Sunday, November 30, 2014

Stockcar Teams Update 3

 photo TasmanWazza_zps31de6aae.jpg
photo by Wazza Andrew

 photo Team1Claytonsmall_zps5c3ca689.jpg
photo by Gregobro

 photo 405s_zpsc26a3738.jpg
photo by Gregobro

The Stratford Stormers took their first big title at Huntly Speedway last weekend and head to the top of the table. A number of teams have kicked off their racing programme but a few of the big names are yet to appear leading up to the NZ title at Rotorua on February 27 and 28 next year, some info about that meeting is HERE.

 photo 2014-15TeamsUpdate3_zps230736b3.jpg

November 8
Greenstone Park Speedway, Greymouth
Tasman Thunder def Greymouth Grizzlies

Eastern States Speedway, Blenheim
KB Cowboys def Eastern States Titans
Canterbury Crushers def KB Cowboys
Canterbury Crushers def Eastern States Titans

Paradise Valley Speedway, Rotorua
Rees Shield : Wanganui Vulcans def Rotorua Rascals

Woodford Glen Speedway, Nov 15
North vs South
KB Cowboys def Canterbury Crushers
Canterbury Crushers def Wanganui Select
KB Cowboys def Canterbury Invitation
Canterbury Invitation def Wanganui Select

Palmerston North, Nov 15
Palmerston Probables def Manawatu Steelers

Huntly Teams Meeting Night 1
Stratford Stormers def Wanganui Vulcans
Rotorua Rascals def North Island Select
Meeanee Maulers def Auckland Alleycats
Waikato Raiders def Huntly Hawks
Rotorua Rascals def Wanganui Vulcans
Stratford Stormers def North Island Select
Auckland Alleycats def Huntly Hawks
Meeanee Maulers def Waikato Raiders

Huntly Teams Meeting Night 2
Wanganui Vulcans def North Island Select
Auckland Alleycats def Huntly Hawks
Stratford Stormers def Waikato Raiders
Rotorua Rascals def Meeanee Maulers
Stratford Stormers def Rotorua Rascals
Meeanee Maulers def Waikato Raiders

At Woodford Glen, Nov 29
Tasman Thunder def Canterbury Crushers

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Huntly Stockcar Teams, Night 2

 photo 1Finish_zps70050b1f.jpg
 photo 6h_zpsceb421b5.jpg
 photo 91a_zps41157b85.jpg

Huntly Teams Night 2, Nov 22, 2014
PlaceMakers Huntly Speedway

Saturday nights racing was brought forward to a 5pm start with the forecast looking a bit dodgy and it proved a wise decision with light rain beginning to fall during the last race of the night. It may have had an effect on the crowd size but I think there was always going to be a smaller crowd with the postponement from last week. Anyway, it was a good call and the meeting was completed when most other tracks were washed out.

Semi 1
Stratford Stormers v Waikato Raiders
The home team won pole and 95h sat on the brakes holding up the inside row, 408s Mark Woods took the lead ahead of 97h until a spin by the local left two Stratty cars running out front Woods and 404s Todd Duthie. 94h Caldwell took up the running for the Raiders but the two Stormer runners were unstoppable, Woods putting a huge hit into the rear of 96h wrecking the bumper and not losing a beat. 405s Barker took 97h to the wall and when the white flag dropped no Raider cars were in a position to stop the runners, Stratford taking a big win with not much damage heading in to the final.

Semi 2
Rotorua Rascals v Meeanee Maulers
The Hawkes Bay team won pole and this was one of the better races of the weekend with plenty of action. 353r Steve Gray was in trouble early with a problem in turn 1 before our first really big hit of the night happened. 83b Brett Loveridge was trying to push a Rascals car into the wall heading towards turn 3 when 835r Damian Orr gave him a massive shunt into the wall wrapping the bumper around the right front wheel and bringing on the red lights for the Mauler car. 81b Randal Tarrant had the lead on the resumption but chased by three R cars he was taken to the grass by a blocker. 86b Marty Cooke stopped Damian Orr while 538r Brent Stewart now had the lead for the Rascals. Cook and 82b Jeff Hart slowed 538r Stewart but Tarrant was stopped by Dale Stewart before Orr put in another big shot on Tarrant, Tarrant survived and got away but the lights came on for Orr. We had 3 v 3 cars with 8 laps done. Dale Stewart then put in some great blocking on Tarrant while Brent Stewart did the running and Jeff Hart couldn't catch him, win to the Rascals but with plenty of damage.

