Sydney’s Nathan Smee annexed his second Queensland Championship at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday April 8 adding to the title he won at Charlton in 2002. Due to the number of rain outs during the season the meeting also doubled as Round 7 of the Polar Ice Midget Series.
Smee had to work hard for his win after teenage sensation Kaidon Brown (NSW) took the ascendency from the drop of the green flag. Brown (TFH Aggressor/Hawk) earlier impressed the crowd when he improved his starting position from P 7 to pole in the three round Shoot-Out. The 30 lap feature only made it to the first turn when Chris Gwilliam (Boss Chassis Australia Boss/Esslinger) climbed a wheel and rolled heavily into the fence. He was uninjured but Dwayne Neilson’s car would need plenty of attention before racing again. During the stoppage, Victorian visitor and Tasmanian Champion, Joe Lostitch, was forced to withdraw with a serious fuel leak when a line came adrift.
On resumption Brown again burst into the lead from Smee (Illuminated Industries Spike/Inglis Chev), Brock Dean, Rusty Whittaker, Adam Wallis and Darren Vine. During lap 2 Scott Doyle (Boss Hogg’s Steak House Beast/Gaerte) slammed the wall just past the pits and was out with front end damage. When the action restarted Brown, a third generation speedcar driver, continued to lead with Smee while Dean had to contend with Whittaker and Vine as Brendan Palmer (EastLink Air Breka/Esslinger) pulled out with a fuel issue. Smee maintained the pressure on Brown and on lap 15 took control of the lead and opened a small break. Dean had also pulled away from his pursuers with Adam Wallis (Rondalee Metal Fabrications Aggressor/Esslinger) another withdrawal after running out of tear offs.
In the final five laps of the race Dean became caught behind a lapped car and after Darren Vine (Mike Vine Turbos Spike/Esslinger) dispensed with Whittaker (Ti Bolt & Race Partz King/Esslinger) closed on Dean (ACERS Breka/Hawk). With two laps remaining there was contact between the two at the end of the back straight with Dean hitting the fence. He continued-on but during the time it took him to recover speed he was passed by both Vine and Whittaker. Nathan Smee crossed the finish line becoming the 2017 Queensland Champion with Kaidon Brown second and Darren Vine third followed by Whittaker and Dean.
At a post-race enquiry Vine was relegated two positions to fifth with Rusty Whittaker officially third and Brock Dean fourth.
The track was very wet for engine starts and it took quite some time to get all the cars going. The Hot Lap sessions were also run on a wet track but with no points on offer most were content to take it easy. The track was very fast for the first round of heats with Nathan Smee, Brock Dean and Kaidon Brown the victors. Darren Dillon (Supercharged Graphic Eagle/Gaerte) was running well in the opening heat when an engine woe forced him out of the race and the rest of the night. 2009 Queensland Champion Mark George was well in contention during the Dean heat but faded near the end and withdrew from the remainder of the night with a problem with the Porsche engine. Reid Mackay (Direct Plasterboard Outlet CP3/Gaerte) spun during heat 3 and was collected by Chris Gwilliam who tried to keep the engine running but only proceeded in hooking onto Mackay’s car and coming to a stop.
Heat 4 was drama filled. When rookie driver Tony Stephen was about to be lapped, he hit the wall on the start/finish line and rolled and during his gyrations his car contacted with Troy Ware’s # 71. Stephen’s car was extensively damaged but the driver was okay while Ware was also finished for the night with damage to one of the high-bar down tubes. Adam Wallis led away the restart and looked to have the race in his keeping only for Adam Clarke (Polar Ice Spike/Esslinger) to pass him around the top with a great burst of speed. Unfortunately, Clarke’s run ended two laps later with an engine issue that would force the 2013 state title holder out of the main race. The last two heats were both high speed contests that went non-stop with wins going to 2015 state champion Rusty Whittaker and Brendan Palmer. Whittaker’s 10 lap time of 2:20.392 being the fastest heat time of the night.
The top 8 on points then contested the three round Shoot-Out with Kaidon Brown and Adam Wallis progressing from the Bronze session leaving Scott Doyle and Darren Vine on the fourth row of the feature. Brown and Brendan Palmer were separated by one thousandth of a second in the Silver round which put Wallis and Rusty Whittaker on row three of the main. In the Gold Shoot-Out Brown again dominated ahead of Nathan Smee, Brock Dean and Palmer which completed the line-up for the 20-car feature. One late change saw Troy Ware buckle-up in the Jeff Barton owned Spike/Brayton Ford but with no qualifying points was last car on the grid.
The next show for the Brisbane Speedcars is the Danny Davidson Memorial and Round 8 of the Polar Ice Series at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday April 29.
1 Nathan Smee (NSW) 2 Troy Ware 3 Michael Harders
1 Brock Dean 2 Adam Clarke (NSW) 3 Brendan Palmer
1 Kaidon Brown (NSW) 2 Scott Doyle 3 Rodney Harders
1 Adam Wallis (NSW) 2 Darren Vine 3 Joe Lostitch (Vic)
1 Rusty Whittaker 2 Nathan Smee (NSW) 3 Jason Bell
1 Brendan Palmer 2 Brock Dean 3 Scott Doyle
1 Adam Wallis (NSW) 2 Kaidon Brown (NSW) 3 Scott Doyle
1 Kaidon Brown (NSW) 2 Brendan Palmer 3 Adam Wallis (NSW)
1 Kaidon Brown (NSW) 2 Nathan Smee (NSW) 3 Brock Dean
1 Nathan Smee (NSW) 2 Kaidon Brown (NSW) 3 Rusty Whittaker
4 Brock Dean 5 Darren Vine 6 Jason Bell
7 Reid Mackay 8 Troy Ware 9 Rodney Harders
10 Dallas Sharp 11 Michael Harders