Monday, April 22, 2013

Speedfest 6

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Speedfest 6
Huntly Speedway

Into it's sixth year and still pulling the big names and classes that make it live up to its 'best of the best' billing, last nights Speedfest at Huntly PlaceMakers Speedway provided enough thrills and tight racing to ensure it's still on everyones' must do list for next season. A few names that will be associated with this years meeting will be Daniel Thomas in the 55h Sprintcar and 71h Tony Wootton in the Superstocks for very different reasons. The Saloons were first to hit the track and gave no indication of how good the rest of the nights racing would be as they drew the short straw and circled in slow motion on a pretty slushy track, the rest of the nights racing was edge of your seat stuff. 3nz Brent McClymont becoming the very first three time Speedfest champion after claiming the overall points from three heats.

In the Stockcar teams race, the Rotorua Rascals managed to eliminate the Waikato Raiders runner Mark Caldwell, and remove a wheel in the process and then gang up on remaining Raiders laying in some big hits including a last lap of carnage that was a joy to watch. Justin Hutchby given a dealing to in turns 3 + 4. Shannon Orr taking the win for the Rascals and a 2-0 home and away victory over the locals. In the open Stockcar races a field of 23 cars mixed it up, wins going to 33s Tyler Walker and Peter Rees taking heats 2 and 3 and the overall points also.

In both the Sprintcars and Midgets one driver stood out in each class above the rest. Midget 27a Hayden Williams and 55h Daniel Thomas who blitzed the Sprintcar field. Williams had a mishap in heat 2 for a DNF but his performances in the other two heats were spectacular. In the SuperSaloons Grant Flynn continued where he left off on his last visit in the 24a Harding car and although major drawcard 1nz Mark Osborne had a wretched (and short) night, 3nz Ian Burson and 7m Brett Emerson kept things honest in one of the classes of the night.

The Superstocks provided plenty of interest because 71h Tony Wootton decided to have a bit of a stir and his main target was 10p Peter Rees. In heat one Rees had a flat right rear tyre making him vulnerable to attack and Wootten took advantage for a number of big shots. 1nz Shane Penn made light work of a decent field of 21 cars for the win. Heat 2 and 49r Chris Brown notched up his maiden win in the new Superstock but once again all eyes were on the Wootton/ Rees battle, this time the 71h with a flat tyre before retiring infield. After an early spin Penn managed to recover to 3rd behind 87r Elsworth. Penn was leading on points going into heat 3 ahead of Elsworth, Ashby and Harwood. Rees was one of a number that missed out on fronting the 15 car field and so Wootton needed a new target and took a well timed shot on Penn, eliminating both cars in dramatic style. Elsworth, Darren Short and Shane Harwood top three in heat three. Overall points had Elsworth on top, Ross Ashby in second and a run-off between Nelson clubmates Shane Harwood and Thomas Stanaway for third, Harwood winning a four lap run-off with a massive punt in turn 3 that left both cars stalled in the wall before the 18n refired and crossed for a great win.

Overall not too shabby, as I've said before, I would really love to know what a V8's fan or non regular visitor to the meeting (I believe this was the original intent of the Speedfest meeting, hence the Thursday night running) think of this representation of what Speedway is like? I think Huntly have the mix perfect at the moment - in as much as the classes that were on show. Whether the formats are the best Im not too sure but do you want to blind the visitors with complicated formulas and results? That is of course assuming we are attracting a new crowd. If it is just a show for the already converted, then I think a few little tweaks here and there really will make it a best of the best season finale.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CTRA Stockcar Title, Dargaville

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I love heading up to Dargaville for a visit and usually you get to see a few cars you haven't caught racing down south, so on Sunday the Finlayson Park track was hosting the CTRA's version of the New Zealand Stockcar title. That's where any comparison with the traditional SNZ Stockcar title ends, this event is fairly lowkey, run in good humour and done and dusted in three heats. Nine cars made the pits, mostly from Auckland and included last years winner Leigh Cossey. His title defence was over during the first heat with a bent axle but he did provide the best burn-out I've seen in ages so he was a winner on the day!

