Full Night Of Features Produces Great Racing & Deserved Winners
After weeks of rain, finally a meeting at Max Motors Family Speedway that was able to be run and completed. With a very full programme of the final round of the Burger King Pro-Dirt Series, the second round of the Friday Homes Superstock Tri-Series, an appearance by the Kumho Tyres Jet Car and the final round of the Coventry Cars Saloon Tri-Series to get through the meeting started early at 6pm.
The Burger King Pro-Dirt Series produced a stellar field of 19 cars which were split into 3 groups, who took to the track two at a time to decide their grid places for the feature race. In the first heat, the Quin Garages group versus the Moving Company group, we saw 24a Ben Harding take the lead from the off, closely followed by 6b Grant Flynn and 9w Mark Pitcher. These three stormed away from the rest of the field for most of the race. 9w Mark Pitcher made his way up to second while 16r Mark Osborne made some good passes to lead the chasing pack. He managed to catch the leading three and was starting to put pressure on them when he ran out of laps and had to settle for 4th place behind 3rd placegetter 6b Grant Flynn. 24a Ben Harding managed to take the chequered flag with 9w Mark Pitcher close on his tail for 2nd. In the next race, Edwards Transport group versus the Moving Company group, 27m Chris Cowling won the first start but a complete restart was needed after 21w Donald Gregory mounted the wall on corner 3 and had to retire with front wheel damage. On the restart the in-form 18m Sam Waddell got the advantage which he kept for the entire race. 27m Chris Cowling stayed in second place all the way with 9w Mark Pitcher making his way up the field to take 3rd place. 5b Steve Flynn had a good run, finishing in 4th. The final heat, Edwards Transport group versus Quin Garages group saw 41b Grahame Strong dusting off the cobwebs and finally making it to the track this season. He took the early lead until 63a Nigel Mouat found his way past on the 8th lap. The two form drivers of recent years were the ones doing the passing, 5b Steve Flynn fought his way up to the lead and took the chequered flag while 16r Mark Osborne again made some excellent passes and was rewarded with 2nd place. 63a Nigel Mouat took 3rd ahead of 124m Dan Corrin. The ever popular Lucas Oil Top 8 Pole Shuttle was next with the first match-up going to 124m Dan Corrin over 63a Nigel Mouat only for the 124m to be pipped at the post by 27m Chris Cowling. 18m Sam Waddell took the next matchup from the 27m, but 24a Ben Harding got the flag after the 18m spun on the first corner in their race. The 24a then went on to eliminate 9w Mark Pitcher and 5b Steve Flynn but couldn't quite see off 16r Mark Osborne in the final pole shuffle. With 16r Mark Osborne in such fine form and starting from the front grid of the feature, there was a slight sense of inevitability of who the winner would be and the "Big Mac" did not let us down, taking a start to finish win. 9w Mark Pitcher was also in sparkling form making his way up to 2nd place. 27m Chris Cowling has been "Mr Consistency" throughout the whole Burger King Series and continuing in this vein took 3rd place. 13b Mick Quinn got faster as the race progressed taking 4th spot at the finish. The hard luck story of the final was 18m Sam Waddell who had a meeting with the wall and had to retire. Also registering DNF's were 42w Alan Jacob and 6b Grant Flynn who both appeared to have mechanical issues. The overall results of the series saw 16r Mark Osborne top the field again with 27m Chris Cowling taking the 2nd spot. 24a Ben Harding took home the 3rd place ahead of 9w Mark Pitcher and 53m Mark Hutchins.