Grand Final
Stratford Stormers v Rotorua Rascals
This really was the race of the weekend and worthy of a final. I thought the Rascals would have the favouritism going into this race but with the damage they took in the semi-final and the apparent ease that the Stormers had managed to despatch all their opponents it was going to be very close. 408s Mark Woods and 835r Damian Orr sat this race out, Orr's car must have been carrying too much damage as he had been a potent weapon in all their races up to this point. Stratford won pole but 405s Barker's tank was spun immediately. 583r Shannon Orr took the lead while Dale Stewart had an encounter with 404s I believe that cost him a wheel, the first of a series of blows that would ultimately end their chances. Both Brent Stewart and Shannon Orr were running well for the Rascals with Gray clearing the track nicely for Orr.  Duthie and Bevan Phillips were also running for the Stormers but with the Barker tank stationery the Rascals were on track for a win until Brent Stewart's right rear wheel collapsed and jammed leaving his car "crabbing' its way around the track. Orr's charmed run ended when he came upon the two Stormers runners, Phillips blocking and Duthie spinning him out of the lead with Orr unable to re-fire. With the front left wheel of Gray's tank also hanging by a thread all four Rascals cars were either stopped or moving slowly and vulnerable to attack. Despite every effort by Brent Stewart, Duthie and Phillips caught up and passed him on the last lap for a victory that looked unlikely mid race, Duthie taking a great win.

In a soggy runoff for 3rd and 4th place, the last race of the night pitched the Meeanee Maulers against the Waikato Raiders, 81b Randal Tarrant taking the high line with support from Marty Cook and basically going untouched to clinch the last podium spot. I think the top three finishers were the best performed teams of the weekend so a fairly satisfying result overall. Auckland Alleycats managed a good win over the Huntly Hawks with none of the Hawks cars finishing for the 5th and 6th race, and in the first runoff of the night Wanganui picked up a win over the North Island Invitation for 7th and 8th. Best support of the weekend was the Waikato Saloon title which almost threatened to out shine the main attraction with a decent field of cars, a couple of roll overs and some great close racing. The Stormers have often threatened to win titles but luck never seemed to go their way. The last two seasons have seen a marked improvement in the team and this I believe is their first major title win. Last year the Rascals won this title and went on to take the NZ Stockcar teams win and finish unbeaten all season, lets see if the Stormers can build on an impressive win at Huntly.

  1. Stratford Stormers
  2. Rotorua Rascals
  3. Meeanee Maulers
  4. Waikato Raiders
  5. Auckland Alleycats
  6. Huntly Hawks
  7. Wanganui Vulcans
  8. North Island Invitation
 photo 28h_zps714cab5d.jpg
 photo 96v_zpsb8989fd2.jpg
 photo 141k_zps552308db.jpg
 photo 5k_zps9bd2e5d4.jpg
 photo 1Rotoruacars_zpsecbdfe83.jpg
 photo 408s_zps9b21bb8e.jpg
 photo 1meeanee_zps505ac362.jpg
 photo 88h_zpsa00b7b61.jpg
 photo 53h_zps18bdecd6.jpg
 photo 91awin_zps00eac8ac.jpg
 photo 1h_zpse784bd09.jpg
 photo 87a_zpsd1cc93f8.jpg
 photo 8g_zps5513a0b2.jpg

 photo 8h_zpsf669fec0.jpg
 photo 29b_zpsd3ea195c.jpg
 photo 41s_zps45ceb768.jpg

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Huntly Stockcar Teams Night 1

 photo 405s_zpsc26a3738.jpg
 photo 1Raiders_zps7e13ae36.jpg
 photo 96v2_zpse912fc81.jpg
 photo 583r_zpsde8e844f.jpg
 photo 01Trophy_zpsd8f562aa.jpg

Huntly Teams Night 1, Nov 21, 2014
PlaceMakers Huntly Speedway

Delayed a week due to bad weather, 3 teams pulled the plug during the week for various reasons from the original 10, Baypark Bulldogs, Tasman Thunder and the Manawatu Steelers. A North Island invitation team filled one gap and brought the meeting back to 8 fairly even squads. The weather might have been a problem again this weekend but the Huntly Promotion did everything within their power and somehow managed to get both nights run and all necessary races completed, an excellent result.

Stratford Stormers 165 v Wanganui Vulcans 30
A 2 min bell for Dion Mooney would be the start of a weekend to forget for this hard man of teams racing. Wanganui won the toss and that was about the last thing they won all weekend. 404s Todd Duthie took the lead early and held it for the whole race apart from a brief stint when 66v Ian Barron found himself leading. Once 402s Bevan Phillips had disabled the Mooney car with a massive hit in turn 1 the wheels really did start coming off for the Vulcans and only Barron's car managed to finish. The Rees shield holders had just been handed a beating and the Stormers had signalled their intentions with a brilliant win.

