The huge crowd at Max Motors Family Speedway this Saturday had turned up to view what was, with 80 entrants, the biggest Demolition
Derby Wellington Speedway has had for many a year. Included in the drivers was a well-known moustache, that of broadcaster Mark Sainsbury who, in the absence of our regular commentators, helped out on the mike before he raced. But that was not all the crowd got they were well-entertained by the field of Streetstocks that were assembled to challenge for the 2018 CDC Concrete Drilling and Cutting Wellington Streetstock title.
The field of 20 for the CDC Concrete Drilling and Cutting Streetstock title included not just the local drivers but also drivers from several other tracks around the North Island. From Rotorua came Steve de Malmanche and Shane Bracken, Gisborne supplied the current NZ champion Brenden Gooch and Cody Gooch, there was a couple of Hawkes Bay regulars Phil McNamara and Dave Brand who were joined by David Adams and finally making the haul from Stratford Karl Manderson. Notable among the locals was the first appearance of Aaron Bouzaid in the 42w.
Their first heat was one that thrilled the crowd being full of action but the defending champion 8w Tristan O’Donnell made the best possible start, going out to a sizable lead from the first corner. There was one heart-in-the-mouth moment when he was half spun on the white flag lap but he was able to recover and take the chequered flag. Visiting drivers made a good show in the other placings with 65b Dave Brand coming home in 2nd place ahead of 747r Shane Bracken in 3rd place. 11r Steve de Malmanche came home in 5th place with a red 88w Mark Brosnahan in front of him in 4th place and 74w Caleb Madgewick behind him in 6th after running in 2nd place before being spun back down the field.
Their next heat saw a white 88w take the front grid (someone had obviously been busy with their paint-brush); however the disguise did not work as he registered a DNF on the first lap. The 56b driven by Phil McNamara was the aggressor on the first lap spinning several cars out of his way to take up the running. 9p Rick Waihi was challenging the 56b for the lead and they were soon joined by 1nzg Brenden Gooch. At one point they were three wide down the back straight and in a beautiful squeeze manoeuvre the 1nzg and the 56b spat the 9p out the back of them and the 1nz took the lead which he held to the chequered flag. The drive of the race came from 8w Tristan O’Donnell who picked his way through the traffic from grid 13 to take 2nd place. 56b Phil McNamara and 9p Rick Waihi had to be content with 3rd and 4th places respectively. 6g Cody Gooch took the 5th spot ahead of 74w Caleb Madgewick. Going into the final heat 8w Tristan O’Donnell was well ahead of the rest with 39 points and it looked like he would need a disaster of a race to lose the title as his closest contenders were 747r Shane Bracken and 56b Phil McNamara were 7 points back on 32 points.
As heat three started it became obvious that the Wellington drivers were not willing to let the title leave the track, this resulted in a doozy of
a race for the spectators. The now green 88w Mark Brosnahan recorded another DNF but the crowd appreciated the work involved in the colour changes. 74w Caleb Madgewick took the early lead but was soon overhauled by the 8w Tristan O’Donnell and then after being spun by 6g Cody Gooch was sent infield with a safety issue and registered a DNF. Such was the action in this race that only 5 of the cars finished on the lead lap. 6g Cody Gooch took the chequered flag but 2nd place was more than enough for 8w Tristan O’Donnell to retain the title. 65b Dave Brand, 11r Steve de Malmanche and 56b Phil McNamara were the other drivers to finish on the lead lap and they came home in that order. When the points were tallied the 2018 CDC Concrete Drilling and Cutting Wellington Streetstock champion 8w Tristan O’Donnell was 10 points clear of his nearest rivals. Tied on 48 points were 65b Dave Brand, 6g Cody Gooch and 56b Phil McNamara. With the Demolition Derby ready to go by the time the points were finalised the decision was made not to have a run-off but to pay out three 2nd prizes instead.
The Capital Pools and Spas Stockcars also had a few visitors with 96b Brandon Symes, 94b Justin White, 278p Kyle Taylor, 28p Mitchell Pescini, 667p Hamish McLeod and 258p Neville Harrod all taking to the track. Two notable additions to the locals were first-time driver 93w Eric Snow in the ex- 10w giving it a go after having a turn on the track at a Demolition Derby and returning after an absence of 8 years 38w Jordan Arapere in the ex 5b of Regan Penn. In their first race 96b Brandon Symes continued his love affair with the Te Marua circuit taking the win ahead of 66w Liam Sullivan and 94b Justin White. In their next race 89w Dale Robertson had his only good race of the night when he took the chequered flag, a nice present for his birthday. 72w Josh O’Keefe came home in 2nd place ahead of 7w Dimitrios Amos. Race three saw the closest thing to Stockcar action for the night when 7w Dimitrios Amos took it upon himself to have a go at all and sundry. It also featured the closest finish of the night when 46w Ethan Levien after battling with 667p Hamish McLeod for the whole race finally managed to nose past him on the finish line, taking the flag by a fraction of a second. 72w Josh O’Keefe came home in third.
The Moving Company Saloons were joined by the Supersaloon 31p Rod Clifton, who not only raced at the first ever meeting here at Te Marua but has raced every season for around 52 years. With the Halcrow girls away the field was a little smaller than usual but this didn’t detract from the action. We saw a great battle between 9w Craig Burton and 3nz Matt Eckersley in the first race with the 9w triumphing by a split second. 8w Garry Smith came home in 3rd place. The next race again saw the 9w Craig Burton take the win but the interest in the race was watching the 3nz come up from the back of the field to 2nd place. 98w Tony Cardno came home in 3rd place. With his front grid 3nz Matt Eckersley ran away with the last race while 57p Calvin Honore took 2nd place ahead of 9w Craig Burton.
The C & M Transport Modifieds again had a small field with 5 facing the starter. 57w Ben Cawthra again showed he is the man to beat this season with two wins and a 2nd placing. 5w Brian McPhee improved each race going from 3rd to 2nd to 1st. 9w Blair McPhee after a 2nd and a 3rd place came out determined for the last race. Displaying his ‘win it or bin it’ style he managed to bin it hitting the wall and rolling his car to the delight of the crowd. 36w Jacob Free was the other to feature in the top three with a 3rd place in the last race.
The Kerry Lindsay Engine Re-conditioners Youth Ministocks had a few visitors with 5b Kara Flynn, 43p Kyle Rowe and twins 29p Rachel and 45p Amanda Bradbury joining the locals. The podiums in this class seem to have been developing into a fairly regular pattern with 77w Shaun Hayman, 81w Damon Smith and 47w Anthony Hocking taking the race wins. 81w Damon Smith, the recent Ministocks in Paradise winner, also took a couple of 2nd places with 47w Anthony Hocking claiming the other. Season’s points leader 9w Cyrus Crook was again ‘Mr Consistency’ taking a couple of 3rd places with 6w Hannah McGinty making sure the girls still get a mention on the race night statistics, with a 3rd place in the final heat.
Next week we have the big one for Youth Ministocks here at Max Motors Family Speedway with the Ministock Invitationals where we are expecting 32 girls and 32 boys to contest both their respective championships and a Best Pairs competition.