Kicking Up The Dirt – 2011-2012 Presentation Dinner
Author : Joanne White

Last night a couple of hundred people gathered at the Broncos Leagues Club for the 2011-2012 Sprintcars Queensland Award Presentation Dinner. The Annual Black Tie event always sees a magnificent turnout of drivers, teams and Sponsors, set to celebrate the season that was. And what a season it was. Every points battle for the season went down the very last night of competition, with different winners for each of the major awards.

The awards started with Appreciation awards for those people who have helped, in various ways, volunteering during the season. John and Coral Carrell were first up – the Carrells are photographers that have worked closely with Sprintcars Queensland and its members throughout the season. Deborah Titman played a huge part in organising the Presentation Dinner this year, while I received an appreciation award for my work with these Kicking Up The Dirt reports. Sandy Murray received an award for all the invaluable computer work she does behind the scenes, while Glen Wilson, David Stock and David Tracey were thanked for their efforts, volunteering their time to assist the Sprintcars Queensland club as track official for the season.

Clem Hoffmans and Spanloc Tools kindly donated a tool box to be awarded, by a random draw of car numbers, to one of the drivers present at the presentation dinner. Steven White was the lucky recipient.

The KRE series awards got underway, first by giving appreciation awards to the series sponsors – East Coast Logistics, Kratzmann Caravans, Spanloc, Charles Wheeler and Performance Wholesale.

The KRE B-Main highest Points Scorer Award went to Clem Hoffmans, who won by only one point. David Muir took home the Vortex Wings Fast Time Award, for recording the fastest qualifying lap of the season – a blistering 11.105 seconds on the very last night of competition. Darren Jensen, after scoring the most combined heat race points across the KRE Series, took home the KRE-BMRS Heats Points trophy, while Bryan Mann, who had accumulated the most Dash points across the KRE Series, went home with the Right Price Exhausts Dash Points Award and the $1500 that Right Price Exhausts kindly put up for the winner.

The KRE Series Qualifiers (Car Owner and Drivers) each received an award:
16th Scott Lyddiard
15th Brad Ayers
14th Clem Hoffmans
13th Steven Johnson
12th Brett Thomas
11th Dan Murray
10th Ben Hilder
9th Paul Rooks
8th Kevin Titman
7th Brent Kratzmann
6th Steven White
5th ABC Auto Gear
4th Darren Jensen
3rd Ausdeck Patios Racing and Andrew Scheuerle
2nd David Muir
1st East Coast Logistics and Bryan Mann

The KRE Major Sponsors were thanked for their invaluable contribution to Sprintcars Queensland. These people put so much time and effort into the betterment of the sport and supporting the people in it and their efforts, time and generosity do not go unnoticed.

Brisbane International Speedway – John and Kathy Kelly
KRE Race Engines – Ken and Wendy McNamara

After the conclusion of the KRE Series Points we went straight into the Sprintcars Queensland Club awards.

Luke Oldfield, while far from new to the Speedway family, spent his first season in a Sprintcar. Having spent many years and many laps in his Dirt Modified, his transition to Sprintcars has seen him quickly move up the ranks to be a serious contender anytime he hits the race track. He received the Rookie of the Year award.

This year Sprintcars Queensland awarded one young driver with incredible potential the Rising Star award. Ben Hilder, this season having driven for John Weatherall and the Motorguard Motorsports team, has proved time and again that given the opportunity he can compete with the best of them. While Hilder still has a long way to go, rest assured that this in one young man who has a very big future ahead of him in this sport.

Brad Ayers received this years Encouragement Award. Brad and the entire Ayers family turn up every week, they have had mixed luck this season, with some great drives by Brad, but also some bad luck and broken cars. Whatever happens, they do whatever they can to get back trackside. They are a close knit family team who are only too happy to pitch in and help anyone who may need help on race night.

John Titman Racing the crew of Kevin Titman’s #59 racer were awarded Best Presented Crew, while Brent Kratzmann accepted the Best Presented Car award for the always immaculately presented #77 racer maintained by Tony Cochran.

The award that no one ever wants to win, the Wings Award, was taken home by, and not for the first time, Darren Jensen. Jensen has had a rough couple of seasons, and while he always records impressive results when he finishes races, he has also had numerous big crashes this season, crashes which ultimately effected his overall position in the KRE Sprintcar Series Points chase.

Brent Kratzmann received what is potentially one of the toughest awards to receive for any season of racing – The Clubman of the Year award. In previous years we have had several winners of this award, Dan Murray having received this very award several years in a row, but the reason it is so tough is that to receive it, the recipient needs to compete in every club event across the season. The Sprintcars Queensland season starts in September each year and this year ran until the middle of June. To compete in so many events is a big ask, and a massive congratulations must go to Brent Kratzmann and his team for the effort they put into keeping the #77 Kratzmann Caravans racer on the track.

The Crispy Award, in memory of the late Grey ‘Crispy” McLennan, was this year awarded to Darren Jensen.

Bryan Mann finished third overall in the Sprintcars Queensland Club Championship, with Andrew Scheuerle taking out second in the overall Club Championship, as well as overall Heat Race Points winner for the season. David Muir was crowned the 2011-2012 Sprintcars Queensland Club Champion, walking away with a trophy nearly as big as he is.

Each year at the Presentation Dinner, all the drivers present vote for one of their peers to receive the Drivers Driver Award. This award is voted for by the drivers present and only the drivers present are eligible to win. This year the drivers decided to give James McFadden the award.

The final award of the night was one that the recipient did not expect and had no idea was coming. But there could not have been a more fitting, a more deserving recipient. It is an award that has only been awarded five times in the history of the Sprintcars Queensland club, with last nights recipient making it six winners in over 30 years. Sprintcars Queensland Treasurer Mark Wode was awarded the Life Member Award and received a standing ovation from everyone in the crowded room. Mark has no vested interest in any one driver or team, but works tirelessly year after year to help keep our club not only functioning but growing. Mark, and club Secretary Lyn Turner, have spent years working hard behind the scenes to try and make the Sprintcars Queensland Club one to be envied across the country. They are the backbone of this club and they have been a large part of the driving force behind the significant growth and development of the club over the past decade. There are no words that can adequately convey just how imported Mark and Lyn are to this club, no words strong enough to say just how much their continuous and tireless efforts mean to each and every club member. So, to Mark and to Lyn, on behalf of the rest of the Sprintcars Queensland Club and all it’s members, supports, sponsors and fans – THANK YOU.

After the presentations had concluded the live band took to the stage with evryone celebrating the magnificent season that was.

In only a few short weeks racing will kick off again, starting with two Hot August Nights at Brisbane International Speedway, the first of which is just a few weeks away on 4 August 2012, with the official season set to start on 29 September 2012 at BIS. Make sure you get yourself trackside and see all the action for yourself. 2012-2013 is sure to be a huge season, with several big events that will see all our local stars take on some of the biggest and best competitors in the sport. See you next season!