57a Aidan Eustace and 11a Ken Tyson would be the front runners, Tyson winning two heats and the other going to Eustace tied on points after 3 heats requiring a four lap runoff for the title. Eustace had the pace and despite a blocking attempt from the 11a the title was his. 333a Hayden Cossey made the long trip up from Napier after the rainout of the Peter Barry Teams meeting and picked up third overall. Hard luck to local 38d Jeremy Hayes who never managed to get the car onto the track with brake issues. Despite a small field Aidan Eustace really surprised me with the pace of his car and looked faster than I've ever seen him run at WP. Events like this one are great showcasing a few drivers who might not feature in the big fields on major tracks and one of those was 17h Glen Paton who was in his second meeting in an ex-Baypark car that has been bought for a song and given a bit of a tidy up. He had fuel problems for the first two heats but had the car humming in heat three.

Stockcars: 57a Aidan Eustace, 11a Ken Tyson, 333a Hayden Cossey
Jalopies: 2nz Frank Millar, 348d Nigel Bree

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Monday, April 08, 2013

Auckland Superstock Title April 13

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Going by a list of winners I have seen, this title has been contested since the 1956/57 season when Bill Culver won the first Auckland Stockcar title. That makes this weeks running of the Auckland Superstock title the 51st time its been up for grabs. There is a pretty strong field listed already on Macgors and they are expecting a full field of 26. Just looking at my own reviews and notes, I'm missing a few names since 2000, so if you can fill in any blanks let me know. Look HERE for more details about what else is happening at Waikaraka Park on Saturday night.

Previous Winners:
2012 19c Malcolm Ngatai
2011 73h Karl Ross
2010 99r Mark Decke
2009 87r Pat Westbury
2008 114r Simon Blakiston
2007  -
2006  -
2005  -
2004 28h Glen Drabble
2003 51m Rodney Wood
2002 3nz Neil McCoard
2001 116r Chris Allen
2000 116r Chris Allen

Saturday, April 06, 2013

CTRA NZ Stockcar Title Dargaville Sunday

Unfortunately the Whangarei race date has been postponed until the 20th because of drought! Dargaville is still on tomorrow though, racing starts at 12 noon. Get your entry in, the more cars the better! Get the 1ctra number on your door! I believe there is an entry from Huntly, some from Auckland and four locals so far... for more info call Azza on 012 595 525 or 09 396 574.

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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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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Teams Update 8

After the Kihikihi event, both Gisborne and Stratford have moved up significantly but it will be the Peter Barry Teams meeting at Meeanee that probably seals overall victory for one of the top few teams on the table. Wanganui hold the top spot by virtue of having been in more races than the Steelers who wont be attending the event. Eight teams will be there and you can check it all out HERE. The Mainland are also having their marquee event for South Island Stockcar teams at Blenhiem where six teams are expected HERE. A good opportunity for the Titans to move up the table as one of the favourites. Also expected are Nelson's Tasman Thunder, Canterbury Crushers, Greymouth Grizzlies, an Invercargill/Dunedin team and a South Island Select.

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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

At Kihikihi Teams Event, March 24
Stratford Stormers def Kihikihi Crusaders
Gisborne Gladiators def Waikato Raiders
Waikato Raiders def Kihikihi Crusaders
Stratford Stormers def Gisborne Gladiators

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

Monday, April 01, 2013

Sunday Speed N' Smash Fest

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Speed N' Smash Fest
Kihikihi Speedway, March 24

The incredible run of weather continued and Kihikihi Speedway served up a scorcher of its own with Stockcar teams racing, the King Country Superstock title and the all-in 25 lap Rosetown Classic for Stockcars as the days feature race. Big fields in all classes and some really great racing made this a meeting worth attending.

Kihikihi Crusaders v Stratford Stormers
There were big hits before the race had even started as 17k Ben Patrick smacked into the back of the outside row of cars on the start line to warm things up for a cracker of a race. 47k Keegan Orr was the runner for the Crusaders chased by 408 Kurt Vickery. 7k Dave Moore and 17k Patrick provided the blocking and at one stage had three Stratford cars locked in battle. Mid-race the front right tyre of Orr was going down and he was vulnerable with 409s Justin Robinson having two good goes at him and finally spinning the race leader. 408s Vickery and 405s Willy Bolland took up the running for Stratford. 404s Shane Kells stopped 17k with a massive hit but 7k Moore was able to block the leading Stratford car as 47k Orr took the chequered flag and the victory lap only for it to be overturned post race. It appeared one of the Stratford cars had managed to pass Orr on review for a Stormers victory.