Rotorua Rascals 140 v North Island Invitation 55
The North Island team was thrown together at the last moment but had a great mix of youth and experience with Gisborne's Bruce Harding nearing his target of competing in 100 teams races - currently sitting on 96. The defending champs from Rotorua had a perfect record last season but were on the back of a loss last meeting at their home track. Despite that, they were heavy favourites to win. The Rotorua numbers are a nightmare to read but from what I saw 538r Brent Stewart picked up the win in a tougher than expected encounter. Damian Orr had gearbox troubles and retired early but any advantage the NI team might have had was lost when 141k Matt Nilsson also retired after two big hits in turns 1 + 2. 5h Andre Stenson had a few moments in the lead but 538r Stewart sent him off into the wall in turn 1 leaving him sitting there. Great blocking from 8g Harding kept the NI team in with a chance but the Rascals prevailed with a good haul of points.

Meeanee Maulers 155 v Auckland Alleycats 40
83b Brett Loveridge was the standout in this race, taking on the running role he took no prisoners and was dishing out the hits en route to a great win for the Maulers. The HB team's tactic appeared to be stopping 383a Gary Lonergan at any cost with both Loveridge and 82b Jeff Hart getting in early shots, Loveridge also managed to bash 388a Leigh Cossey who picked up a flat let front tyre. 833a Troy Power was taken to the wall in turn 4, hit side on by Hart and stayed there for the rest of the race. Lonergan was taken hard into the wall by the start line by Hart and then he almost tipped over Hart's car driving over the front of it, but all to no avail as Loveridge took the flag and win.

Waikato Raiders 135 v Huntly Hawks 60
With two local teams in the competition it was pretty bad luck to draw each other. What could have been a yawn fest was a fairly even match early on. The Raiders drew pole but the Hawks took the early lead with 36h Brett Aitken running. Our first red light of the night was to retrieve parts off 39h Tyson Wootton's car after a hit from 94h Mark Caldwell. 97h Brendan Vincent had taken the lead by now and when 36h Aitken's car gave up on turn 3, we had 4 v 2 cars, the writing was on the wall for the Hawks. 35h Ali Van Amsterdam and 37h Anthony McNeil keep running but despite one last hit on 95h Cody Webster, the Raiders picked up a haul of points.

Rotorua Rascals 135 v Wanganui Vulcans 60
The Vulcans would need to demolish Rotorua to qualify for the finals and with only 4 cars emerging from the pits (no 66v the only car that finished the first heat) it was going to be a massive task. Rascals won pole and pushed the Wanganui cars to the very outside of the track, Steve Gray sat on his brakes and 89v Dan Matthews took the lead from 538r Brent Stewart. Matthews would lose the lead when he came back around to face the tank of Gray who he despatched into the wall. Red lights came on for a stricken V car in turn 1 and at this stage 98v Dion Mooney had a flat right front and collapsed left front wheel. This left 96v Francis Potaka and Daniels against four Rascals. I think at this point the Wanganui cars thought they had the lead and ran for several laps before a big pack of cars came together on the start line with Grays tank being dragged backwards. 835r Damian Orr claimed the win although the Wangas cars pulled up to the flag also after a valiant effort by the two drivers. Rotorua took the win and would qualify easily.

Stratford Stormers 160 v North Island Invitation 30
54h Nigel Hazelton came in as a last minute replacement for the NI team and with 141k Nilsson as reserve he got his chance to shine in his debut teams race. The select team won pole and 47m Keegan Orr took off in the lead but 405s Haydin Barker almost tipped him over for our elusive first rollover on the back straight wall. At the same time 408s Mark Woods hit 8g Harding, 54h hit them both and 8g took the full force of the hit. Red lights came on for the stricken 47m and with the 5h Stenson tank retiring, it was 4 v 2 cars. Both Harding and Hazelton took some huge shots but after an initial flurry in the opening laps it was game over and the Stormers cars wrapped it up with minimal damage and big points as top qualifiers. 404s Todd Duthie taking the win.

