After finishing runner-up in the last two Polar Ice Midget Series rounds Brendan Palmer showed up at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday March 19 determined to win round 8 of the competition. Even a pre-meeting storm failed to dampen his desire to step onto the top step of the podium.
With the track very wet after the storm, hot laps were just that and the heat format reverted to a draw and reverse to determine the line-ups. Palmer finished with a third and a win giving him pole for the A Main with Chris Singleton joining him on the front row. When the race went green Palmer surged into the lead with Singleton not letting him to get too far in front. Mitch Haynes (Foreman Stealth/Porsche) slotted into third ahead of Rodney Harders while Brock Dean and Michael Kendall were also advancing. Kendall had started at the back of the grid after a roll over in his second heat left him with very few qualifying points and some hurried work to repair the car.
Palmer and Singleton continued to head the field as Haynes now had to contend with Dean and Kendall with Rodney Harders also looking for a passing opportunity. Kendall (Boss Chassis Esslinger) withdrew during lap 10 with a throttle problem possibly a result of his earlier accident. Dean and Harders went to third and fourth respectively as Singleton continued to pressure Palmer. Singleton’s knew his left rear tyre was slowly deflating so wasn’t about to try anything too ambitious. The race ran through its 15 laps without a stoppage with Palmer driving the EastLink Air Breka/Esslinger to his first feature win of the season with Chris Singleton also gaining his best result of 2015-16 and Brock Dean (Breka/Gaerte) another consistent result with third place.
The heats were marred by a couple of nasty accidents fortunately with the only injuries being suffered by the cars. The track was very fast for the first round of heats and saw Brad Young win the first encounter from Rodney Harders and Kendall with the race declared a lap short after Ken Stanaway (Rod Singleton Racing Alach/Esslinger) broke his rear axle after turning the fastest lap of the race. Chris Singleton (Spike/Esslinger) started his night with victory in heat 2 ahead of Dean and Palmer.
Lance Towns (I Custom Colours Breka/Gaerte) led the way in the third heat with Kendall moving up to him and looking for an opening. Towns got a little lose in turn 2 and Kendall made contact sending the Kiwi into a couple of very fast flips. He climbed out but the BOSS Chassis Australia car having sustained major damage . When the race resumed Towns was struggling to maintain his lead and Mitch Haynes summed up the situation quickly and went around the outside of Towns to go to the front. Rodney Harders (Eagle/Eagle) also found a way past to finish second. It was discovered after the race that Towns was finding it hard to steer the car because the exhaust pipe had been pushed onto his steering arm during the contact with Kendall.
The last heat only made it to the back straight on the opening lap when Tony Michell (GRP/Gaerte) was caught wide hitting the wall and rolling viciously four or five times. The second generation driver was shaken but able to climb out unaided. His car was badly damaged with suspension components broken at both ends along with a caved in tail. Palmer claimed the restarted race from fourth generation young gun Reid Mackay (XXX/Brayton Gaerte) and Singleton. Even though Michael Kendall failed to finish the feature he still maintains his lead in the Polar Ice Series with a couple of rounds remaining and looks set to achieve his fourth consecutive win in the competition.
The next round of the Polar Ice Midget Series is in three weeks on April 9 at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway so mark the date on your calendar or leave yourself a reminder on your phone.
Michael Harders has been leading the Australia wide ‘5 Crown Speedcar Series’, which encompasses all of the state championships, and contested the South Australian Championship at Whyalla last night looking to maintain his points margin over second placed Paul Murphy (NSW). The race was won by Nick Rowe (WA), grandson of the great John Fenton, ahead of Todd Bennett (SA), Murphy and Harders. Anthony Chaffey was also in Whyalla but unfortunately the Lindsay Brown car he was due to drive had an engine ailment and he was unable to race. This will close up the series points with the final round being the West Australian Championship at Bunbury Speedway south of Perth on Saturday April 16 to decide the overall winner.
Congratulations to Darren Vine who won his seventh Australian Compact Championship at Goulburn last night. After striking trouble with his main car he had to revert to his back-up, the car he drove to win this title last year, and again surged to the front to claim another crown. Must also mention the genius of Mike Vine, Darren’s father, who is the man behind making his cars so fast. He thinks outside the square and makes it work.
1 Brad Young 2 Rodney Harders 3 Michael Kendall (NZ)
1 Chris Singleton 2 Brock Dean 3 Brendan Palmer
1 Mitch Haynes 2 Rodney Harders 3 Lance Towns
1 Brendan Palmer 2 Reid Mackay 3 Chris Singleton
1 Brendan Palmer 2 Chris Singleton 3 Brock Dean
4 Rodney Harders 5 Mitch Haynes 6 Reid Mackay
7 Brad Young 8 Lance Towns 9 Doug Cavell
10 Gavin McDowell 11 Michael Kendall (DNF)