Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Superstock World 240's

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World 240's, January 25 + 26
Paradise Valley Raceway, Rotorua

Shane Penn's incredible season continued as he added the World 240 title to his list of impressive results. While the other two podium winners from Nelson had a quick initiation into what carrying a 1, 2 or 3nz can entail, Penn was all class grabbing yet another title for the Palmerston North club as they continue there complete domination of Superstock racing this year. Qualifying night was better than your average with quite a bit of contact and plenty of turn one push and shove that Rotorua's circuit is famous for. Split into three groups, a number of potential winners failed to qualify resulting in a top class repercharge to start night two.

Red group was dominated by19c Malcolm Ngatai with top points ahead of other qualifiers 48n Nicholls, 591p Hemi, 23r Ashton, 32p Barr and 10p Rees. 27b Shane Warner unlucky not to qualify, spun in heat 3 by 25r Scott McEwen dropping him five places and Rees benefitting and taking his place in the finals. Green group had a similar finish with 8p Scott Miers making sure of his finals berth by beating 99s Callan Hose in heat 3 to grab the last qualifying spot. 52p Scott Joblin looked all class topping the group ahead of Penn, 18n Harwood, 282s Ogle, surprise qualifier 46b Quinn Ryan and Miers. 87r David Elsworth effectively eliminated himself with a late challenge on Penn in heat 2 resulting in a flat tyre and despite a win in heat 3 failed to make the cut. Blue group featured two Rotorua and four Palmy qualifiers, 135r Scott Hewson impressive in winning the group ahead of 79p Humphrey, 72p Joblin, 88p Miers, 38r Ashby and 58p Bengston. 39s Michel Willemsen was the hard luck story of this group, his night started well but turned to custard with each subsequent heat. A massive battle between 4p Chad Ace and 98b one of the highlights of the night.

A 12 lap race to find one more finalist, 112p Shaun Pearson took the lead from grid one and held it for the whole race while chaos erupted behind him. Despite attempts from 21r Nick Beazley and 151r Mike Raynel, Pearson drove a controlled race and never looked like failing to secure the last spot up for grabs. 126p Asher Rees and 14n Dale Ewers were the next best chances but Rees was spun by Raynel while Ewers never got close enough to Pearson to have a go.

Finals Heat 1
With 10p Rees off pole it was always going to be a case of who dares wins if you wanted to take the race win off him. A huge turn two crush caught 79p Kerry Humphrey, 8p Miers, 135r Hewson and 58p Bengston while a damaged 515gb Wainman cruised to a halt in turn 4 bringing on the red lights. By lap 2 Rees was leading 48n Nicholls from Ogle and Penn. Most of the British challenge of 5 cars were also on the infield including 97gb Murray Harrison and 1gb Lee Fairhurst. 79p Humphrey retired mid race while a spin for 46b Ryan in turn 1 ended his hopes of a good finish. From this point on everyone pretty much settled and it became a flag race between 282s Phil Ogle and 10p Rees. Ogle managing a great passing move on the last lap to pip Rees winning from a grid 13 start. The only Brit to shine was 197gb Ryan Harrison coming home 5th and looking the goods. Both Miers cars sustained a lot of damage. Reigning champ Andy McCabe came home in a creditable 10th.
Top 10: 282s, 10p, 72p, 1nz, 197gb, 48n, 58p, 118r, 52p, 31p

Finals Heat 2
8p Miers the only car not to show for heat two. This heat would be local driver 118r Bryce Steiner's chance to shine taking a convincing start to finish victory from grid 1. Once again though, turn 1 would claim a few cars, 23r Ashton being spun and 31p McCabe unfortunate enough to spin in front of the whole pack from his grid 3 start, his title reign pretty much over at this point. A red light stoppage had Steiner leading 212gb Daniel Wainman, 18n Harwood and 591p Hemi. 79p Humphrey retired and 19c Ngatai managed to muscle two brits aside (1gb and 212gb) with one great passing move. 135r Hewson was spun in turn 2 stuck facing the wrong way while heat 1 winner Rees retired with a flat right rear. 38r Ashby and 197uk Harrison didn't do themselves any favours with a coming together in turn 2 leaving them both stuck backwards for 2 laps. 48n Nicholls was slowly lapping with damage while 72p retired with a flat. 197uk held up Hemi for a lap before the Waka pushed him aside only for Harrison to repay the favour punting 591p into the wall just before the finish line, Hemi crossing the line backwards only to be king hit by McCabe.
Top 10: 118r, 18n, 1nz, 52p, 88p, 19c, 591p, 58p, 23r, 112p

Finals Heat 3
Going into heat three, Shane Penn had a narrow 2 point lead over Steiner, with Scott Joblin a further 4 points back and then Harwood, Ogle and Bengston all on 39pts. Ogle had a grid 2 start while Penn was on grid 8. Both Harrison cars and Hemi failed to front for heat 3, which was a pity as Hemi was handily placed on 35pts despite his awkward finish in heat 2. 52p Scott Joblin looked to have retired quickly on lap 1 but did make a re-entry into the race while 72p Simon Joblin held up 118r Steiner on the start line and then took to him on the first corner. 88p Miers race was over by lap two with the front wheel coming loose while 48n Nicholls dealt out some punishment to 1gb Fairhurst in turn 4. On the red light to remove Fairhurst, 46b lead from 32p Barr, 282s Ogle, 18n Harwood and 23r Ashton. Penn was in 9th. Miers was next to have a go at Steiner who seemed to be a lone soldier waving the Rotorua flag before a massive hit from 79p Humphrey straight into the turn one wall ended his race and brought the red lights on to remove Steiner. As this stage the commentary team (who also had an excellent weekend!) informed us that Penn was a single point ahead of Ogle and one more point back to Harwood with 5 laps to go. 135r retired to the infield and then 8p Miers decided to take a swipe at Ogle on the last lap. An impressive cut inside to avoid Miers clinched Ogle's runner up spot ahead of Harwood who was held up by Miers and caught up with Ashton before crossing the line for a third place ovearll finish. 32p Graeme Barr taking the race win but Penn had pretty much sailed through avoiding trouble and finishing with a decent 6 point margin over Ogle.

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