Tuesday, April 13, 2010

King Country Stockcars 2010


A field of 35 cars turned up on a scorcher of a day at Kihikihi Speedway for the 2010 version of the King Country stockcar title. Also on the programme was the same title for Saloons attracting a field of about 20 cars. 48a Phil Towgood is pretty hard to beat on a normal day but when he is 'in the zone' like he was for this meeting, then really the other competitors are fighting for second place such was his dominance. The same couldn't be said for the Stockcars who produced three heats of great racing, plenty of contact particularly from my 'driver of the day' Tyson Wootten who went on a seek and destroy mission from the very first lap in the 96a car.

Defending champ 95a Gary Lonergan was pretty much eliminated after a tangle with 3nzs Chris Flett just short of the finish line in heat 2 that ruined both their chances which meant we would have a new champion most likely from Rotorua with all of the leading cars on the points table from Paradise Valley. After two rounds 13r Grendon Beazley was leading on 65pts, Bill Keijzer out of retirement for this event in the 86r had 60pts along with 94r Shaun Stewart and brother Brent Stewart 95r tied with 81r Damian Orr on 59pts. Jemma Palmer in 6th place on 57pts and 28h Justin Hutchby the only non Rotorua contenders in with a chance.

Heat three was full of action courtesy of Tyson Wootten who managed to eliminate 86r Keijzer although local 916k Ben Bowen bore the brunt of the hit having been stuck in the wall for a few laps and needing to be removed from the track for medical help. I thought 35m Eben Young had managed to take the third heat win but it was credited to 13r Beazley who ended up with a 10pt lead over nearest rival 14b Gemma Palmer who took second place and 94r Shaun Stewart one point back in third place for the podium. Grendon Beazley well deserving of the title and the new King Country champ.

Some great racing with good commentary and points updates throughout the day, quite different from the rain affected meeting last time this title was run. A fairly good sized crowd turned up and during my stroll around the pits before the meeting I had the good fortune to run into Blu Rawiri one of my favourite drivers in the stockcar class, who was such an awesome guy to talk to, very friendly and approachable. I of course asked him when are we going to see him back on the track but unfortunately it wont be for a while with other committments putting the racing on hold.

Sorry this is not an indepth review but I actually just enjoyed watching this meeting and going right up to the fence on the pit side of the track, seeing all the goings-on which you can do at KK and even a few visits to the pits to see the work happening between races. Its great that you can still get that access sometimes. Only downer is that there are only a few meetings left this season and some tracks have already shut up shop. Basking in the sunshine and being well entertained at a meeting like this just makes that thought even worse!

Meeting rating : 7/10


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