Wednesday, December 31, 2014
North Island Stockcar Title Night 1
North Island Stockcar Title
Dec 28-29, Paradise Valley Raceway, Rotorua
The first leg of my speedway holiday was a stop at Paradise Valley in Rotorua for the North Island Stockcar title. The weather looked threatening but nothing eventuated thankfully. The pits were full with nearly 90 cars, the track was looking great and although the crowd was less than I thought would be in attendance for both nights, a fairly tame qualifying night was followed by an action packed finals night and a surprise winner.
74b Tony Palmer was first to taste the concrete in turn 3 before retiring while spins for 777p Scott Penn aided by 616h Cody Webster and 9r Malcolm Gray helped by 76p Cameron Renwick had cars in all directions. 94m Caitlin Hayward suffered a flat left front tyre losing loads of places. 218h Aaron Alderton lead for most of the race only having to deal with 78r Tony Savage who blocked him. Alderton spinning him in front of the chasing pack which caused some mayhem. 32p George Frear making the biggest impression in the race moving from 21st to 7th by race end.
A big pile up on the back straight brought on the reds to remove 777p Penn left on the turn 2 wall. Dale Stewart had the early lead from 11r Beau Thompson, before a marauding 67w Kane Hargreaves pushed Thompson and 4h Josh Humble out of his way as he marched to the front in a dominating win. Flat tyre for Palmer ended his slim chances of qualifying while an expensive spin for 95r Dale Stewart dropping him down the order. Two more red lights for a wheel guard on 11r and 78r Savage not retiring on the green. 99p Ron Tye slowed towards the end of the race with a problem. Aaron Alderton and 8r Scott Fredrickson finishing behind Hargreaves picking up good points.
16 cars fronted and once again Kane Hargreaves would pick up a fairly easy win, the lack of 'heat 3' action was a bit of a worry but most of the leading players made it through fairly much untouched with the stirrers turn on each other instead. 72s Bevan Phillips lead early on ahead of 67w and 92g Brett Lloyd, while 18m Joseph Carter hooked up on 141k Matt Nilsson. 9r Malcolm Gray and 4h Josh Humble took to each other before Humble had a go at 32p Frear. Brett Lloyd almost got caught up in the battle between Webster and Nilsson.
Qualifiers: 67w Hargreaves, 8r Fredrikson, 92g Lloyd, 218h Alderton, 72s Phillips and 52r Herbert
79s Shane Hurliman repeated Tony Palmer's crash into turn 3 for red group's first heat in identical fashion on the still slippery track. 651a Troy Power lead early before 357p Aaron Iremonger took over and cruised to a fairly easy win in a tame race. 21b Joshua Swannell had needed the 3 minute bell before the race started and whatever gearbox issue he had it reappeared during the race dropping him well back. 88m Ryan Decke spun dropping him back to mid pack while a loud backfire from 44h Anthony McNeill looked to end his race although he rejoined and still picked up good points. 68r Keith Spanheke cruised home in second.
16b Scott McEwen needed the 3 min bell this time. 88m Decke was spun in front of the entire pack on the back straight before Iremonger once again took the lead. In a busy race for Decke he spun 13h Jamie Symons before driving over the front of the car bringing on reds for debris. 34p Rob Mason's car was sounding ill but managed to continue before Decke was caught up in the battle between Troy Power and Ant McNeill. 72r David Rumney making up huge ground after a flat tyre in heat one cost him, grid 19 up to a 5th place finish.
18r Jayden Steiner lead early and in what can only be described as a 'red mist' moment had a crack at 88m Ryan Decke while leading and being in a qualifying position, he would end up being in a runoff for a finals berth. 34p Rob Mason ended Rumneys hopes of qualifying while 44h McNeill lost a wheel and Troy Power lost all steering just laps from the finish bouncing his way around the track to finish. Mason, Spanheke and Iremonger taking the big points. A run off between 115b Grant Hollyman, 18r Steiner and 651a Power turned out to be the race of the night as both Power and Steiner took to each other while leading, the seas parted and Hollyman drove through from a distant third place to claim a place in the finals!
Qualifiers: 357p Iremonger, 68r Spanheke, 34p Mason, 55r Holland, 32w Clifton, 115b Hollyman
One of the favourites for the title, Damian Orr lead from start to finish in an ominous first up display. Like the other groups, heat one had plenty of spins and unintentional hits, 51m Stewart Turnbull really struggling with his set up. Defending champ 15p Rob Miers slowly made his way from the rear of field start to finish in 5th without too much fanfare. 25r Scott Vireboom one of the only cars not to finish heat one.
32r Nick Johnston needed the 3min bell to fix a gear selector problem while 517s Mark Woods car was steaming up waiting for the green lights. 29r Terrence Peri-Woods required the red lights after a hard backwards hit into the turn 3 wall. 15p Miers had already moved up to 2nd after on 1 lap behind 13r Grendon Beazley who would eventually take the win. 18p Luke Healey was spun by Orr while 422r Ashton did the same to 95m Shane Morgan. 28h Craig Miller was fed into the wall damaging his bumper big time. Beazley and Orr finishing top in this race.
71a Geoff Cook was spun in front of the pack on the hairy turn 1 and 2 big push that Rotorua is famous for, sending cars in all directions, 61r Ricky Yorke unable to refire bringing on reds. 14b Jemma Palmer leading Miers, Johnston and 91a Paul Chatfield at this point. 75r Cameron Narby decided to have a go at a few cars and Rob Miers was able to push his way passed, 53p Todd O'Donnell also receiving some attention from Narby. Miers reeled in Palmer and passed her for the win, and expensive flat tyre for Chatfield dropped him back several places costing him a finals berth.
Qualifiers: 81r Orr, 15p Miers, 13r Beazley, 422r Ashton, 53p O'Donnell, 517s Woods.
7r Pihi Wikaira didn't make the start and was out for the night. 17p Shane Simpson lead out early while 513r Callum Flavell was spun by the pack on the first corner spending the rest of the race making up places for a 9th place finish. 555r Daniel Holland retired early while 84s Hayden Barker moved to the front of the field in the tank. 73r Andre Rumney and 82r Darcy Meurant both had flat tyres while 93r Brent Stewart was fed into the wall on turn four, and stuck for a lap or two before rejoining. 47m Keegan Orr managed to pass 17p Simpson for second place and 29m Ryan Hunt picked up 4th.
Winner of race 1 Barker blew his clutch lining up for heat two and was out for the night. 669p Brendon Tye was almost put up the wall in turn 4, while 93r Stewart took the early lead. 8h Larry Henderson retired with a jammed accelerator. 15b Micheal Smith put a huge shot on 10a Chanelle Gordon in turn 2 while 17p Simpson was already up to 4th by lap 4. 981r Gray spun on the last lap while 91w Lane sat in 5th. 32s Mark Duthie had made up good ground in both heats quietly picking up a good haul of points. Ryan Hunt taking the heat 2 win.
Keegan Orr's chances were gone pretty quick, caught up in 555r Hollands spin of 15b Smith and then damaged to his car causing him to retire early. 91w Lane was also off early, the car never really looking right all night. 96p Michael Zillwood took Holland out big time in turn 4 bringing on the reds. 93r Stewart, Hunt and Flavell leading at this stage and thats how they would finish, all qualifying.
Qualifiers: 29m Hunt, 32s Duthie, 513r Flavell, 93r Stewart, 74r Hohneck, 17p Simpson