and taking race honours at the end of the 30-lap A-Main event. Andrew Scheuerle put in another strong and consistent run to finish the night in second with Darren Jensen filling the final podium position. Bryan Mann and Kevin Titman rounded out the top five.

Qualifying got underway with the sun still quite high in the sky. David Murcott was in the first group to hit the track and quickly set an unbeatable benchmark when he stopped the clock at 12.039 seconds. Bryan Mann, Kevin Titman, Darren Jensen, Andrew Scheuerle and Steven Rowell were all less than half a second slower, with Mick Sauer, Brent Kratzmann, Mitchell Gee and Brent Aprile rounding out the top ten. Lachlan McHugh, in his first qualifying run in a Sprintcar, qualified in eighteenth with a qualifying time of 13.168 seconds, and made it into the top eighteen inversion on a very difficult track. McHugh was relegated rear of the field for his heats as it was his maiden night of Sprintcar competition.

Mike Walsh and Steven Johnson started the front row for the start of heat one. The first start was aborted, officials deeming Johnson to have jumped the start and relegated the Q27 racer to the second row for the restart. Second time around it was Mike Walsh and Mick Sauer who led the field to the green, with Sauer managing to secure the lead by turn one. Steven Johnson took to the high line in turn two trying to find a way past Mike Walsh, only to get a little too high in turn three, clip the wall with his right rear, and invert the Brisbane Yamaha #27 racer. Johnson was not injured in the crash but was out of the race. Walsh and Sauer again led the field to the start with Walsh this time securing the lead by the time they hit turn one. Steven Rowell ducked underneath Andrew Liebke as David Murcott ran around the outside in turn one. By turn two both Rowell and Murcott had made their way in front of Liebke, only to come together, allowing Liebke to slip back through. Meanwhile Sauer was trying to slip back underneath Walsh as they raced down the back straight, only for the race to once again be brought under caution, this time for David Murcott who had slowed to a stop in turn three after the incident with Rowell. Walsh and Sauer led the field for the fourth attempt to get heat one underway, with Walsh again securing the lead. David Murcott however was on a mission and wasted no time once the lights went green. Murcott instantly took the highline and made his way past both Rowell and Liebke by the end of the second corner, and Brett Thomas, in his first night in a Sprintcar for a number of years, just half a lap later. Murcott now had Mick Sauer in his sights, and while it took a couple of laps, the reigning Australian Champion slipped underneath Sauer as they raced down the main straight before setting out after Walsh and the race lead. Walsh had built a comfortable lead but it only took Murcott a few laps to close the gap and take advantage when Walsh ran a fraction wide in turn two. David Murcott went on to take the race win ahead of Mike Walsh, Mick Sauer, Brett Thomas, Andrew Liebke, Anthony Lambert and Bruce Marshall. Steven Rowell and Steven Johnson both failed to finish the event.

Heat two saw Richard Morgan and Ben Hilder share the front row for the start, with Morgan getting the jump and quickly settling into the race lead. Hilder settled into second as Bryan Mann took to the high side and ran around the outside of Brent Kratzmann and Brandon Rawlings, before putting the pressure on Hilder and making his way into second by the end of the first lap. Andrew Scheuerle searched for a way past Brandon Rawlings, while Brent Kratzmann and Lachlan McHugh battled at the rear of the field. Mann gradually closed in on Richard Morgan and the race lead, and was just attempting a bold outside passing move for the race lead as the duo exited turn two, when the race was brought under caution for the spun car of Lachlan McHugh in turn three. Richard Morgan led the restart with just two laps to run and Bryan Mann right on his tail. Further back in the field Brent Kratzmann managed to slip past Andrew Scheuerle, the two putting on a great show for the fans as they raced towards the chequered flag. Richard Morgan went on to take the win ahead of Bryan Mann, Ben Hidler, Brandon Rawlings, Brent Kratzmann, Andrew Scheuerle, Kristy Bonsey and Lachlan McHugh.

Heat three rolled onto the track with Callum Walker to start from pole position with Mark Pholi alongside. Walker led them to the first corner, with Pholi challenging hard on the high side while Darren Jensen and Mitchell Gee argued over positions mid-field. Walker and Pholi were side-by-side coming our of turn two when Walker got a little crossed up and retreated to the inner bike track for a moment. Walker rejoined the race once he had settled the car but had lost positions to Brent Aprile, Darren Jensen and Mitchell Gee, and quickly faded to the rear of the field. Aprile, Jensen and Gee were embroiled in an intense battle, with Gee managing to slip underneath Jensen. Brandon Haynes spun to a stop in turn four and brought the race under caution, with Mark Pholi to lead the restart with eight laps still to run. Darren Jensen managed to slip underneath Mitchell Gee as they raced down the back straight, but an uncharacteristic spin in turn four left the Q75 racer stranded on the track and brought the race under caution once more. With barely a lap of the restart completed the race was again stopped, this time for Kevin Titman who had slowed to a stop in turn four with mechanical issues on the Q59 racer. Titman was unable to restart the event, retiring to the infield after completing just four laps. Mark Pholi again led the restart and while Brent Aprile put all kinds of pressure on Pholi for the remaining five laps, he couldn’t quite get the job done. Mark Pholi walked away with the heat win, with Brent Aprile forced to settle for second. Mitchell Gee crossed the line in third and led Brandon Haynes, Jason Bottin, Darren Jensen and Callum Walker across the line. Kevin Titman did not finish the race.

