Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway hosted round 7 of the Polar Ice Midget Series on March 5 and saw a jubilant Matt “The Hoff” Hefford claim his first midget feature race win after fighting his way to the front late in the race.
Brendan Palmer (EastLink Air Breka/Esslinger), who headed the points after qualifying, started the feature from pole position and gained the front from the get go while Hefford (Spike/Gaerte) and Michael Kendall (Boss Chassis/Esslinger) fought over second and third in the opening laps. The slick conditions made it hard going for the drivers at the back of the line trying to go forward but up front the intensity was high with Kendall keen to follow on from his win in the last round. Palmer hugged the pole line leaving nowhere for Hefford and Kendall to go as the laps unfolded while further back Brock Dean (Breka/Gaerte) and Darren Vine (Mike Vine Turbos XXX/Turbo Esslinger) were unable to make an impact on the lead trio. With 5 laps left Hefford made his run on Palmer and went to the front where he stayed until the chequered flag fell to score the biggest win of his midget career. It was a good night for the easy go-lucky Hefford who had two second places in his heats and was followed home by Palmer, Kendall, Dean and Vine with fifteen cars completing the journey.
Timed hot laps were run on a fast track with Michael Kendall (13.495) scoring his third Quick Time of the 2015-16 PIMS with Brock Dean (13.535) and Brendan Palmer (13.755) next quickest. Both Ken Stanaway and Grant Draney had problems and failed to gain a time which meant they would start all of their races at or near the back of the grid.
The opening round of heats went non-stop with Kendall and Rodney Harders taking the wins with both starting their heat race mid pack. Kendall struck trouble in heat 3 and pulled in with an ignition issue. The ever consistent Darren Vine taking the win. Brendan Palmer headed Hefford and Mark George (Foreman Stealth/Porsche) to the line in the last heat in another non-stop contest.
1 Michael Kendall (NZ) 2 Matt Hefford 3 Darren Vine
1 Rodney Harders 2 Brendan Palmer 3 Ken Stanaway
1 Darren Vine 2 Brock Dean 3 Michael Harders
1 Brendan Palmer 2 Matt Hefford 3 Mark George
1 Matt Hefford 2 Brendan Palmer 3 Michael Kendall (NZ)
4 Brock Dean 5 Darren Vine 6 Michael Harders 7 Brad Young
8 Lance Towns 9 Ken Stanaway 10 Mark George 11 Grant Draney
12 Tony Michell 13 Gavin McDowell 14 Rodney Harders 15 Chris Singleton
It is now the busy end of the season with just two rounds to go in the 2015-16 Polar Ice Midget Series, March 19, April 9 and the season Grand Finale on May 28 with the running of the annual Brisbane 50 lapper.