Another hot day in Wellington saw the running of the Wellington Kerry Lindsay Engine Re-conditioners Youth Ministock and C & M Transport
Modified Champs here at Max Motors Family Speedway. Some of the support classes saw depleted fields due to the time of year and also, in the Stockcar class in particular, the running of the NZ GP in Stratford, where 46w Keegan Levien bought home the bacon in first place.
The Kerry Lindsay Engine Re-conditioners Youth Ministocks field was supplemented by quite a few visiting drivers, 31s Brae Scott, 25s Caleb Dymond, 7p Louis Redshaw, 12p Seth Hodge, 21p Cody Hodge 43p Kyle Rowe and 88p Harrison Booth. As well there was 92v Jemma Barnes and 47b Nicole Hickmott, both of whom we see so frequently we barely class them as visitors. In their first heat 25w Josh Moffat took full advantage of his front grid when he led the field from the off to the chequered flag only coming under pressure in the final lap. 24w Keegan Cotter drove well, winning some close battles and nearly pipping the leader to the post, only to take 2nd place by a split second. The next four finishers 94w Ethan Donahue, 47b Nicole Hickmott, 92v Jemma Barnes and 81w Damon Smith provided some close, entertaining racing in earning their placings. The big mover of the race was the on-form driver 47w Anthony Hocking, who moved from grid 15 to take 7th place. In the next heat, with three of the fastest drivers off the front of the grid, it is not surprising the rest of the field did not get a look in. 81w Damon Smith took the early lead in the race and at some points was well ahead of the chasing pack. 47w Anthony Hocking managed to reduce that distance and start to put pressure on him, however; the 81w took the win ahead of the 47w and 12p Seth Hodge. Moving up the field an incredible 13 places 92v Jemma Barnes consolidated her position as front- runner for the championship. 7p Louis Redshaw showed a good turn of speed to be next home ahead of 47b Nicole Hickmott and 24w Keegan Cotter who both kept their chances of the title alive. Going into the final heat the points were tight: 81w Damon Smith 55 points, 92v Jemma Barnes, 47w Anthony Hocking and 24w Keegan Cotter all on 53 points, 47b Nicole Hickmott 52 points and 25w Josh Moffat 47 points. Heat three gave us the only Ministock incident of the night with 3 cars having a coming together on the first lap, the result of which was a rollover for 57w Arama Smiler and the retirement of 12p Seth Hodge and 43p Kyle Rowe. 7p Louis Redshaw showed us what might have been, but for a DNF in the first heat, when he drove away from the field at the off, taking the chequered flag a good 2 seconds ahead of the rest. 9w Cyrus Crook had a reasonably quiet night compared to his usual turn of speed but took 2nd place in this heat. But the battle of the race and the title took place behind them. Making their way up the field from grids 12 to 17 were the main contenders for the title. Because 3 of them were all on the same amount of points it was going to all rest on their proximity to each other, one place would make all the difference. 47w Anthony Hocking worked hard to get up to 3rd place and looked like the title was his but 92v Jemma Barnes, who had driven well all night, had different ideas and on the last lap, right at the finish line, she took the 3rd and the title from him, by only 1 hundredth of a second. 24w Keegan Cotter and 47b Nicole Hickmott were next home both in the race and in the title.
Top Ten Placings: 92v Jemma Barnes 47w Anthony Hocking 24w Keegan Cotter 47b Nicole Hickmott 81w Damon Smith 9w Cyrus Crook 25s Caleb Dymond 25w Josh Moffat 88w Adrian Hume 94w Ethan Donohue
The Kerry Lindsay Engine Re-conditioners Youth Ministocks also had a fourth race in which 25w Josh Moffat took the chequered flag from 9w Cyrus Crook and 47b Nicole Hickmott.
The other Wellington Champs to be decided were the C & M Transport Modifieds. The field included two visitors 71s John Jackson and 26s Blair Luscombe. In their first heat defending Wellington Champion 5w Brian McPhee took the lead and looked like starting this year’s campaign on a high note but when he was held up lapping a slower competitor 71s John Jackson took full advantage, going around them to take the win, with 57w ben Cawthra taking the 3rd place spot. In their next heat the front grid position served 26s Blair Luscombe well when he took the win. 71s John Jackson had the hard work to do from the back grid, but he got it all over and done with in the first lap and, apart from one lap where it looked like the win was his, he stayed in 2nd place till the chequered flag. 17w Jonas England, in a borrowed car, took 3rd place. The final heat saw one of the few incidents of the night, when 5w Brian McPhee in attempting to move up from his back grid quickly on the start, powered straight into the wall on corner 1. The heavy impact saw him out of the race and out of contention. 71s John Jackson, double NZ title holder, showed the form that gave him those titles when he led the field in a start to finish race. This gave him the title. 2nd place in the race went to 17w Jonas England with 26s Blair Luscombe taking 3rd.
Top Six Placings: 71s John Jackson 26s Blair Luscombe 17w Jonas England 57w Ben Cawthra 5w Brian McPhee 4H Paul Hodson
They also raced the Phil Patterson Memorial race, which also went the way of 71s John Jackson. 2nd place went to one of the big improvers of the Wellington Modified field 36w Jacob Free with 4h Paul Hodson taking 3rd.
Support classes on the night were the Moving Company Saloons where 34w Matt Eckersley took four wins out of four. 17w Stuart Cunningham and 5w Jayden Munn shared the other honours.
CDC Concrete Drilling and Cutting Streetstocks were the pick of the support classes of the night with plenty of action in all their races. Visitor 33p Craig Rolston had his first race cut short with the removal of a wheel and only managed to make the track once move in the night but only to DNF again. 77w Daniel Bouzaid also only survived one race which given his antics was not surprising. 74w Caleb Madgewick took 2 wins with 8w Tristan O’Donnell and 9w Aaron Wilton grabbing one apiece. The placings were shared around a bit with 29w Robert Jackson, 17w Byron Sutherland-Old, 77w Daniel Bouzaid and 19w Daniel Fergusson all grabbing something.
The Capital Pools and Spas Stockcars presented with a very small field due to the NZ GP in Stratford. 33w Grant Littlewood won the first two heats but in the last heat obviously went out to play. He stirred things up with 66w Liam Sullivan and no-one was safe from the bumpers of these two. The mood was catching and the spectators were treated to some action. 10w Desiree Craike took the win from 78w Matt Hutchinson and 72w Glen O’Keefe.
Our next meeting is on Boxing Day featuring the Wellington Saloon Champs and a Demolition Derby.