Heat four started with Callum Walker and Ben Hilder from the front row with Andrew Liebke and Mitchell Gee close behind. Walker and Hilder raced side-by-side into turn one, with Hilder eventually managing to secure the race lead. Walker settled into second while Brent Aprile had quickly made his way from fifth to third in just half a lap. Aprile spent a couple of laps searching for a way past Walker, while Walker did a great job holding off his more experienced rival. However track conditions got the better of walker and he spun the Q33 racer in turn three, bringing the race under caution. Hilder led the restart from Aprile and Mitchell Gee, with David Murcott in fourth. Aprile was all over the back of Hilder, the two putting on a breath-taking show for the crowd, while further back in the field Steven Johnson was trying to find a way underneath Kristy Bonsey. Still it was hard to take your eyes from the battle for the lead as Aprile committed to the high line, running around the outside of Hilder as they navigated turns three and four. Once in front Aprile began opening a sizable lead and weaving his way through lapped traffic. He slammed the wall coming out of turn two but had built enough of a margin that while he slowed briefly he was able to maintain his lead. Brent Aprile went on to take the win, with a margin of 1.897 seconds on second placed Ben Hilder. Mitchell Gee crossed the line in third ahead of David Murcott, Andrew Liebke, Steven Johnson, Kristy Bonsey, Callum Walker and Bruce Marshall.

Brett Thomas and Richard Morgan shared the front row for the start of heat five, with hard-chargers Kevin Titman and Brent Kratzmann out of the second row. The first start was aborted, officials deeming Thomas to have jumped the start. Thomas was relegated to the second row for the second attempted start, with Kevin Titman now from pole position. Titman got the initial jump but Morgan was quick to challenge on the high side and had basically secured the lead when Titman got too sideways in turn two and lost several car lengths. Brent Kratzmann was quick to move and quickly blasted around the outside. Titman found himself in the middle of a very intense battle with Kratzmann, Andrew Scheuerle and Brett Thomas. Scheuerle challenged Titman before Titman put all kinds of pressure on Kratzmann, eventually slipping underneath the Q4 racer as they raced through turn four. Titman set out about chasing down Richard Morgan in the race lead, spending several laps closing the gap before giving it everything he had. It was a spectacular battle as Titman relentlessly searched for the right way past Morgan, while Morgan ran a smooth and consistent line, continually denying Titman every time he was challenged. Richard Morgan went on to take the win ahead of Kevin Titman, Andrew Scheuerle, Brent Kratzmann, Brett Thomas, Bryan Mann, Anthony Lambert and Lachlan McHugh.

The sixth and final heat of the night rolled onto the track with Mike Walsh and Steven Rowell set to lead them away. Walsh got the jump on the start, but Rowell was strong on the high line, stealing the lead through turn one, only for Walsh to fight back hard on the low line through turn two to regain the lead. By turn three Rowell had slipped back underneath Walsh to take control of the race, leaving Walsh to defend his position from Mark Pholi. Darren Jensen was on his way forward when the race was brought under caution for the spun car of Brandon Haynes in turn four. Steven Rowell led the restart from Mike Walsh and Darren Jensen with Jensen and Mark Pholi both making their way past Walsh over the next few laps. Rowell opened a sizable lead, leaving Jensen and Pholi to argue over second and third, and while Rowell slammed the wall at one stage, he was able to maintain his lead and went on to be the first to greet the chequered flag. Darren Jensen and Mark Pholi battled all the way to the line, with Jensen crossing the line in second and Pholi forced to settle for third. Mick Sauer was fourth past the chequered flag, leading Brandon Rawlings, Mike Walsh, Jason Bottin and Brandon Haynes home.