Auckland Alleycats 100 v Huntly Hawks 80
Hawks won pole for this race, both teams coming off a loss and like Wanganui earlier, one team would need a big win to qualify. 838a Dave Seymour and 383a Gary Lonergan got the jump at the start and things were looking good for an Auckland win when 37h McNeil pulled off on lap 1. Unfortunately after some good blocking by 883a Nic Krisnic he pulled infield with some major damage. Seymour was taken to the wall and Lonergan took over the lead before we had our first controversial ruling of the meeting, the red lights coming on and Seymour who was running second sent to the infield for an infringement (cutting the grass I believe).This left two Alleycats against 3 Hawks. 35h Alistair Van Amsterdam had shown great pace and began hunting down Troy Power, a number of close shots on corners not quite connecting and when Lonergan took the white flag, Power was in second giving the Aucks a chance with some decent points. The final lap though was a coach killer with 36h Brett Aitken timing a perfect shot on Power in turn 4 and ramming the Alleycat into the wall damaging his steering and leaving him short of the finish line. Lonergan's win not enough to get them through, Hawks also missing the cut.

Meeanee Maulers 140 v Waikato Raiders 55
Both these teams could qualify if the race didn't end in a whitewash but there were no gentleman's agreements here as there was plenty of action. Another line up of cars close to the wall and when 99h Brad Philpott sat on the brakes 81b Randal Tarrant jumped out to the lead for the Maulers. Its a lead he kept for the whole race not shy to attack he also sent 99h packing with a hard shot in turn 1, Philpott stranded bringing on the reds.  85b, 83b and 81b then began running in a train like fashion before Loveridge was stopped and Brendan Vincent moved up to second place for the Raiders. Jeff Hart and Neville Hazelton spent a few laps in the wall before Harts steering gave up and Loveridge ended up stuck on the 94h car of Mark Caldwell. Maulers taking a confident win but both teams still managing to qualify for the semi finals.

Stratford Stormers 325pts
Meeanee Maulers 295pts
Rotorua Rascals 275pts
Waikato Raiders 190pts

 photo 56h_zps1febe4c3.jpg
 photo 99h_zpseba74fd1.jpg
 photo 66a_zps93ddfd6e.jpg
 photo 96v_zps8719b0fb.jpg
 photo 838a_zps6e0e0be7.jpg
 photo 36h_zpsf18395a4.jpg
 photo 38h_zps8a9cf016.jpg
 photo 66v_zps8db05924.jpg
 photo 96h_zps2033e3bc.jpg
 photo 81b_zps299565d3.jpg
 photo 833a_zps860ede39.jpg
 photo 32old_zps4232d2c5.jpg

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Stockcar Teams Update 2

 photo 17v_zps4a6e0dcd.jpg
photo by Wazza Andrew

 photo 45c_zps80943f80.jpg
photo by Wazza Andrew

Some more teams racing at both Palmerston North and Woodford Glen in Christchurch got a few more teams active on the table and hopefully the Huntly club will get to run their now 8 team meeting this Friday and Saturday weather permitting...

 photo 2014-15TeamsUpdate2_zps93df0f02.jpg

November 8
Greenstone Park Speedway, Greymouth
Tasman Thunder def Greymouth Grizzlies

Eastern States Speedway, Blenheim
KB Cowboys def Eastern States Titans
Canterbury Crushers def KB Cowboys
Canterbury Crushers def Eastern States Titans

Paradise Valley Speedway, Rotorua
Rees Shield : Wanganui Vulcans def Rotorua Rascals

Woodford Glen Speedway, Nov 15
North vs South
KB Cowboys def Canterbury Crushers
Canterbury Crushers def Wanganui Select
KB Cowboys def Canterbury Invitation
Canterbury Invitation def Wanganui Select

Palmerston North, Nov 15
Palmerston Probables def Manawatu Steelers

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Stockcar Teams Update 1

 photo TasmanThunderbyAllanHoult_zpsf856bc69.jpg
Tasman Thunder photo by Allan Hoult

 photo VulcansAndrestensonphoto_zps83c78574.jpg
Wanganui Vulcans photo by Andre Stenson

Only a week or two into the season and a burst of stock car teams racing already. The Rees Shield went on the line at Paradise Valley with the Rotorua Rascals taking on the Wanganui Vulcans (ranked teams 2 & 3 last season) and the Vulcans took the honours and the right to host the next challenge at Oceanview. Eastern States Speedway had three teams battle it out in Blenheim while Nelson and Greymouth took to each other at Greenstone Park. Next week will see the Huntly Teams meeting take place with 10 teams involved including the first South Island team, the Tasman Thunder making an appearance.

 photo 2014-15TeamsUpdate1_zpsd262c1cf.jpg

November 8
Greenstone Park Speedway, Greymouth
Tasman Thunder def Greymouth Grizzlies

