Sunday, March 06, 2011
Waikato Stocks and Saloons
Waikato Stockcar Champs
One thing you can be assured of when traveling to Huntly Speedway is good stockcar action. Following on two weeks after a decent turnout of Waikato cars for Auckland's local title won in extraordinary circumstances by 88h Justin Hutchby, it was good to see a decent field including quite a few Auckland cars in attendance. Unfortunately the entire Alleycats team was a no show but with the Peter Barry Teams meeting this week leading into a heavy few weeks for this class, it was understandable. Two groups had two races for qualifying spots in a 20 lap winner takes all final. A repecharge featuring about six cars provided some great action but by the time the final arrived I think it had been decided that if your car was still mobile you were in, meaning a field of around 33 cars. Just quietly I had hoped that my dream team of trouble makers (4h, 83h and 84b) would get through qualifying but things were looking grim until the change of plans to include everyone.
The other feature for the night was the Waikato Saloon title raced over the three heats for points. It came down to how many cars 48a Phil Towgood could pass in the final race to beat 46m Terry Corin who started on pole. Corin could do nothing more than hold on to first place and hope Towgood had trouble moving up through the field, but as we witnessed he picked off each car and claimed the overall points win with a masterclass in driving. 18m Chris Taylor took out third place. The race was excellent and really set the bar high for the highlight of the night. Would the Stockcars be able to top it? Fear not! The 20 lap feature had action from the very first corner as 54h Larissa Van Houtte was sent spectacularly up the wall and hooked up on top of 28k Ivan Lammas bringing on the reds. The early stages of the race had every Rotorua car take a turn at leading as one by one they were removed by the locals. When 141h Rhody Game mis-timed a hit and fired into the wall on turn 1 the leader was 218h Aaron Alderton but he pulled off on to the grass gifting the lead to 72r Rumney. Next big incident was a red light for 32h Nigel Beer who had had a fairly tough night of it up to this point already carrying an injury from heat one, but was unlucky enough to hit the stranded 71h Wootten car in turn two ending with big damage to both cars. At this point 55h Neville Hazelton who had looked strong in the qualifying heats inherited the lead and looked good for the win until a puncture two laps from the end slowed him enough for 88h Justin Hutchby to grab the lead and win, repeating the feat of 81h Rod Smythe from last year taking both Auckland and Waikato titles in the same season. Rinso managed to come home in second and Hazelton limped home in third place in a hugely depleted field by races end.
Also I just want to mention the Golden Oldies racing that I thought would be a bit of WWE tappy tappy slow stuff... well these guys aint mucking round! Awesome racing and the more cars they get out there the better. They are great to look at in the pits, sound even better heading out to the track and are becoming a class well worth watching. There must be heaps of these cars lying round, in fact there is a perfect one just up the road from where I live. Get them back out there and relive the past! Anyway enough from me, sorry for the fairly basic updates lately, work has been like... well, work actually. Hard work, and so stockcars have taken a back seat. I almost didn't go to Huntly on Saturday night because I was a bit knackered but Im glad I did, it was good speedway with no weak racing. The programme ran smoothly, with the usual good commentary from Malcolm and Mintie and bloody good value for $15, just how speedway should be.