Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waikato Stockcar Title

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Waikato Stockcar & SSCAR Titles, March 16
PlaceMakers Huntly Speedway

Four titles packed into one nights racing usually means good viewing and that's how it panned out at PlaceMakers Huntly Speedway on Saturday night. The class that got my attention and entry fee was of course the Stockcar title but I knew the SuperSaloons would deliver and despite a few missing big names due to suspension, the racing in this class really did steal the show. 7m Brent Emmerson, 21w Donald Gregory, Grant Flynn in 24a Ben Harding's car and 5b Steve Flynn providing most of the fireworks. Donald Gregory taking the final race and Brent Emmerson the overall title for the Burger King SSCAR series seemed a fair outcome. Grant Flynn driving Harding's car though was the highlight for me, if that's what he's capable of doing in an unfamiliar car, the imagination runs wild should this become a permanent arrangement!

I wasn't 100% sure of the format for the Stockcars, but 36 of them were split into two groups for two qualifying heats and 30 cars fronted for what I thought was a one heat final but the all-in last race of the night might have become a second finals heat for points. Overall the title went to 48h Scott Gallop. Auckland cars were given a pretty rough ride as per usual which is part of the attraction of this title, good local rivalry between these two clubs. 34a Mark Wearing, 29a Scott Tennant and 95a Gary Lonergan all impeded at some stage by 55h Neville Hazelton while 5h Andre Stenson also proving a nuisance to Kihikihi and Auckland cars. 49h Tony Van Lieshout unlucky to be fed into Stenson's car in turn four for one of the bigger hits of the night. Gallop adds his name to an elite group of Waikato drivers to have won this title but two previous winners fell at the last hurdle; 218h Aaron Alderton was a contender for the title until 38a spun him late in the race and despite winning the final heat, 88h Justin Hutchby didn't have enough points from the first heat to repeat his win of 2011.

2013  48h Scott Gallop
2012  Not held
2011  88h Justin Hutchby
2010  81h Rodney Smythe
2009  218h Aaron Alderton

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Northern Stockcar Titles

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Two titles are coming up for the far north stockcar tracks of Whangarei Speedway and Finlayson Park in Dargaville. Last season 29a Scott Tennant won the Whangarei meeting and 22a Leigh Cossey took the CTRA title at Dargaville. They are runnning the weekend of April 6 + 7. Here is a link to last season's CTRA title HERE. Below are a couple of photos from CAZTEX from this season, check out her great facebook page HERE. Keep an eye out for entries and I'll update the posting as they come in. Now for a little bit of history, here are the previous winners below and if you can fill in any of the previous CTRA winners, let me know:

Northland Open Stockcar Title, Whangarei
2012 29a Scott Tennant
2011 29a Scott Tennant

CTRA Stockcar Title, Dargaville
2012 22a Leigh Cossey
2011 86t Rob Anderson
2010 88t Tuka Albert
2009 89t Ray Dare

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Teams Update 7

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Nov 3, Greenstone Park
Greymouth Grizzlies def Tasman Thunder

Nov 10, Stratford Speedway
Manawatu Steelers def Stratford Stormers

Nov 11, Eastern States Speedway, Blenheim
Eastern States Titans def Ken's Cowboys

Nov 16, Huntly Speedway Night 1
Wanganui Vulcans def Meeanee Maulers
Waikato Raiders def Gisborne Gladiators
Rotorua Rascals def Auckland Alleycats
Manawatu Steelers def Kihikihi Crusaders
Waikato Raiders def Meeanee Maulers
Wanganui Vulcans def Gisborne Gladiators
Manawatu Steelers def Rotorua Rascals
Auckland Alleycats def Kihikihi Crusaders

Nov 16, Woodford Glen Speedway
Eastern States Titans def Ken's Cowboys
Canterbury Crushers def North Island Invitation
Eastern States Titans def North Island Invitation
Ken's Cowboys def Canterbury Crushers

Nov 17, TeMarua Speedway Wellington 
Welllington Young Guns def Tasman Thunder

Nov 18, Huntly Speedway Night 2
Rotorua Rascals def Gisborne Gladiators
Meeanee Maulers def Kihikihi Crusaders
Manawatu Steelers def Wanganui Vulcans
Auckland Alleycats def Waikato Raiders
Manawatu Steelers def Auckland Alleycats
Gisborne Gladiators def Kihikihi Crusaders
Meeanee Maulers def Rotorua Rascals
Wanganui Vulcans def Waikato Raiders

Dec 1, Arena Manawatu
Palmerston North Teams Invasion
Palmerston North Pumas def Stratford Stormers
Manawatu Minors def Wanganui Vulcans
Manawatu Steelers def Wellington Young Guns
Manawatu Minors def Palmerston North Pumas
Wanganui Vulcans def Wellington Young Guns
Manawatu Steelers def Stratford Stormers
Palmerston North Pumas def Wanganui Vulcans
Manawatu Steelers def Manawatu Minors

