Even though he has changed teams Nathan Smee continues to win races. Now driving for Brett Thomas and Illuminated Industries he drove the team’s Spike/Inglis Eagle to a convincing victory at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday December 17.
When the field headed off for the 25 lap feature there were some rain drops falling and it was hoped the intensity wouldn’t increase before the chequered flag fell. Adam Clarke (Polar Ice Spike/Esslinger) sat on pole for the race with Smee right beside him with Clarke racing to the front when the green lights appeared. There was a stoppage in the opening laps when Brad Young (Federal Tyres Spike/Gaerte) upended in turn 3 while Gavin McDowell backed his car into the wall trying to miss him. Young’s car wasn’t badly damaged but bad enough to put him out while McDowell’s car had a wrecked push bar and pushed in tail. At the same time, Brock Dean withdrew when a crank trigger malfunction.
When the field was sent on its way again Clarke led Smee with Chris Gwilliam (Boss Chassis Aust Boss/Esslinger) and Troy Ware (Ware Constructions Spike/Mopar) next in line while Rodney Harders was shuffled backwards in the hectic opening stanza of the race. During lap 8 the lead duo closed on a lapped car and Smee used the high line to go past both cars to hit the front.
Even though there was a caution period for a spun car Smee was untroubled to collect the win in Round 3 of the Polar Ice Series. Clarke was second while Ware closed on Gwilliam late in the race and when the Kiwi slowed suddenly coming out of the final turn Ware unavoidably hit him and then went passed to collect third. Gwilliam’s engine had broken a rocker and sensing a problem had eased off the go pedal. Reid Mackay advanced a couple of spots to finish fifth just ahead of Kaidon Brown (NSW) who impressed in his first visit to Brisbane.
Rodney Harders (Eagle/Eagle) came out in the first group in timed Hot Laps and set the mark with a 13.902 and ended up being the only driver in the 13’s. Clarke (14.150), Rusty Whittaker (14.264) and Chris Gwilliam (14.367) were the next quickest.
The first heat featured a torrid dice between Darren Vine and Gwilliam with the New Zealander challenging on the inside in the straights only for Vine to power hard into the turns and shut the gate. Chris Singleton (Spike/Esslinger) spun and was hit by new driver Scott Farmer (Spike/Esslinger) with the former suffering front end damage. Gwilliam also spun leaving Vine to win from Brown and Brock Dean (ACERS Engine Reconditioners Breka/Hawk). Clarke raced through the field from the fourth row to win the second heat after Rusty Whittaker (Ti Bolts & Race Parts King/Esslinger) spun and then withdrew with a broken universal joint.
Adam Wallis (Rondalee Metal Fabrications Aggressor/Esslinger) led the opening lap of heat 3 and then Vine took over leaving Wallis to deal with Smee and Clarke. Smee grabbed second from Wallis and then Clarke relegated him back another spot late in the race. Charlie Brown (Rod Singleton Racing Spike/Esslinger) led the way in the last heat until the second lap when he spun and was collected by Brad Young. Both were out with damage with Brown’s terminal for the night with damage to the injection and the exhaust. Cal Whatmore was the leader after the restart but had to contend with Troy Ware who went through to take the win.
The debutants for the night, Darren Dillon and Scott Farmer, had mixed results with Farmer racing in the top ten in the feature before losing a couple of spots late in the race. His background is in F500s. Dillon was making a return to speedcars after being on the sidelines for a few years but suffered fuel issues with his Ford engine and decided not to risk damage to the engine and didn’t line up for the feature.
1 Darren Vine 2 Kaidon Brown (NSW) 3 Brock Dean
1 Adam Clarke (NSW) 2 Nathan Smee (NSW) 3 Troy Ware
1 Darren Vine 2 Nathan Smee (NSW) 3 Adam Clarke (NSW)
1 Troy Ware 2 Cal Whatmore 3 Rodney Harders
1Nathan Smee (NSW) 2 Adam Clarke (NSW)3 Troy Ware 4 Chris Gwilliam (NZ) 5 Reid Mackay 6 Kaidon Brown (NSW)
7 Adam Wallis (NSW) 8 Rusty Whittaker 9 Darren Vine
10 Rodney Harders 11 Scott Farmer 12 Mitch Haynes (NSW) 13 Shane McDowell
The next outing for the Brisbane speedcars is at the Hi Tec Oil Toowoomba Speedway on New Year’s Eve. What a great way to see in 2017 with a night under the stars watching the gladiators of speed in action on the Toowoomba high banks. There is a big fireworks display as well!
On behalf of the Queensland Speedcar Racing Assn we wish all speedcar and speedway supporters, far and wide, a very Happy and Safe Christmas and Best Wishes for 2017.