Kiwi Scotty Farmer further increased his lead in the Polar Ice Midget Series with another feature win at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday April 14. This was his third main event win of the 2017 – 18 season.
After tying with Rusty Whittaker on 106 qualifying points Farmer was given pole position for the 20-lap main due to having a faster lap time during the night. Farmer (TFH Spike/Esslinger) shot into the lead from the get go with Whittaker (Boss Chassis Aust Boss/Esslinger) in pursuit. Mark George (Flashlube Breka/Porsche) maintained third with Glenn Wright and Mitchell Rooke next while Reid Mackay (Direct Plasterboard Outlet CP3/Brayton) charged from P12 to sixth by the time the second rotation was completed.
Glenn Wright (Wright Signs Breka/Gaerte) was looking for a way around George but found it hard going with the seasoned campaigner holding a good line. The only yellow of the race occurred in lap 8 for a spun car which closed-up the field for the second start and put Whittaker right on Farmer’s tail. Whittaker applied plenty of pressure, but Farmer countered every move and maintained the lead.
Wright continued to hound George and when a small opening appeared during lap 15 he advanced to third with Reid Mackay now right behind the Porsche pilot. Mackay shuffled George back to fifth during the penultimate lap leaving Mitch Rooke (Rod Singleton Racing Spike/Esslinger) just over a lap to mount a challenge for fifth but the laps ran out with Farmer heading Whittaker and Wright to the line for the podium places.
Rusty Whittaker, driving the Dwayne Neilson owned Boss/Esslinger, set the fastest time (14.380) in the last lap of his Hot Laps segment and then Mitch Rooke set the second fastest time (14.528) during the second segment. Lance Towns was a surprise third fastest in his first drive of the Dylan Byrne owned Aggressor/Honda DOHC. The Honda showed good speed but unfortunately the team suffered an electrical issue during the first heat which couldn’t be overcome at the track.
Brad Harrison (Nupave Asphalt Surfaces King/Mopar) led the way in the opening heat until both Whittaker and Darren Vine (Mike Vine Turbos XXX/Turbo Esslinger) arrived on the scene. Whittaker went inside Harrison while Vine took the long way around. When Harrison saw Whittaker, he moved up track slightly to give him room not knowing that Vine was at his right rear. Their wheels connected, and Vine was sent hard into the concrete wall. Vine was already nursing a sore left thumb from a Compact accident a few weeks back and this accident didn’t help that injury. Many people pitched in to help the Vine camp repair their car but after many parts were replaced further damage was discovered that forced him out for the night.
Nathan Mathers (Inksane Tattoos Eagle/Esslinger) led until the second lap of Heat 2 when Farmer took control and then the win in the fastest 8 lap time of the night (1:52.380). Mark George also moved ahead of Mathers late in the race. Mathers had his revenge in Heat 3 after early leader Rusty Whittaker spun out was sent ROF. Farmer scored his second win of the night in the last heat with Brad Young (Federal Tyres Breka/Gaerte) and Mitch Rooke next across the line.
Scott Farmer bounced back to finish the night with three wins from three starts after not performing to his own expectations at the Queensland Title. Thanks to Dwayne Neilson it is good to see Rusty Whittaker back amongst the places after suffering serious engine issues with his own car. Glenn Wright was a real surprise with his first major place in a midget feature after a steady and smooth drive. His experience in Wingless Sprints and Compacts has allowed him to adapt to Midgets with ease. Newcomer Brad Dawson (Spike/KRE Eagle) couldn’t get his car to fire and missed Hot Laps and his opening heat before installing a borrowed MSD ignition box provided by Dallas Sharp. It did the trick and Brad was able to complete his second heat and the feature and gain some valuable experience. After some good runs at recent meetings Cal Whatmore’s luck turned sour when his Gaerte engine refused to fire on four cylinders. After checking all the obvious faults and changing the magneto, a removal of the rocker cover revealed a broken rocker. It will be fixed in time for Cal and quite a few other Queenslanders to travel to Sydney for the next two week-ends to contest the Speedcar Super Series Grand Final followed by the Sydney 50 lapper. We wish them well for a safe and successful racing trip.
The Brisbane midget season is coming to a conclusion with just two race meetings remaining on the calendar. Saturday May 5 will be the annual 50 Lap race and then the Polar Ice Midget Series Final on Saturday May 26. Due to the number of rain-outs this season the 50 Lapper night is also a Polar Ice round with double points on offer. This will ensue that there will be plenty of hard, fast racing with positions in the Top 10 still to be decided.
If there are any midget supporters who would like to sponsor a lap in the 50 lapper, they are $100 a lap and by contacting Sid Whittaker on 0418 726 226 your name/business will be listed in the race programme, on the QSTA web site/Facebook page and announced during race night. It is a way to support this great section of speedway.
Timed Hot Laps
Rusty Whittaker – 14.380
Mitchell Rooke – 14.528
Lance Towns – 14.639
1 Rusty Whittaker 2 Brad Harrison 3 Tim Farrell
1 Scott Farmer 2 Mark George 3 Nathan Mathers
1 Nathan Mathers 2 Mark George 3 Glenn Wright
1 Scott Farmer 2 Brad Young 3 Mitchell Rooke
1 Scott Farmer 2 Rusty Whittaker 3 Glenn Wright
4 Reid Mackay 5 Mark George 6 Mitchell Rooke
7 Nathan Mathers 8 Brad Harrison 9 Brad Dawson
10 Dallas Sharp 11 Brad Young 12 Tim Farrell