Monday, December 06, 2010
North Island Super Saloon Title, Waikaraka Park
It was a toss up whether to go to Huntly for the Superstocks and a huge field of Stockcars or WP for this meeting, in the end the time factor came in to play and off to Waikaraka Park I went. Little did I know that there was probably going to be more action, rollovers and big hits than any normal Superstock meeting would produce. Three heats and a twenty lap final for the title was a bit ambitious I thought, and after heat one I guessed we were going to be in for a long night but considering the many stoppages and red lights, the meeting didn't run much past 10.30pm. Wins in the three heats to 6m Garry Edwards, 24m Ben Harding and the very impressive 17 year old 46m Matt Smith. There were a couple of rollovers, 99a Macca and 55a Geoff Gentry and quite a bit of argy bargy but one of the main problems occurred whenever the back markers came into play. Also the moment anyone strayed onto the infield a huge cloud of dust would cover the track and I believe this caused one of the rollovers as drivers hesitated leading into turn one.
The twenty lap final had 24m Ben Harding off pole and he never looked like relinquishing the lead at any stage, a completely dominant performance leaving a class field in his wake. Even with a yellow light at the half way stage, he just repeated the dose and cleared out for an emphatic victory. Of the original 18 starters, I think only 9 managed to finish this bruising affair. As far as entertainment goes, the Supersaloons can always be relied upon for a great nights entertainment. Its just a pity we don't see this class and this calibre of field more often at WP. The other podium positions went to 2nz Shane McIntyre, and lone HB entry 46b Graham Strong who was one of the few drivers to avoid most of the carnage throughout the night.
Stockcars managed a healthy field in the mid twenties with another three new cars hitting the track including Ken Tyson in the 7a machine. Going by the numbers that have turned up so far this season, the Auckland title in two weeks should be a ripper. I was also impressed with ex Stocky driver 66a Peter Church in the Saloons, from rear grid starting positions he was picking his way nicely through the field with really great clean driving. I think it wont be long before he is challenging the established stars in this class, this "young" driver is one to watch!
Meeting rating : 7.5/10