Sunday, November 21, 2010
TWS Huntly Stockcar Teams Night 1
TWS Huntly Stockcar Teams : Night 1
Thankfully the weather held and we enjoyed a really great night of teams racing action at Huntly in a meeting that seems to get better and better every season. It was a little disappointing to see no teams from Rotorua, Baypark or even local neighbour Kihikihi but the ring-in Huntly team 'The Hawks' didn't disappoint with a strong showing despite being thrown together at the last minute. The support programme was a bit weak and I took issue with some of the commentary during the final race but was really pleased to see a decent vocal group of Auckland supporters for the Alleycats with banners and plenty of Alleycat supporter gear. Great stuff. The four teams that qualified all deserved their places and so long as they can get their cars together (some of them took a beating) it should be an intense finals night - lets hope for the Huntly club that the threatening weather doesn't ruin the occassion. Here is a quick run down of the action with all points unofficial, check the Huntly website for official results and weather updates:
Manawatu Steelers 140 vs Meeanee Maulers 55
First heat was a very clinical affair with the Palmy boys making short work of a misfiring Hawkes Bay side. The Maulers were down to 3 cars after only two laps with the 82b retiring and 84b sounding very offsong. 97p Graeme Ward and 83b did the running and HB's only faint hope came when leader Ward was taken out in turn four but with 10p also running the race was over for the Maulers, win to the Steelers. A fairly tame start to the evening.
10p, 85b, 97p, 510, 84b
Gisborne Gladiators 180 vs Waikato Raiders 0
There was a bit of contact during the warm up laps with the borrowed 61g car of Simon Allen a bit loose and the action would only step up in this race. 94h and 65g Jason Jones were the runners in this one but 63g Harding managed to spin and stop Waikato's runner and then it was all downhill for the local hopes from there. 92h Gallop was the first of many during the night to be removed from play for a broken wheel guard, 93h Wootten also went off onto the grass with problems leaving 4 Gizzy cars on to Aaron Alderton until 62g's steering woes ended his run. Eventually a well run race for the Gladiators and Waikato's only finisher excluded from the results for attacking off the grass. Waikato once again suffering with reliability issues, down and out.
65g, 64g, 63g
Huntly Hawks 160 vs Stratford Stormers 30
Two of the lesser fancied teams pulled out one of the best races of the night and certainly the biggest incident with a huge barrell roll for 686s Cody Webster. 44h Anthony McNeill and 686s were the designated runners but when two Stratty cars came together 686s was spun leaving the 132s car to chase down 44h. 86s Shane Kells took over the lead but was expertly stopped by 77h Kevin Ngakai who had one of his best races in years. He also finally halted the mangled 686s car who had continued after being rolled by 55h Hazelton. 44h regained the lead and took the win, a superb race.
44h, 55h, 686s
Auckland Alleycats 105 vs Wanganui Vulcans 90
Defending champs Auckland and Wanganui also put on a great display with hits aplenty, 383a Lonergan and 89v Levien were the runners with Lonergan being spun early two Vulcans took a handy lead. Red lights came on for 838a Bernie Fox when the car caught fire with the Aucks looking very vunerable. 98v Dion Mooney took Krizo to the wall and almost gave him one of his own signature rollover moves but he survived and then pulled off the most important hit of the race taking leader 69v Justin Cunningham for a HUGE wall ride and shower of sparks for the length of the pit straight into turn 1, giving Lonergan the chance to take the lead and win. Great action from two of the better teams though meant that neither took a big points haul which would impact on Auckland later in the night.
383a, 69v, 89v, 98v
Meeanee Maulers 160 vs Stratford Stormers 30
Stratford could only manage 3 cars fronting 86s, 132s and 61h Webster for this heat which was great for HB who needed as many points as possible if they had any chance of making night 2. 86b Cooke did the running and for a huge part of the race the Maulers were having trouble eliminating the Stratty cars, but with plenty of damage from their first race the inevitable happened and the Stormers cars soon capitulated. Good points for HB gave them a fighting chance.
83b, 86b, 61s, 84b
Wanganui Vulcans 150 vs Gisborne Gladiators 40
After their great performance again Waikato, Gisborne basically just needed a car or two to finish near the top to qualify while Wanganui needed a big points haul which is effectively what happened. Dramas for Wanganui who could only muster two mobile cars until Hilton Parker drove out of the pits with a front wheel that looked like it had been sellotaped on. He was allowed to race and made the most of his chances eliminating Simon Allen in 61g. 65g Jason Jones was doing all the running but 89v Allen Levien hunted him down and smeared him across the wall in turn four in a huge shot that guaranteed them the win. The 89v car was trashed but kept going gaining valuable points. 68v taking the important win in a race that had two more wheel guard eliminations for 61g Allen and 69v. Bruce Harding and Ian Barron in 3rd and 4th getting enough points for Gisborne to qualify, but had Wanganui done enough?
68v, 89v, 63g, 64g
Manawatu Steelers 165 vs Huntly Hawks 30
The home tracks last chance lay with the Hawks but the Steelers had their measure and like they did in the first race, completing the job without too much fuss. 55h Hazelton had wheel problems right from the get go which took out much of the Hawks sting and eventually he was removed from racing for yet another damaged wheel guard. Red lights for 4h Matt Nilssen left 44h running but 97p Ward had him tangled up for much of the race. Steelers 10p and 510p home in first and second meaning the Hawks night was over.
10p, 510p, 44h, 97p, 75p
Auckland Alleycats 100 vs Waikato Raiders 90
Everything came down to this final race for Auckland with the Raiders chances already gone. Controversial is the word I'd use for this heat! 383a Lonergan again did the running and had the early lead and this was a much more fired up Waikato team than the one from the first race of the night. When Krizo managed to remove the wheel from 93h Tyson Wootton in turn four the reds came on and this is where the madness began - 93h was removed but then obviously there were problems for 883a Krizo so his car was towed off too, meanwhile Lonergan was moved back on the track for not stopping soon enough on the red and so was 833a Bernie Fox who must have had clutch or throttle issues. He was asked to move again and did a big donut on the infield which the officials did not like, and he was eliminated. This left Auckland with two cars, Lonergan and Fergusson which would get them the required points to qualify. Then the unthinkable happened and 333a was damaged and yes, a bloody wheel guard, off to the infield he was sent. Lonergan continued on and took a fantastic win but on the last lap was spun into a stationary car and wouldn't you know it his wheel guard came flying open. He righted the car and finished the last half a lap to the chequered flag and took the win much to the commentary team's annoyance. Not enough points though despite two great wins.
3823a, 94h, 95h
Manawatu Steelers 300 pts
Wanganui Vulcans 230 pts
Gisborne Gladiators 220 pts
Meeanee Maulers 215 pts
Meeting rating : 7.5/10
Night 2 review and points table update coming later...