Jan 26, Nelson Speedway
Tasman Thunder def Greymouth Grizzlies

Jan 19, Palmy Teams Night 1, Arena Manawatu
Eastern States Titans def Meeanee Maulers
Wanganui Vulcans def Canterbury Crushers
Auckland Alleycats def Stratford Stormers
Rotorua Rascals def Wellington Young Guns
Palmerston North Pumas def Gisborne Gladiators
Eastern States Titans def Waikato Raiders
Wanganui Vulcans def Meeanee Maulers
Stratford Stormers def Canterbury Crushers
Auckland Alleycats def Wellington Young Guns
Palmerston North Pumas def Rotorua Rascals
Gisborne Gladiators def Waikato Raiders

Night 2
Wellington Young Guns def Stratford Stormers
Gisborne Gladiators def Rotorua Rascals
Palmerston North Pumas def Auckland Alleycats
Eastern States Titans def Wanganui Vulcans
Gisborne Gladiators def Wellington Young Guns
Wellington Young Guns def Wanganui Vulcans
Auckland Alleycats def Gisborne Gladiators
Palmerston North Pumas def Eastern States Titans

Jan 26, World 240's Rotorua
Rotorua Rascals def Waikato Raiders

At Gisborne
Meeanee Maulers def Gisborne Gladiators

At Stratford March 16
Stratford Stormers def Wanganui Vulcans

2011/12 Season Final table HERE  Winners Waikato Raiders
2010/11 Season Final table HERE  Winners Palmerston North Pumas

Monday, March 11, 2013

You'll never guess who won...

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Teams Nationals, Waikaraka Park
Night 2

Saturday night's meeting got the crowd it deserved and Waikaraka Park was packed to the rafters, probably one of the biggest crowds in a long time. The pits were buzzing and being in the grandstand as the meeting commenced was great. Always considered the poorer cousin of the Teams meeting in Palmerston North, I think this weekend showed that with a decent crowd and some top notch racing, the Teams Nats can get back to the meeting it was in it's heyday. A huge shout out to the promoters and workers behind the scenes, I thoroughly enjoyed this meeting.

On track it was deja vu for the semi finals, starting off with the Baypark Busters trying to repeat the effort of Friday night in defeating the Palmerston North Panthers for a place in the final. Many in the crowd predicted payback and a Panthers win, and so it would be. Shane Penn took an early lead while hits from 5p Rees on 12m Fraser puncturing the right front tyre of the Buster car and 6p Joblin rolling 11m Remnant at the end of the first lap as good as sealed the Busters fate. 6p Scott Joblin really stood out in this race, his next big hit was on Fraser who's car expired in clouds of smoke. 13m Elsworth was about to give Busters fans some hope when Penn drove wide in turn two, Elsworth smashing the tri-rail into the wall damaging the left front wheel, unfortunately coping some damage himself and 8p Miers smeared the Busters runner across the pit gate wall eliminating him from the race. This left Joblin and Rees running while Miers engaged 15m Ashby the sole Buster left running, Peter Rees taking a great win. Nelson took on the Manawatu Mustangs in the other semi and ran a text book race dispatching the Palmy team to the 3rd and 4th place runoff. Once again Jared Gray put in the hits that mattered and for the second time at the meeting rolled the luckless 62p Simon Joblin, this time in turn three. 83n finished off Asher Rees in the same corner and Blair Cunningham put Kerry Humphrey up the wall before the red lights were brought on to extinquish a fire beneath the Mustangs car. This left four Tigers against 66p Jack Miers and a predictable win. Watching the Tigers run a rolling block on Miers at one stage as their runner blasted passed was a joy to watch.

The battle for third place was really a race of two halves, the first half a flag race (one of the few of the weekend) that the Mustangs had control of, having put 13m Elsworth into the wall on turn 2 of lap 1. 66p and 64p running comfortably while the Busters lacked a bit of cohesion, Remnant and Ashby actually running into one another at one stage before the wheels fell off the Palmy boys. Ashby's blocking of Miers and a flat tyre for 64p Humphrey gave Elsworth the gaps he needed to catch and then pass on the last lap for a very close win and a great comeback. The grand final had the Nelson Tigers taking on the Palmerston North Panthers who were chasing their 6th win in 7 years. Joblin and Penn were running and 83n Brett Nicholls doing the same for the Tigers. Shane Harwood had a couple of goes at 8p Miers before Nicholls held the tank in the wall for a few laps. He then managed to stop Joblin before 86n Cunningham's tank came to a stop on the grass before turn 3 and that was pretty much curtains for the Tigers hopes. At one stage only 2 Tigers cars were moving against all four Panthers and Penn and Rees clocked up lap after lap untouched before Penn crossed the line for yet another impressive title win. The Tigers had produced their weakest performance in the most important race unfortunately. The Wellington Wildcats made short work of the Auckland Allstars for the 5th and 6th runoff and Shane Penn took out the all in final Superstock race completing their total dominance of the meeting.

