There were two features on the programme to draw the crowd to Max Motors Family Speedway on Saturday night, the GMR General Metal Recyclers Demolition Derby and a Superstock Teams race between the Hawkes Bay Hawkeyes and the Wellington Wildcats.
The fans did not have to wait too long for the action to start with the cars for the Superstock Teams race coming out of the gate for the third event of the night. The Hawkeyes consisted of 98b Quintin Butcher, 9b Adam Groome, 22b Zach Lawrence, 41b Jason Long and 87b Thomas Stanaway. The Wildcats line-up was 52w Paul Fairbrother, 5w Keegan Levien, 7w Shane Davis, 22w Richard Gaskin and 46w Ethan Levien. After some hot laps to warm up the cars and drivers they took to the grid with 22w Richard Gaskin and 87b Thomas Stanaway sitting the race out in the reserve spots. As soon as the flag dropped 9b Adam Groome took 5w Keegan Levien to the grass leaving 46w Ethan Levien to inherit the lead. While Ethan was being harried by the opposition 5w Keegan Levien managed to pass the melee and take up the front running being closely pursued by 41b Jason Long. The Hawkes Bay captain 98b Quintin Butcher blocked Keegan long enough for the 41b to take the lead which he managed to hold for a couple of laps eluding attempts by both 52w Paul Fairbrother and 46w Ethan Levien to stop him. Eventually Jason Long succumbed to the pressure from the Wildcats and the 5w again took the lead and after seeing off challenges from the 9b Adam Groome and 98b Quintin Butcher he took the chequered flag giving the win to the Wildcats, something that the Hawkeyes will want revenge for at the rematch on the 8th December at Meeanee.
The Friday Homes Superstocks followed up this action with three more races throughout the night. With the Hawkeyes bringing a couple of extra drivers from their wider squad, 8b Clayton Hagen and 47b Zach Glenny and regular Palmerston North visitors 371p Dan Hole and 471p Benji Sneddon this class presented quite a good field for competitive racing. In their first heat 5w Keegan Levien kept on the form he showed in the Teams race when he took the chequered flag. 89w Dale Robertson, who just managed to get his engine back into his car overnight, had a successful first run coming home in second place with 371p Dan Hole in third. The next heat certainly had a bit of action with one incident leaving 7w Shane Davis parked on top of 46w Ethan Levien. 41b Jason Long took the win from 5w Keegan Levien and 89w Dale Robertson. Their final heat saw 7w Shane Davis and 22w Richard Gaskin compete for the early lead with the 7w eventually prevailing, driving away to take the win with 5w Keegan Levien coming home in second ahead of 22w Richard Gaskin.
The first of the support classes to come out on track was the Saloons. Their first heat saw the female competitors dominate the podium with 34w Amy Eckersley running away from the field to take top spot ahead of 11w Scott Jones who had 242w Ashleigh Halcrow hot on his tail to take third. Their next heat was won by the 124w piloted by Martin Halcrow and running a new engine that seemed to do the job. He was followed home by 9w Craig Burton and 34w Amy Eckersley. Their final heat was punctuated with a plethora of orange lights but at the final reckoning 9w Craig Burton took the win from 11w Scott Jones and 124w Martin Halcrow.
The Panhead Streetstocks had one new addition to their ranks this week with first-time driver Dan Gray taking the wheel of the 13w and acquitting himself really well. In their first heat there was a bit of action with the usual Streetstock antics which were interrupted when the 29w of Robert Jackson decided to fling its bonnet onto the top of the wall. The race was won by 19w Daniel Fergusson from 17w Byron Sutherland-Old and 67w Scott O’Hara. In their next race we saw another car lose its bonnet, this time whilst leading the race. This put 9w Aaron Wilton on the infield for the rest of the race. 29w Robert Jackson took the win ahead of 19w Daniel Fergusson and 17w Byron Sutherland-Old. Their last race belonged to 9w Aaron Wilton, even attempts by 77w Daniel Bouzaid didn’t stop him from taking the chequered flag. 17w Byron Sutherland-Old and 19w Daniel Fergusson completed the podium.
In the Capital Pools and Spas Stockcars the Wellington Young Guns may have been away competing at the Huntly Teams event but it didn’t stop the rest of the class putting on a show for the crowd. Those most in line for the entertainment honours would be 12w James Martin and most particularly 25w Jarrod Higgins who took the race leader out in the final lap of the last race. The races were won by 6w Paul Gaskin who won two races and 74w Corey Small who also had a third place. 96w Brad McGee had a good night with three second places. The other two top three placings were taken by 10w Desiree Craike and 95w Paul Sammons.
The Youth Ministocks again had a full field of eager youngsters that included several drivers from Hawkes Bay, 11b Liam Danielsen, 9b Trent McCann, 58b Jack Lawson and 99b Jacob Buckrell and from Palmerston North sisters Amanda and Rachel Bradbury in the 45 and 29p respectively. Another item of interest was the debut of 12w Tim Parker. 47w Anthony Hocking won their first heat from 11b Liam Danielsen and 16w Levi Pou. One of steady improvers 65w Dylan Madgewick took the next chequered flag in great style with 9w Cyrus Crook and 47w Anthony Hocking taking the minor placings behind him. 23w Logan Bognuda obviously has plenty of crowd support judging by the cheers when he crossed the finish line in first place barely ahead of the hard-pressing 58b Jack Lawson in the last race. 29p Rachel Bradbury also drove a good race to take third place.
The evening finished with the ever-popular GMR-sponsored Demolition Derby.