The next feature on the programme was the long-awaited second round of the Friday Homes Superstock Tri-Series which saw 19 drivers take to the track including former Streetstock cum Saloon driver 85w Lance Anderson in his first outing in this class. Going into the first heat 126g Asher Rees was the points leader but with his retirement from driving the spot was left open for the rest to argue about. 36p Jake Baker in the Child Cancer Foundation colours led the field from start to finish taking a good win. Jake is fund-raising for this cause, his aim is to raise $50,000 of which he has achieved approximately half. 75p Chev Taniwha in the Rees-built Spank, made some good passes to take 2nd place ahead of veteran driver 95p Clive Elliott. In their next heat 75p Chev Taniwha made his front grid count taking a start to finish win. 127g Ethan Rees made his way through the field in typical Rees style to take 2nd place. 32p Graeme Barr, who for the first time in a number of seasons is not running the 3nz, came home in 3rd. 17p Kenley Brown hasn't been seen on the track for some time but that didn't seem to faze him as he took the chequered flag in the third heat. He was followed home by 127g Ethan Rees and 32p Graeme Barr. 75p Chev Taniwha came home in 5th place which gave him the points win for the night ahead of 127g Ethan Rees and 22w Richard Gaskin.
The Coventry Cars Saloon Tri-Series had their final round but unfortunately what looked like great racing to the spectators was marred by controversy behind the scenes at the end of the night. Rather than get into the rights and wrongs of decisions made and not made we will just give you the official results of what was great racing to watch. Heat one: 1st 10w Todd Moffatt, 2nd 34w Matt Eckersley, 3rd 57p Calvin Honore. Heat two: 1st 34w Matt Eckersley, 2nd 27b Josh Smith, 3rd 17b Sam Croy. Heat 3: 1st 17b Sam Croy, 2nd 6w Jayden Munn, 3rd 10w Todd Moffatt. To the spectator who has watched all three rounds the overall results may not make as much sense as they would like; however the winner was never in any doubt, as he was the most consistent performer over all three rounds. Overall winners: 1st 17b Sam Croy, 2nd 57p Calvin Honore, 3rd 10w Todd Moffatt.
Support classes on the night were the Kerry Lindsay Engine Reconditioners Youth Ministocks who again attracted visitors from several tracks. 5b Kara Flynn, 6b Tylar Flynn, 16r Ashton Osborne, 192v Hayley James, 92v Jemma Barnes, 43p Kyle Rowe, 35s Alana Buckthought, and 85s Brad Uhlenberg all joined the field of locals. As usual this class produced some high-quality racing and some close battles. Winners on the night were: Heat one: 1st 74w Caleb Madgewick, 2nd 17w Tyzyk Pou, 3rd 81w Damon Smith. Heat 2: 1st 4w Amy Eckersley, 2nd 35s Alana Buckthought, 3rd 81w Damon Smith. Heat 3: 1st 94w Ethan Donohue 2nd 9w Cyrus Crook 3rd 24w Keegan Cotter.
The Capital Pools and Spas Stockcars attracted a good muster of Palmerston North visitors including 83p Dylan Rose in his first visit to Te Marua. We jokingly said to him "Make sure you get in the review by rolling someone" ;however he made it in by being the one rolled when 15w Hayden Thomas took it into his head to turn right. The heat winners on the night were: Heat 1: 1st 55w Todd McLachlan, 2nd 52w Josh Lockett, 3rd 83p Dylan Rose. Heat 2: 1st 19w Noel Bewley, 2nd 55w Todd McLachlan, 3rd 52 Josh Lockett. Heat 3: 1st 669p Brendon Tye, 2nd 52w this time piloted by Josh Prentice, 3rd 55w Todd McLachlan.
The CDC Concrete Streetstocks saw perpetual stirrer 88w Mark Brosnahan delight the crowd with his stirring antics but he couldn't stop the trio of 8w Tristan O'Donnell, who had a 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 18w Clive Rogers with a 1st and a 2nd and 26w Hamish Hvid with a first and two thirds. The 88w did however; somehow mange to take a 2nd place in the final race.
The evening was rounded out with the appearance of the Kumho Tyres Jet Car which lit up the track with a static demonstration of its power.
Next week at Max Motors Family Speedway is featured the Moving Company North Island Supersaloon Champs and if tonight's Supersaloon racing is anything to go by it will be a "must see" meeting