Scott Farmer began 2018 with an all the win in Round 5 of the Polar Ice Midget Series at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Wednesday January 3. The midgets were a support section to a round of World Series Sprintcars so it was an opportunity to showcase midget racing in front of a healthy crowd. It was fortunate that the meeting even went ahead as two storms threatened to dump heavy rain on the area late in the afternoon but somehow the speedway was spared any precipitation.
Everyone was anticipating another great showdown between Darren Vine and Farmer when they qualified for the front row of the feature only for Vine to withdraw after a minor rocker problem was detected and it was decided not to risk any further damage. With Farmer (TFH Spike/Esslinger) now on pole for the 20-lap affair he immediately raced into the lead from the get go. Darren Dillon (Zox Performance Eagle/Gaerte) settled into second while Brock Dean (All Car Engine Reconditioning Services Breka/Hawk) momentarily jumped ahead of Adam Wallis (Boss Chassis Aust Boss/Esslinger) and Brad Harrison (Nupave Asphalt Services King/Mopar). Dean soon dropped back a couple of spots and then withdrew with an engine not quite right. Wallis then accounted for Harrison and then set out after Dillon. The former Australian Compact Champion was hugging the pole line while Wallis ran further up the track trying to build momentum.
Rodney Harders (Eagle/Eagle) spun to a stop during lap 6 after contact with another car which lined up the field nose to tail for the second green light. Shortly after the restart Wallis grabbed second but couldn’t shake Dillon. Behind the lead trio a large group of cars including Harrison, Mark George (Breka/Porsche), Reid Mackay (Direct Plasterboard Outlet CP3/Hawk) and Nathan Mathers were exchanging places lap by lap. George showed his experience and continued to manoeuvre past cars and as the race progressed into the last handful of laps had moved to fourth. Meanwhile Dillon hadn’t given up and with just over three laps remaining regained position two.
Farmer collected his second win of the season with Darren Dillon gaining his first podium position after returning to the sport while Adam Wallis overcame some rotten luck in recent meetings to finish third. Mark George was fourth with car owner Chris Foreman pleased that his Porsche engine had performed well after some problems at previous shows. Farmer came into the round just 4 points ahead of Vine in the Polar Ice Series so now has opened a broader margin on his opponents.
With a ‘Draw and Invert’ format for the heats it was not surprising that the four qualifiers had four different winners. Farmer went from pole to take out the first heat while Dillon (P7) and Brock Dean (P9) came from near the back to finish in the top five. Scott Wilson (WLS Landscape Supplies Boss/Stanton SR 11) opened a commanding lead in the opening laps of the second heat only to slow and withdraw after a couple of laps. Brad Harrison was the new leader and despite being chased by Vine and Young held on for the win as well as setting the quickest lap (14.271) of the race. The reason for Wilson’s departure was due to the breakage of the steering box mount. The unit dropped onto his knees and he did well to find the infield without any mishap.
Dallas Sharp (Llewellyn Motors Eagle/Gaerte) charged form the outside of the front row to out drag Brock Dean to the first turn and led the opening lap until Darren Dillon charged from the second row to take over the lead and collect the win. Rookie Nathan Mathers (Insane Ink Eagle/Esslinger) took off into the distance at the beginning of the last heat as Mark George and Darren Vine began a duel that lasted the duration of the race. With George as smooth as silk on the bottom and Vine up high it was entertaining to watch as the two wheel twisters raced side by side without the hint of a touch. As the race progressed they closed on the leader and Vine gained the impetus to get to second only for the yellow lights to appear at the end of lap 9 even though there was no incident on the race track. The race was declared at that point with Mathers collecting his first midget win.
Some of the Brisbane drivers are now on their way to Mt Gambier for the Speedcar Super Series round this Saturday night and the Victorian Title at Warrnambool the following night. We wish them a safe journey and a successful couple of nights of racing. Queensland drivers Adam Wallis, Troy Ware and Scott Doyle will join Reid Mackay in what should be some action-packed racing on two tracks conducive for great speedcar racing.
The midgets are back at the Archerfield Speedway on Saturday January 20 for the running of the Stan Burrow Stampede. With around $10,000 available in prize-money and $4,000 going to the winner it should feature a cast of the fast. One driver who has already nominated is Nathan Smee in the TFH Spike/Inglis Chev. A many times winner at Archerfield, the former Australian Champion is looking to collect some of the ‘big bucks’ on offer. Additional nominations will be posted as they become available. It is certainly a night not to be missed in honour of a great speedcar competitor and ambassador, Stan Burrow.
1 Scott Farmer 2 Cal Whatmore 3 Adam Wallis
1 Brad Harrison 2 Darren Vine 3 Brad Young
1 Darren Dillon 2 Brock Dean 3 Adam Wallis
1 `Nathan Mathers 2 Darren Vine 3 Mark George
1 Scott Farmer 2 Darren Dillon 3 Adam Wallis
4 Mark George 5 Brad Harrison 6 Reid Mackay
7 Nathan Mathers 8 Brad Young 9 Cal Whatmore
10 Kristy Bonsey 11 Dallas Sharp 12 Mitchell Rooke
13 Audie Malt 14 Rodney Harders 15 Scott Wilson