Thursday, February 19, 2015
Stockcar Rumble and Auckland Supersaloon Champs
Waikaraka Park, Auckland
14th February, 2015
Rain finally claimed a scalp after what has been a fairly good run of meetings this season. Unfortunately it was just as the Stockcar Rumble was beginning to start 'rumbling' with plenty of agro in the first of three finals heats for the title. There were about 37 cars in the pits split into two qualifying groups which ran two heats to find the 30 or so finalists. A good mix of visitors and some local feuds were about to be sorted it seemed but as I said, the heavens opened and the track was awash in minutes.
198h Brad Philpott lost a wheel after a ride up the wall ending his race while 69a Dave Seymour was spun by 83a Cole Riggans. 55a Wayne Devonshire went hard into the concrete in turn 4 while 13h Jamie Symons was one of the only cars not to complete the race. 98a Aiden Eustace lead from start to finish with a big lead for most of the race. 51h Ali Van Amsterdam, 25a Jason Rowe, 95a Gary Lonergan and 651a Troy Power rounded out the top 5. In their second heat, Jason Rowe lead for the whole race while Power and 86a Harley Bell-May tangled in the wall with Bell-May losing a wheel bringing on the reds. At the same time in turn four, 137a Jamie Fergusson put 54h Nigel Hazelton up the wall ending his run. 98a Eustace and Power then had a tangle and decided to amp up the action resulting in them both spinning in turn 2 and losing a lot of ground. 34a Mark Wearing attempted to spin 22a Leigh Cossey which backfired spinning himself on the white flag lap. Rowe was followed home by 45a Corey Baker, Lonergan, Cossey, Seymour and Van Amsterdam.
19 cars in this group and the early leader was 97a Ryan Eustace, 27h Brett Aikin and 55h Neville Hazelton got hooked together on the infield for a lap. 12a Jamie Stanaway hit and spun Eustace before taking the lead. 67a Nic Krsnic attacked Aikin before something went awry with the Krizo beast retiring to the infield. 37a Ash Wearing spun 145a Jessica Peat then got in a battle with 23a Che Takarua before Peat slowed and had her chance for revenge on Wearing holding him up. 61a Leroy Neill was spun on the last lap. Stanaway home first, 117a Dean Mulholland, 71a Geoff Cook, 81a Steve Sims, 169h Rob Neill and 49h Tony Van Lieshout followed him home. Heat two was looking good for 5a Michael Harris who lead for most of the race before a flat right rear tyre dropped him well down the order, 218h Aaron Alderton taking advantage for a win ahead of Mulholland, 91a Paul Chatfield and 37a Wearing. Takarua, Peat and Krizo all failing to finish this heat.
Rumble Heat 1 8.30pm
30 cars rolled out for the first heat just as a few drops of rain started to fall. 95a Gary Lonergan grabbed the early lead from a grid 10 start within a lap while a big crush going into turns 3 and 4 claimed 12a Stanaway, 97a Eustace and 61a Neill bringing on the reds. 83a Riggans retired also during the stoppage. Lonergan lead Ash Wearing, Paul Chatfield, Leigh Cossey and Mark Wearing. 54h Hazelton went heavily into the wall in turn 3 before 137a Fergusson attacked 218h Alderton on the front straight with 91a Chatfield caught up in the action left facing the wrong way. As the track surface got more and more slippery a number of drivers spun including 98a, 49h, 45a and 117a. 25a Rowe retired and as Lonergan crossed the line for the win, 22a Cossey hit the spun car of Cook. 37a Wearing, 5a Harris and 218h Alderton followed Lonergan home just as the rain really came down, eventually the meeting was called off.
The other major feature was the Auckland Supersaloon title which 24a Ben Harding wrapped up with some superb driving. 12m Kirstin Vermeulen took out the first heat while 63a Nigel Mouat won heat two, both fending off Harding who placed second in both, before he inevitably won heat 3 and the Auckland title continuing the good form he displayed at Palmy. A field of about 11 cars fronted for the title.
Neil McCoard made a welcome return in a small field of Superstocks leading into their Auckland title next week. He won the first heat easily before winning a hastily put together shootout for the 5 cars in attendance. Hopefully we will see more of McCoard than the one visit a season we have been treated to in the last couple of years! Worryingly no Allstars cars were in town just emphasising the damage a Palmy teams expedition takes on a team. News was better for Scott Tennant, his car should be repaired for the next meeting. 84a Brent Crookes improves every meeting and had the orange beast flying.