Next up was the B-Main event, with eleven cars taking to the track for twelve laps. Andrew Liebke started from pole position with Mike Walsh alongside and Brett Thomas and Callum Walker right on their tail. Liebke got the best start and quickly settled into the race lead, with Walsh in second followed by Thomas and Steven Johnson. Johnson managed to slip underneath Thomas at the end of the first lap while further back in the field Anthony Lambert was working the high line trying to make his way into a transfer position. Lambert soon made his way into fifth, just one spot shy of a transfer, and joined the battle that was unfolding as Steven Johnson and Brett Thomas each tried to find a way past Mike Walsh. Thomas had just managed to slip back under Johnson when behind them Callum Walker drifted too high coming out of turn two and slammed the concrete wall hard. Walker tried to limp the broken Q33 racer off the track but didn’t quite make it to the infield and the race was brought under caution. Andrew Liebke led the restart from Walsh, Johnson and Thomas, with Lambert still in the hunt for a transfer position. Liebke got a brilliant start and immediately opened a small but comfortable lead, while the battle raged for the minor places. Brandon Haynes had a truly spectacular run, slipping underneath Anthony Lambert, Brett Thomas and Steven Johnson in little more than a lap, but ultimately faded as all three drivers eventually found their way back past. Steven Johnson caught Mike Walsh and gave it everything as the two put on a spectacular show. Neither was willing to give up without a fight, with Johnson eventually able to secure the advantage. Andrew Liebke went on to take the win, nearly three seconds ahead of second placed Steven Johnson. Mike Walsh crossed the line a very respectable third while Brett Thomas secured the final transfer to the A-main in his first night of Sprintcar competition in quite some time. Anthony Lambert crossed the line in fifth ahead of Brandon Haynes, Jason Bottin, Kristy Bonsey, Lachlan McHugh and Bruce Marshall. Callum Walker did not finish the event.

Eight cars lined up for the 6 lap Dash event, with Brent Aprile and Darren Jensen from the front row and Bryan Mann and David Murcott out of the second row. Both Aprile and Jensen got a great start and they drag raced side-by-side into the first corner. Unfortunately slight contact between the pair as they exited turn one launched Aprile into a series of quick, low to the ground, flips. Aprile was quick to exit the wreck but would sadly be out for the rest of the evening. With Aprile out of the event, Bryan Mann was promoted to pole position for the restart but Jensen had a brilliant run on the high line and quickly secured the race lead. David Murcott instantly challenged Mann for second and while Mann held on for the first lap, Murcott ran the highline perfectly and made his way into second. Andrew Scheuerle briefly challenged Mann for third, while Murcott closed in a little on Jensen. Still there was no stopping Darren Jensen out in front, the Q75 racer taking the win ahead of David Murcott, Bryan Mann and Andrew Scheuerle. Mark Pholi finished fifth and led Richard Morgan and Steven Rowell across the line. Brent Aprile did not finish the event.

Darren Jensen and David Murcott led the field of seventeen cars, missing only Brent Aprile, around for the start of the 30-lap A-Main event. Jensen got the initial jump on the start and led the way into turn one, but Murcott positioned the A1 racer perfectly through turn two, to almost effortlessly slide underneath Jensen and steal the lead with just half a lap completed. Bryan Mann and Andrew Scheuerle argued over third and fourth while Richard Morgan and Mark Pholi were embroiled in their own battle. Brent Kratzmann and Mitchell Gee had a great battle and were soon joining by Kevin Titman who was having a truly spectacular run, predominately on the high line and putting all kinds of pressure on Gee as they entertained the crowd. Behind them the battle between Mick Sauer, Ben Hilder and Brandon Rawlings was really starting to heat up, the trio often wheel-to-wheel as they traded positions several times, while B-Main transfers Andrew Liebke, Steven Johnson and Brett Thomas continued their battles from the B-Main event. The race was however brought under caution when Mitchell Gee, Ben Hilder and Steven Rowell came together in turn four. Rowell ended up on his side, Gee had a flat left rear and Hilder suffered sufficient damage to end his race. All three were unable to restart the event.

David Murcott led the restart from Andrew Scheuerle, who had managed to find a way past Darren Jensen, with Jensen in third ahead of Bryan Mann with seventeen laps left to run. Bryan Mann and Darren Jensen had a great battle but it was Kevin Titman and Richard Morgan who captivated everyone's attention for several laps as they relentlessly raced wheel-to-wheel and exchanged positions several times, with Titman eventually emerging in front and setting his sights on Brent Kratzmann. Titman was on a mission and was spectacular to watch, while Kratzmann refused to give up, fighting hard to maintain his position. Titman managed to get his nose in front as they crossed the line, just moments before Steven Johnson spun to a stop in turn three and brought race under caution.

David Murcott, Andrew Scheuerle, Darren Jensen and Bryan Mann led the restart with just thirteen laps left to run, but all eyes were again on Titman as he worked the high line beautifully to make his way in front of Mark Pholi. Mann and Jensen argued over the final podium position, while Brandon Rawlings and Mick Sauer raced two abreast for several laps, but there was no touching David Murcott out in front. Murcott went on to take the win, with Andrew Scheuerle in second and Darren Jensen hanging on to finish third. Bryan Mann and Kevin Titman completed the top five with Mark Pholi, Brent Kratzmann, Richard Morgan, Brandon Rawlings, Mick Sauer, Andrew Liebke, Steven Johnson, Brett Thomas and Mike Walsh rounding out the finishers. Steven Rowell, Mitchell Gee and Ben Hilder all failed to finish the event.