It has been an exciting weekend here at Max Motors Family Speedway with the running of the 2018 Friday Homes North Island Superstock championship. The event kicked off on Friday night with the competitors divided into two groups for qualifying heats to find the top 24 drivers to compete in the final round.
The qualifying round produced plenty of spectator-pleasing action and excitement. In Group one 31p Andy McCabe, 22w Richard Gaskin and 82s Hamish Booker were the race winners but 41b Jason Long, 1nz William Humphries and 471p Benji Sneddon topped the points standings with their consistent performances. However; some of the other drivers didn’t have such a fruitful night with 31g Gary Davis and 9p Brett Hyslop, who both were expected to do well, missing out on qualifying and 52w Paul Fairbrother just scraping in after not being able to start the 2nd heat. His start in the 3rd heat was only made possible by the hard work of his crew and Carl Robinson of the Trailer Centre. Several other drivers 76s Kelly Shearer, 77p Scott Penn and 41m Bruce Williams seemed to be unable to avoid the action and consequently dropped back down the fields or registered DNF’s.
Group two’s race winners were 52p Scott Joblin, 2nz Adam Joblin and 34p Rebecca Barr who, in the previous heat, had been rolled and consequently missed out on qualifying. 38p Zane Dykstra also had the privilege of a roll and free entry to the Repercharge. Other drivers that the pundits expected to easily go through, 89w Dale Robertson, 599p Ron Tye, 75s Carl Shearer and 66b Randall Tarrant also had the luck go against them and missed out. 52p Scott Joblin, 136b Maddie Wise and 46w Ethan Levien were the top three qualifiers from the group.
The Repercharge on the next day filled the remaining two slots. 53v Shaun Smith ran away with the win with 66b Randall Tarrant coming from the back of the grid and holding of veteran driver 599p Ron Tye to take his place in the finals.
The first heat saw 2nz Adam Joblin carry on his good form and take the win ahead of 10g Peter Rees and 26s Mitch Vickery. 471p Benji
Sneddon came from grid 10 to take 4th place. The two biggest movers in the field were 41b Jason Long who came from grid 24 to 6th place and 85k Jared Wade who came from grid 25 to finish 8th. In Heat two the championship bids of several drivers turned to custard with 72p Simon Joblin and 136b Maddie Wise on the infield before the off. Heat 1 winner 2nz Adam Joblin ended up crawling home in last place and 85k Jared Wade finished his race on the infield. 127g Ethan Rees took the chequered flag, 41b Jason Long consolidated his standings with a 2nd place and 3rd place went to 5w Keegan Levien. The biggest movers in the heat were 26s Mitch Vickery who came from grid 21 to finish 8th and 471p Benji Sneddon who came from grid 23 to 6th. Heat three is where the contenders find out who their friends are and quite obviously 41b Jason Long had a few. 85k Jared Wade won the race while running cover for the 41b, who came in 2nd and 5w Keegan Levien dropped a lap to take up the tail-gunning position keeping the 471p Benji Sneddon at bay. 127g Ethan Rees made his way up from grid 15 to 4th place while the other two contenders 10g Peter Rees and 26s Mitch Vickery had to be content with a 6th and 8th respectively. When the points were tallied 41b Jason Long was crowned the 2018 Friday Homes North Island Superstock champion with 71 points. 471p Benji Sneddon was runner-up with 68 points and 127g Ethan Rees rounded out the podium with 65 points. 4th equal on 62 points were 10g Peter Rees and 26s Mitch Vickery. 67p Richard Hart had a consistent night which saw him finish 6th equal with 7w Shane Davis on 53 points.
The Saturday night programme also included the Friday Homes Superstocks Thunder Valley for non-qualifiers. 89w Dale Robertson with two 1st places and a 2nd took the overall win in convincing style. 791p William Hart, fresh out of Ministocks, showed his potential with the overall 2nd place and 34p Rebecca Barr completed the podium.
Support classes over the two nights included the Panhead Streetstocks who ran on both nights. 12k Daniel Curran came down for his first outing of the season and managed three 2nd places and showed some good pace. 8w Tristan O’Donnell had the best results with 4 wins and a 3rd place. 9w Aaron Wilton and 17w Byron Sutherland-Old were the others to carry the chequered flag. 56b Glen Shepherd, 19w Daniel Fergusson, 26w Hamish Hvid, 29w Robert Jackson and 67w Scott O’Hara were the other to feature in the top three. 26w Hamish Hvid treated us to the most spectacular incident when he rolled himself on the front straight.
The Capital Pools and Spas Stockcars also ran both nights and produced some good action for the crowd. A good smattering of visitors from Stratford, Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, Wanganui and Rotorua joined the locals and added plenty to the spectacle. On the first night 992w Taylor Lampp would have received the stirrers award from the crowd but on the second night he would have been challenged for this title by 5w Josh Prentice who was trialling his new car and making sure it knew how to put people up the wall. Although our attention is automatically drawn to the stirrers and their antics there was still racing going on and on the first night the top finishers were in Race 1 15w Hayden Thomas, 96w Brad McGee and 15v Callum Sturzaker, Race two saw 992w Taylor Lampp, 9w Bryce Jensen and 15v Callum Sturzaker take the honours. 9w Bryce Jensen won the third race ahead of 15w Hayden Thomas and 88w Josh Kahui. On the second night we saw 9r Sheldon Arapere take the first race from 5w Josh Prentice and 99s William Hughes completing the podium. Their next race was won by 35s Josh Walsh ahead of 992w Taylor Lampp and 9w driven this night by Josh Patterson. Their third race went the way of 669w Brendon Tye from 9r Sheldon Arapere and 5w Josh Prentice.
The final support class on the first night was the Youth Ministocks. As usual they produced some fine racing with 16w Levi Pou taking their first race from 34b Harry Prince and 24w Keegan Cotter. Their next race saw 47w Anthony Hocking take the chequered flag with 25w Josh Moffat and 92v Jemma Barnes behind him. Their final race was won by 26b Thomas McEwan with 24w Keegan Cotter in 2nd place and 94w Ethan Donohue in third.
The Saloon class made an appearance on finals night and gave the crowd some thrills and spills. The biggest spill was the magnificent wall ride of 4w Rodney Green on the front straight and probably the biggest thrill was when local favourite 34w Amy Eckersley took on one of the fastest drivers in New Zealand Saloons, 27b Josh Smith, passed him round the outside spectacularly and roundly beat him home in the third heat. The race results were: Heat one: 27b Josh Smith, 9w Craig Burton, 242w Ashleigh Halcrow, Heat two: 34w Amy Eckersley, 27b Josh Smith 9w Craig Burton, Heat 3: 34w Amy Eckersley, 9w Craig Burton, 27b Josh Smith.
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