There really aren't that many more superlatives you can say about this team of Panthers, they are simply the best. But for all those people kicking up a stink about the reformed Busters, they were the only team to beat the Panthers and provided some of the best racing of the weekend. David Elsworth was the sensation of the meeting and incredible to watch and had Elsworth or the Busters not been at this meeting it would have been the poorer for it. Great Britain don't have any registered superstocks and there doesn't seem to be a stink about Frankie and the boys taking part each year. Get a grip people and enjoy the spectacle.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Not too shabby!

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Superstock Teams Nationals, Night 1
Waikaraka Park, Auckland Mar 8 + 9

Seven teams made the draw for the 25th running of the Teams Nationals meeting at Waikaraka Park for 2013. The Rotorua Rebels and Hawke's Bay Hawkeyes the notable omissions this year for various reasons. The teams entered though were a fine bunch and a bumper Friday night crowd were in for a treat with some no holds barred racing giving some value to the $30 entry fee.

The Wellington Wildcats and Manawatu Mustangs were first up and by lap 2 we had our first rollover of the weekend, 6w Dale Robertson (courtesy of 66p Jack Miers) taking that honour. Miers continued on and finished the race although the tank never appeared again for the night. 64p Kerry Humphrey put in one of the biggest hits of qualifying night on 52w Paul Gaskin. With four cars against only two Wildcats, the Mustangs cruised to a fairly easy win. Mustangs 160 v Wildcats 35. Race two was the one most people were anticipating, Palmerston North against the Bay Park Busters and it delivered! Both 8p Scott Miers and 12m Kyle Fraser had problems on the warm up laps and sat the race out. Two massive hits during the early stages of the race, Kerry Remnant on Shane Penn and David Elsworth on Peter Bengston left the usually invincible Panthers looking wounded and vulnerable, and so it would play out as 13m Elsworth drove the race of his career punting cars out of the way at will. With an out of sorts Peter Rees as the only Panther capable of halting a Busters win, he missed an opportunity on the penultimate lap and Elsworth seized on that mistake and took the flag. Busters 160 v Panthers 35.

Next up were the defending champion Waikato Wanderers and Auckland Allstars, and who would have thought a race between these local rivals would almost better the previous heat? Early dnfs for Bernie Fox and Brad Ridland meant someone would have to step up for the embattled Allstars and Mike McLaughlan was just he man, driving Frank Irvine's new car he became a one man demolition crew most notably removing the last remaining Wanderer, 95h Kyle Stove in spectacular style. 8a Bryce Marx surviving all the carnage and taking a most unlikely win in a thoroughly entertaining race. Nelson made their first appearance against the Mustangs and once again proved they would be a likely candidate for the title picking off Manawatu cars until a 4 v 2 race ended with an acrobatic roll right on the finish line for 62p Simon Joblin care of 82n Jared Gray. As usual, 85n Dale Ewers provided the heart and soul of the team brushing off attacks and taking a great win while 86n Blair Cunningham, so at ease in the tank, provided invaluable blocking. Tigers 165 v Mustangs 30

The Wildcats faced a huge task to qualify for the finals matched up against the Busters in their second heat. Individual brilliance seemed to be the theme for the night and both 13m David Elsworth and 91w Scott McIntosh were the stars of this race. Elsworth repeating his performance against the Panthers while McIntosh managed to remove Ashby's tank and put in shots on Decke, Remnant and oh so close to taking out Elsworth with a shot that may have been controversial had he connected with a pole line indescretion. Perhaps that is why 11m Kerry Remnant took exception to the 91w and repeatedly hit him on the grass in turn 4 late in the race risking the valuable points the Busters earned for the win. Baypark and Wellington ending their nights with 260pts and 120pts respectively. Next up was Auckland and Palmerston North and as any Allstar fan knows, the Panthers are tough on a normal night but coming off a rare loss they are fearsome. Unfortunately 7a Bernie Fox was injured in the pits pre race and so Scott Tennant went from 6th man to reserve. The actual race followed normal transmission with the Panthers taking control early, so the focus of the race was how many times Shane Penn could smash the 9a car of McLaughlan before one of them expired. The answer was four massive hits from Penn and then finally McLaughlan managing to block the Panther in the wall for a small victory of sorts. In two races, the HB driver had become an Allstar favourite providing some of the best action of the night. Panthers 165 v Allstars 30.

The last race of the night was all or nothing for the Wanderers, facing a huge hurdle against the Tigers. A fairly easy win ensued with some more blocking brilliance from 86n Cunningham basically neutralising 93h Daryl Hammond for most of the race while a solid thump from Ewers early in the race left a smoking wreck of the 96h car. A red light for 94h Neville Hazelton left Ewers and 84n Shane Harwood run home for easy points, despatching last years champs in style, and coming out top qualifiers without too much razzle dazzle. Night 2 Semi Finals: Nelson v Manawatu and Palmerston North v Baypark. Auckland and Wellington will battle it out for 5th and 6th place.

Nelson Tigers 330 pts
Baypark Busters 260pts
Palmerston North Panthers 200pts
Manawatu Mustangs 190pts
Auckland Allstars 130pts
Wellington Wildcats 120pts
Waikato Wanderers 75pts

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