Sunday, November 16, 2008
Fast, Furious, Few...
I was supposed to be in Rotorua this weekend and after last weeks stinker of a meeting at WP I wasn't too worried about missing speedway but plans changed and the Vegas trip was off. Friday and Saturday turned out to be two of the sunniest days Auckland has seen in a long time and so even though details of the WP meeting were a bit 'hazy' to say the least, I decided to go anyway. The good news is that although the numbers in the featured classes (Superstocks, Modifieds and Supersaloons) were all fairly light the ontrack action was the complete opposite of last week, entertaining, close and plenty of hits.
The basic core of the meeting was to rerun the Auckland titles that were rained out at the final meeting of last season for the Superstocks and SuperSaloons and to have another go at the inaugural World 290's for Streetstocks and the King of the Park for Modifieds. On top of this, the early radio advertising mentioned the first round of the Ollie Browne Series too, but was dropped most likely because of low car numbers and in the programme it stated that the series has been cancelled for this season.
Anyway the numbers in the pits were up on last week but still must be a concern to the promoters (I hope) and hopefully they will improve quickly. Streetstocks managed to get 15 cars on track with great support from Rotorua and Kihikihi producing three good heats with enough action to entertain and a close finish between 45a Bill Peat and 16k Trevor DeMalmanche who came out the victor. Modifieds only numbered 7 but it was all 19r Scott Lane who easily won all three races and set a new track record in the process in the slick looking black beast. Hard luck for 3nz Paul Blakely who had major engine trouble and 36a Phil Crumpe second on points going into the final heat who spun and was collected by 7a Ron Drake ending his night and chances. Although points were not mentioned I believe 64a Grant Harris might have made the podium on his first night of racing.
Superstocks had 8 cars including 114r Simon Blakiston and 23k Rick Taylor and going into the final heat 16a Headington looked good for the title but surprisingly was slowed by Auckland cars while other leading chance 61a Nicholls hit the wall hard letting 114r take the win. All three races were even with quite a few lead changes and despite the low turnout were enjoyable. Result being 1st 114r Blakiston, 2nd 16a Headington, 3rd 75a Tennant. The other title being run was for the Supersaloons and with only 8 cars + 46a Nigel Ross running off the back but again providing great racing between Hemi, Jennings and Cardwell. Hard luck story was 6a Torrey who looked set for a win in heat two only to catch fire. Final result was 96a Jennings home first, 38h Hemi second and 8a Gary Chapman third.
Finally the two classes that were in support were Ministocks (24) and Stockcars (16) both turning on hits, rollovers, and full on action. Rookie 7a Adam Wakeling, son of Sprintcar driver Alan apparently, was rolled in heat three of the stockcars in a rough welcome to the class and wins to 168a Billy Neill, 5a Mike Harris and 117a Rose Halfpenny. Incredible turnaround in this class after last week, awesome to watch. 16a Chloe Corban took out all three of the Ministock heats effortlessly in a night of many red lights and "non-contact" action.
So a much better night, programme ran fairly smoothly with only a bit of downtime, quick presentations during the meeting, good value for money but as I mentioned earlier, some of these classes need a few more cars. Next weeks meeting will be the first of the club days that runs on Sunday starting at 2pm.
Meeting rating : 6/10