Schatz Hot In WSS Australian Open Preliminary


American Donny Schatz drove to a fundamentally faultless win in tonight’s 20 lap preliminary A-Main in Round Seven of the ENZED World Series Sprintcars at Supercheap Autos Archerfield Speedway.

It was the perfect build up to tomorrow night’s $20,000 to win 50 lap main event.

Schatz drove the Crimsafe / Gearwrench #15 J&J from pole position to an all the way win despite struggling several times with cumbersome lapped traffic.

“I got caught up with those lapped cars several times,” he conceded, “and I thought for sure I’d run into a bit of trouble with the guys behind catching me. I ran the bottom for most of the earlier part (of the race) and when I tried to move up a bit and try something new there really wasn’t much on offer. I ended up coming back to the low line.”

Starting alongside Schatz was South Australian youngster Daniel Pestka in the GFM J&J and the 2013 WSS Rookie of the Year ran in second place for 19 of the 20 programmed laps until James McFadden’s #1 Lucas Oils / Totally Workwear Cool relieved him of that position as the two slid into turn three on the final lap.

“Daniel did a good job,” admitted McFadden, “it wasn’t until the last two corners that I was able to get by him. In the end second place tonight is a pretty fair effort considering we had a pretty brutal time just getting into the A-Main.”

The defending WSS champ went as far as saying he was genuinely fearful that he’d hurt seventeen year old Jordyn Brazier in his final heat when the young Sydneysider flipped into McFadden’s path.

“I was relieved to see Jordy get out,” James explained, “I hit him pretty hard right in the cage and I was really worried that he would be hurt.”

Fortunately Jordyn wasn’t injured but the same couldn’t be said for his #21 Capalaba Wreckers entry with the chassis tweaked in the incident.

To rub salt into the wound Jordyn’s Dad Garry extensively damaged his Schnee in a separate incident when the right front spindle broke and sent the car careening into the wall.

David Murcott recovered from a bruising encounter with Ian Madsen in his first heat to qualify for the A-Main and eventually run a strong fourth position in the Dave Horrell #83 Maxim with the Victorian hard charger pinching David “Blingy” Muir’s spot as the laps wore down.

Muir brought the Titan Garages / Oven U Maxim home in fifth ahead of Brooke Tatnell in sixth (Toyota Genuine Parts Cool) Steven Lines seventh (Halls Haulage KPC) Californian Brad Sweet eighth (Highrace Towing #99 TI22) Luke Oldfield ninth (#17 JB Automotive) and Brent Aprile’s #42 Eveready Technologies Maxim rounding out the top ten.

Following just outside the top ten were Andrew Scheuerle’s #25 Ausdeck Patios Cool, Luke Dillon’s #26 Bunbury Autogroup Maxim twelfth, Shane Stewart’s #7 Milwaukee Power Tools Monte Motorsport J&J thirteenth, Jamie Veal in the Heytesbury Stockfeeds J&J fourteenth, Robbie Farr in the #7 Hi-Tec Oils / ECP Racing Maxim fifteenth, Dylan Jenkin’s #51 Gericke Bulk Handling Cool in sixteenth and Bryan Mann’s #16 Dave Horrell Eagle chassis classified as the last running car in seventeenth.

American Jason Sides unfortunately DNF’d with damage to his front wing and right rear corner after early race contact.

Revolution Racegear “Quick Time” in qualifying went to Donny Schatz with an 11.287s lap from Steven Lines (11.340) Daniel Pestka (11.380) Jason Sides (11.411) Luke Oldfield (11.507) Shane Stewart (11.517) David Muir (11.519) Brad Sweet (11.528) David Murcott (11.534) and Robbie Farr rounding out the top ten with an 11.539.

The Hog’s Breath Cafe “Go the whole Hog” award went to Terry Bracken who extensively damaged his once pristine Mitchell Motorsport #19 when a spin involving Daniel Pestka took both cars out of the finishing results in their second and final heat.

Hard luck stories included Danny Reidy (who hurt a motor without even scoring a lap in Qualifying in his Desert Palms Resort #5.

“We’ve missed the inversion anyway now,” said a disappointed Reidy from the infield “and we don’t have a spare motor right now. We’re better off parking it up.”

Ian Madsen too was unlucky not to make the A-Main for the top 18 qualifiers when he and David Murcott crashed spectacularly in their first heat race appearance.

Madsen’s #29 Watson Express Transport / East Coast Logistics Eagle was all but perched high atop Murcott’s car as they came to a grinding halt in turn two with the hard charging Sydneysider only narrowly missing the graduation into the A-Main field later that night.

Saturday night sees the field compete in two more heats, a mid-pack scramble, the Amadio Wines Top 8 Shootout, the Hog’s Breath Cafe B-Main and the $20,000 to win 50 lap A-Main event.

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