The spectators at Max Motors Family Speedway could have been mistaken in thinking that they had entered a time warp this weekend when we hosted the Classic Stockcar Invitational. Twelve replica or restored vintage Stockcars representing quite a range of time periods appeared on track, reminding the Wellington stalwarts of the way it was.
Of great interest to the Wellington crowd was the appearance of the “Jester” style, V-Dub beetle-bodied 53usa car driven by Wellington Speedway life member and personality Vic Abbott. In their first race 15p Malcolm Clausen ran away from the start to take the win well ahead of 6p Charlie Harper and 41s Dave Bartholomew. 6p Charlie harper took command of the second race with 23v Paul Jamieson coming in 2nd ahead of 15p Malcolm Clausen. Their final race saw 21c Gary Smith take the chequered flag ahead of 6p Charlie Harper and 41s Dave Bartholomew. For the older members of the crowd some of these cars would have bought back childhood memories and for the younger group the travelling museum gives a good insight into the past of the sport. The Classic Stockcars were of course supported by their modern-day equivalents and several other classes to make a night of great racing.
The Moving Company Saloons had a dozen cars in their field and we got our first look at 9p Jabin Clapperton who was driving for only his second time on track. He has visited Te Marua many times as pit crew for 57p Calvin Honore so hopefully he will become a regular as well. Other points of interest were Mike Eckersley taking over the controls of the 3nz car and, considering he hadn’t been on track for many a long year, he made a creditable job of it. Meanwhile his son Matt jumped into the 21w Supersaloon of Donald Gregory. 242w Ashleigh Halcrow had a great weekend with two wins under her belt at Palmerston North on Friday night and managing to dominate the Te Marua field taking three chequered flags out of four races. 57p Calvin Honore must have found her the bane of his existence as he finished behind her in 2nd place in all these three races.8w Garry Smith took the remaining win ahead of 67w Scott Jones and 4w Rodney Green. 98w Tony Cardno took a couple of third places with 8w Garry Smith taking the other.
The CDC Concrete Drilling and Cutting Streetstocks hosted several visitors this week with 9p Rick Waihi and three Hawkes Bay drivers 9b Phillip McNamara, 56B Glen Shepherd and 94b Jesse Pollock-Houston joining the field. The Bay drivers certainly made their long haul worthwhile with 94b Jesse Pollock-Houston taking two wins, a 2nd and a 3rd, 9b Phillip McNamara taking a win and a 2nd place and 56b taking a 2nd place. 8w Tristan O’Donnell had the only other win and a 2nd place with 9p Rick Waihi taking two 3rd places and 9w Aaron Wilton taking the other.
The C & M Transport Modifieds produced some great racing especially considering the small field that appeared on track for most of their races. In race one 17w Jonas England did not make it out on track to join the other 5 drivers. 9w Blair McPhee had to be really on top of his game to take the flag in this race as 57w Ben Cawthra challenged him hard for most of the way. 36w Jacob Free came home in 3rd place. The next was taken by 57w Ben Cawthra in a race that saw 36w Jacob Free succumb to mechanical issues after running side-by-side with the 2nd place getter 9w Blair McPhee for several laps. 5w Noel Bewley also registered a DNF. 11w Jaysen Eveleigh came home in 3rd place. The final Modified race was a doozy. One could have made the mistake of thinking that, with only 3 cars making the grid, it would have been a yawn-fest but one couldn’t have been more wrong. 9w Blair McPhee took the lead with 57w Ben Cawthra alongside him throwing everything at him to try and take the lead from him. On the edge of our seats we watched lap after lap unfurl until right on the chequered flag the 57w broke through 9w’s defence and took the win by 38 thousandths of a second (0.0038). Although 9w Blair McPhee had to settle for 2nd place he should be commended for the way he raced, so cleanly, giving his opponent racing room yet not yielding an inch. 11w Jaysen Eveleigh came home in 3rd place.
The Kerry Lindsay Engine Re-conditioners Youth Ministocks also presented with a much reduced field due to many of our regulars attending the annual Ministocks in Paradise event at Rotorua. This didn’t prevent the class from attracting a couple of visiting drivers though, with 11b Liam Danielsen and 94b Cameron Houston coming down from Hawkes Bay. In their first race 9w Cyrus Crook gave himself a half-lap handicap on the field but still managed to take 5th place. 777w Shaun Hayman came home in 1st place with 11b Liam Danielsen and 64w Dominik Hargraves taking the minor placings. Their next race saw 777w Shaun Hayman take the handicap position managing to come home in 4th place. 9w Cyrus Crook took the win from 65w Dylan Madgewick and 11b Liam Danielsen. In their final race both the previous race winners took themselves half a lap back on the field but still managed to pass half the field before the chequered flag which was taken by 64w Dominik Hargraves. She was followed home by 11w Holly McGee and 65w Dylan Madgewick.
Stockcar numbers were also depleted as drivers were saving their cars for next weekend’s NZ championship at Gisborne, but the Capital Pools and Spas Stockcars still managed a field of 11 cars and the 26w Superstock of Alex Mosely. 72w Josh O’Keefe won the first race with 669w Brendon Tye coming home in 2nd place ahead of 6w Paul Gaskin. 7w Dimitrios Amos took out the win in the next race with 66w Liam Sullivan and 669w Brendon Tye filling the minor slots. 9r Sheldon Arapere is becoming a regular sight at Max Motors Family Speedway and his travel was rewarded this week by a win in the third race ahead of 72w Josh O’Keefe and 669w Brendon Tye behind him.
We have a week’s break from racing now with the next meeting on 3rd March being the Night of Destruction with the Wellington Streetstock Champs and a Demolition Derby to look forward to.