Darren Vine came from the clouds to claim victory in the Polar Ice Series round at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday November 26. It was his third win in the four rounds held so far this season.
After finishing second to Vine in Round 3 Scott Farmer (Spike/Esslinger) was determined to go one better and qualified top of the points and thereby had pole position for the 25 lap A Main. Vine, back in the family XXX/Turbo Esslinger, started his quest for another win from P 5 after a poor Hot Lap time affected his points tally. The feature only made it to the back straight in the opening lap when a multi car bingle eliminated Adam Wallis (Boss Chassis Aust Boss/Esslinger), Dallas Sharp (Llewellyn Motors Eagle/Gaerte) and Scott Doyle (Boss Hogg’s Steakhouse Beast/Gaerte).
Farmer shot into the lead when the green lights appeared again with Reid Mackay, Mitchell Rooke, Darren Vine, Brad Young and Darren Dillon in hot pursuit. Farmer quickly built a sizeable lead as both Vine and Dillon looked to improve their positions. Young Mitchell Rooke was holding his own in only his fourth meeting in a midget and the first night he was eligible to take his qualified position in the field.
At the 10-lap mark Farmer still held a comfortable lead while Vine had advanced to second and Dillon to fourth and closing on the third placed Mackay. Lap by lap Vine slowly appeared to be closing on the leader but with no stoppages it seemed he had little chance of achieving his second consecutive win. However, when Farmer caught a couple of lapped cars and carefully threaded his way through he lost some ground to Vine who was now chasing even harder. Meanwhile Mackay (Direct Plasterboard Outlet CP3/Hawk) was on his own in third after dispensing with Dillon who was then shuffled back another spot by Rooke (RKR Kitchens Rod Singleton Racing Spike/Esslinger).
With a handful of laps remaining Vine had Farmer in his sights and with the leader about to encounter some more lapped cars the race was still wide open. With under two laps left Vine timed his run to perfection by using the lapped car and grabbed the lead and raced under the chequered flag to collect the win. Farmer was second while Reid Mackay took the other place on the podium with a well-deserved third.
There were three groups in timed Hot Laps with Troy Ware claiming the quickest lap with a 13.780 time in the first group ahead of Reid Mackay (14.258) and Brad Young (14.329) who were both in the third group.
The one advantage that Vine gained with a poor qualifying time was a front row start in the heats after the 14 fastest times were inverted in the heat line-ups. He won the opening heat over Rooke and Ware with Scott Doyle finishing fifth after starting at the back after failing to gain a time after a noise issue during Hot Laps. Scott Farmer worked his way to the front in the second qualifier after starting from the third row and led home Brad Harrison (Nupave Asphalt Services King/Mopar) and Cal Whatmore (Speedy Air Conditioning Spike/Gaerte) who was having his first outing for the season. Farmer’s time (2:22.306) was the quickest 10 lap midget time for the night.
Mitchell Rooke claimed his first ‘Midget’ win in Heat 3 with an all the way victory over Brad Young (Federal Tyres Spike/Gaerte) and Farmer. The last heat was bunched together when they exited the second corner and unfortunately Troy Ware (Ware Constructions Spike/Mopar) climbed a wheel and cartwheeled a couple of times. He was unhurt and unimpressed. Once again Vine was first to the line to achieve his second win of the night.
‘Bits from the Pits’
Adam Wallis must be wondering what he has to do to make it past the first lap of the feature race after being an innocent victim of someone else’s accident at the last two Archerfield shows. His one consolation last Saturday was that he collected $ 500 from Bob Baker as the winner in the ‘Random Draw’.
Young drivers continue to join the ‘Midgets’ and Mitchell Rooke was one who only began this season after racing in the Compacts last season. The quietly spoken youngster has shown a lot of maturity in his driving considering he doesn’t even hold a driver’s licence. Apparently, he was very successful racing large radio-controlled cars which has obviously helped him to develop quick reflexes.
For the second consecutive meeting Darren Vine has finished the night with a perfect score card, three wins from three starts and he did it in two different cars. The multi times Australian Compact Champion has already equalled Chris Gwilliam who won the trophy for Most Feature Wins (3) last season.
Rusty Whittaker failed to get past Hot Laps after an oil pressure problem again affected his Esslinger engine. He is too good a competitor to not be in the line-ups and I’m his Dad, Sid, and Col Davies will be working hard to rectify the issue.
Another suffering a recurring problem was Mark George when his Porsche engine again blew a head gasket after only a handful of laps. Car owner Chris Foreman is at odds as to what is causing the problem that has not been an issue in all the years they have run this style of engines. Let’s hope they find the answer so the former Queensland Champion can get back amongst the action.
This meeting marked the last show for the year for the QSRA with their next meeting at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Wednesday January 3. Some of our drivers are taking the opportunity to compete in the Speedcar Super Series round at Parramatta on December 9 and we wish them well when they venture south.
For those speedcar fans who are keen to witness the 2018 Australian Speedcar Championship it is being held at the Murray Machining & Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway in South Australia on Friday and Saturday 9 & 10 February 2018. Murray Bridge is located about 70 kilometres by road from Adelaide.
1 Darren Vine 2 Mitchell Rooke 3 Troy Ware
1 Scott Farmer 2 Brad Harrison 3 Cal Whatmore
1 Mitchell Rooke 2 Brad Young 3 Scott Farmer
1 Darren Vine 2 Darren Dillon 3 Cal Whatmore
1 Darren Vine 2 Scott Farmer 3 Reid Mackay
4 Mitchell Rooke 5 Darren Dillon 6 Brad Young
7 Rodney Harders 8 Brad Harrison 9 Audie Malt
10 Michael Harders 11 Cal Whatmore