Eastern States Speedway, Blenheim
KB Cowboys def Eastern States Titans
Canterbury Crushers def KB Cowboys
Canterbury Crushers def Eastern States Titans

Paradise Valley Speedway, Rotorua
Rees Shield : Wanganui Vulcans def Rotorua Rascals

Monday, November 03, 2014

Fireworks Opening Night at Paradise Valley

 photo 32r_zps6b1acb5f.jpg
 photo 119r_zps17e0de3a.jpg
 photo 61r_zpsab41bf6f.jpg
 photo 18r_zps44d8e8b1.jpg
 photo 88r_zps9dcb34b4.jpg

Opening Fireworks Meeting
Paradise Valley, Rotorua
Nov 1, 2014

Something I've learnt over the years is when clubs don't put out lists of drivers attending, its usually because the roster is a little 'lean' shall we say, conversely when someone puts out a list like the Rotorua Club did mid week, they should be shouting from the rooftops! Despite the fact it was an opening night, which can be a snorefest, they had big numbers in the classes I like. So Saturdays weather played ball and off to Paradise Valley I went. I stupidly left my glasses and phone in the car and just as the pits closed I reached my seat realising I had left them behind, I spoke to the guy on the pit gate as my car was right by the back entrance to the pits and was given a stern "no, you have to walk around the track" I was pissed off but it was my own fault and so I can report that the pit policy at PV is robust and as per club rules!

About 35 stock cars were in the pits and so they ran the format of having 3 groups of cars with 2 of those groups racing together in each heat. We had four heats with about 24-26 cars racing at a time. Heat one was pretty good with a bit of niggle going on specially between 141k Matt Nilsson and 78r Tony Savage but we had little idea of how these guys would turn it on later in the night. I got the feeling the Rascals members were going to use the racing to test their cars and that they did. 95r Dale Stewart winning the first race. 93r Brent Stewart the second and third heats and 81r Damian Orr the last race. Heat 3 though was the race of the night with 3 cars being rolled in spectacular fashion, 33r Roger Hines the best one I saw. Despite the fact there are some pretty flash cars registered to Rotorua, there was no lack of contact and a core group of drivers were behind most of the mayhem, Nilsson, Holland Snr, Holland Jnr, Savage, both Orr cars 81r and 99r and 29r Terrence Peri-Woods. There is also some incredible pace and visiting drivers will do well to survive let along win a race at this track. Kihikihi visitor Nilsson was dealt to eventually by a group of three cars including 9r Malcolm Gray leaving the black tank stuck in the wall on turn 1. I hadn't expected too much from this meeting, but this class alone was worth the entry fee. Only a few seasons back I lamented the fact that Rotorua stockcars were fast but boring with little or no contact. Ironically they had no Rascals team racing at that time either, but how things have changed.

Superstocks had a strong field of locals numbering 14 cars although the 4r of Ian Elsworth never made it out onto the track. Rotorua is the home of the Top Gear Superstock and both 118r Bryce Steiner and 23r Lance Ashton made a meal of all three heats, Ashton winning two and Steiner the other one. Some good fast racing with a bit of action bringing on a few red lights. Ex Auckland driver Paul Vasey looked right at home and despite a puncture in heat 2 when he was running third, managed a 2nd and 3rd placing in the other two heats.

Ministocks (2 groups), Production Saloons and 10 Streetstocks completed the programme. An impressive first night out, lets hope they can keep the action and numbers up and I'm guessing a few more people will choose this track when tossing up where go when multiple upper North Island tracks insist on running on the same night.

 photo 4197r_zps740ecde5.jpg
 photo 555r_zps584b5d68.jpg
 photo 351r_zpscfdfba59.jpg
 photo 16r_zps7daa64e3.jpg
 photo 93r_zps9227785a.jpg
 photo 47m_zps0dd38012.jpg
 photo 75r_zpsceefd1dd.jpg
 photo 434r_zps3fb23e17.jpg
 photo 95r_zpsde90db4a.jpg
 photo 4r_zps8a98c73e.jpg
 photo 21r_zps9845ca49.jpg
 photo 29r_zps7c59e863.jpg
 photo 81r_zps8aaf7d9c.jpg
 photo 65r_zps79788d27.jpg
 photo 95rsupa_zps67391d21.jpg
 photo 42r_zps9c3a0747.jpg
 photo 24r_zps8bbb5a78.jpg
 photo 24rsupa_zps5b88f4f6.jpg
 photo 422r_zps733e7086.jpg
 photo 118r_zps2af767cf.jpg
 photo 464r_zps6614c89a.jpg
 photo 23r_zpsc06a9590.jpg