Saturday 19 th May saw Wellington Speedway members put on their party clothes and assemble at the Silverstream Retreat for the Annual Prize-giving and Ball, the final event of what can only be described as a brilliant season. Before the wining, dining and dancing started the focal point of the evening took place. Club Captain Garry Smith emceed the event while Club President Chris Hadley had the pleasurable job of presenting the awards and as per usual Club Secretary Belinda Robinson did a great job in taking care of all the rest of the details.
The first awards to be presented were those for the Most Improved Driver with the winners being:
Streetstocks – 29w Robert Jackson
Modifieds – 57w Ben Cawthra Saloons – 13w Scott Hadley
Stockcars –66w Liam Sullivan
The next category was Top Points; to win this requires season long consistency and effort with the Top Points holder not necessarily being the one with the most chequered flags under their belt.
Streetstocks—17w Byron Sutherland-Old 29w Robert Jackson (Runner-up) Modifieds –57w Ben Cawthra 11w Wayne Eveleigh (Runner-up) Saloons –3nz Matt Eckersley 242w Ashleigh Halcrow (Runner-up) Stockcars –5w Josh Prentice 66w Liam Sullivan (Runner-up) Superstocks—321w Hilton Parker 7w Shane Davis (Runner-up)
The next category –The Best Presented is often a tribute to the hard work done by those behind the scenes. This year the winners were:
Modifieds –36w Jacob Free Saloons – 3nz Matt Eckersley Super Saloons –9w Mark Pitcher Stockcars –5w Josh Prentice Superstocks—7w Shane Davis (Justin Wiggett)
A couple of the classes give out an award for Feature Points
Streetstocks—9w Aaron Wilton 17w Byron Sutherland-Old (Runner-up) Stockcars – 5w Josh Prentice 98w Ashlee Gaskin-Robertson (Runner-up)
The Best Stirrer award, given for the contact classes is often a crowd favourite for obvious reasons and this year was handed out to the Streetstock class with the winner being:
9w Aaron Wilton
The Top First Year Stockcar Driver had plenty of experience previously in the Ministock class and this stood him in good stead in his first season with the big boys.
72w Josh O’Keefe
The Wellington Champs awards are usually given to the first Wellington car home in each championship. This season only the Modified class was won by an out of town driver so every other winner is the current holder of the title.
Streetstocks –8w Tristan O’Donnell
Saloons –3nz Matt Eckersley Stockcars –5w Josh Prentice
Superstocks – 89w Dale Robertson Modifieds – 17w Jonas England
After the achievement awards were handed out it was time for the Special Awards, which are handed out for various reasons.
The Angela Rouse Memorial Trophy always goes to someone who, regardless of adversity has persevered and put in great effort to get on track when they can and support their club and club- mates. This year for the first time it was awarded posthumously and deservedly to 42w Greg Mauchline, who tragically passed away during the season.
The Devotion Without Duty trophy often goes to someone who works behind the scenes – an unsung hero you might say. This year’s winner Aaron Musgrove had special mention made of his successful work with Social Media and Marketing.
The Hard Luck trophy is one no driver really wants to win because, as its title declares, it means they had a rotten season and this year’s winner 4w Saloon driver Rodney Green unfortunately earned it with the continual problems he had with his cars.
The Overall Best Presented Racing Team was won this year by Hutt Park Racing who turned out their Superstocks, Stockcars and bus immaculately every time they hit the track.
Spectators Choice goes each year to the drivers that have captured the imagination of the crowd, the drivers that the crowd is watching and talking about. This means that it doesn’t necessarily go to the best or most successful drivers out there; it goes to the ones that bring the crowd the most pleasure for whatever reason. This year the popular winner was Ben Cawthra in the 57w Modified with Streetstocker 77w Daniel Bouzaid picking up the Runner-up trophy.
The Sportsperson of the Year was claimed by Superstock driver 5w Keegan Levien in recognition of his achievements when he jumped into the Stockcar class winning the NZ GP and claiming the 2nz in the national championship. He also received Special Acknowledgement awards for these achievements.
Special Acknowledgement Awards were given out to the members both the Wellington Young Guns Stockcar Team, who placed 2 nd in the national championship and the Wellington Wildcats Superstock Team.
Young Guns – Richie Ryder (Manager), Kyle Lane (Manager), Josh Prentice, Paul Gaskin, Taylor Lampp, Brendon Tye, Josh Lockett, Dale Robertson, Keegan Levien and Bryce Jensen.
Wildcats—Tony McLanachan (Manager), Paul Fairbrother (Manager), Dale Robertson, Keegan Levien, Richard Gaskin, Hilton Parker, Shane Davis, Dave Hughes and Allen Levien.
The final Special Acknowledgement award went to 3nz Matt Eckersley for his achievement in coming 3 rd in the NZ Saloon Championship.