Gisborne Gladiators v Waikato Raiders
68g Keaton Batt and 97h Scott Gallop took off from the rest of the pack and by turn two Batt had been spectacularly rolled. Four cars were yet to even move off the starting grid! The worst possible start for the Gladiators was almost evened out when 65g Jason Jones nearly put 98h Justin Hutchby over in the exact spot where Batt's race had ended. 65g and 67g Nick Vallance took up the running for Gisborne and with Hutchby spun by Jones and then 96h Neville Hazelton receiving a massive hit, also from Jones, ending his race. It was back to three on three but the Raiders luck was about to end with punctures to 99h Robbie Neill and Hutchby and the tyre coming off the rim of Gallop's car. 65g Jones got the white flag and a last gasp attempt by the Raiders cars of Hutchby and Gallop almost held up the Gladiators to let 99h Neill through for a victory only just beaten by Jones car on the line. Close win to Gisborne.

3rd and 4th
Waikato Raiders v Kihikihi Crusaders
47k Keegan Orr once again stormed to the lead as the Kihikihi runner ahead of 94h Mark Caldwell and 7k Dave Moore but by lap two 14k Andre Robinson was rolled by 99h Neill and on the restart Orr's car failed to move more than 10 feet before crawling to the infield. 98h Hutchby spent the rest of the race blocking Moore and with Ben Patrick the only other Kihikihi car running it was a fairly easy run to the flag for Caldwell and a Raiders win. Despite this, Keegan Orr's debut for the Crusaders was impressive to say the least.

Gisborne Gladiators v Stratford Stormers
404s Shane Kells spun the Gisborne runner 65g Jason Jones while 406s Haydin Barker and 409s Justin Robinson lead out from the field while the 67g tank of Nick Vallance held up the majority of the field at one stage before the first killer blow was struck by the Stormers. 408s Kurt Vickery rolling Jason Jones big time between turns one and two, bringing on the reds. 66g Bruce Harding spun Barker before Barker was hit again by 67g. Unfortunately for Gisborne Harding's car cruised to a halt and with only the two tanks left running it seemed the game was over. Someone forgot to tell 63g Sam Hughes who went on a mission to hit every car while still running at incredible pace with a flat right rear tyre! In fact his last few laps of this race were some of the best of the day. 406s Barker took the win but Hughes got all the applause! The Stormers though were the class act and fully deserving of their win, a huge turnaround in fortunes for this team and a great lead in to the Peter Barry teams meeting coming up. If they can continue this form they will be a real contender.

King Country Superstocks
17 Superstocks turned up for this title which was a vast improvement on last year. A strong field including reigning champ 5r Laurence Christini competed over 3 heats but there was only one car that would be waving the chequered flag and that was 173a Karl Ross. I've barely seen this car this season and this was a reminder of what we have missed, truly dominant and three emphatic victories left the rest of the field fighting for the scraps. 71h Tony Wootten had no intention of running and spent the day attacking the very impressive 23k Tony Fabish hotrod spoiling any chance of a hometown victory. 118r Bryce Steiner would eventually claim second place overall ahead of an impressive 5a Brad Ridland having a better day on his former home track. My only complaint of the day centered on the amount of time it took this class to grid up. For all three heats the delay was way too long, there were a number of red light stoppages during many races during the day so time lost gridding-up was one delay too many.

Rosetown Classic Stockcar Feature
Unlike many 'all in features' that gather a few left overs from the days racing, this one had a decent field of 25 cars and was a real war of attrition with at least 6 red light stoppages. At various stages of the race Sam Hughes, Anthony McNeill, Richard Keijzer and Les Hepworth were leading but through it all 631r Luke Dilworth and 218h Ashley Potts (driving Aaron Alderton's car) were near the front and when Dilworth took the white flag it seemed like the win was his until 31h Kyle Symons blocked him and Potts drove underneath the Rotorua drivers car in turn three and grabbed a great feature win. 2nz Damian Orr put in two massive shots on 7k Dave Moore in turns 2 and 4 to round off a massive afternoon. Less than half the cars that started finished the Rosetown Classic and it indeed was a race worthy of the name classic. A perfect finish to a perfect afternoon at Kihikihi Speedway, well done to everyone involved.

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