With three feature events on the programme, two Wellington Championships, Modifieds and Stockcars and the final GMR Demolition Derby for the year it was always going to be a great night here at Max Motors Family Speedway this Saturday.
The Capital Pools and Spas Wellington Stockcar Champs produced a field of 19 drivers, 18 of which were hoping to oust reigning champ 5w Josh Prentice from the top of the podium. In the first heat 12w James Martin didn’t appear to be interested in running for the flag and put Allen Levien, in the 88w, up the wall on the back straight. He then went on to tangle with 4w Keegan Levien and all three of them ended up on the infield for the rest of the race and in James Martin’s case out for the night. 43w Wayne Richards was the other driver to register a DNF. At the front of the field 5w Josh Prentice made the best possible start and went on to take the win from 89w Dale Robertson and 46w Ethan Levien. The next three home were 96w Brad McGee, 6w Paul Gaskin and 98w Ashlee Gaskin-Robertson. Their next heat saw 74w Corey Small take advantage of his front grid start and streak away to a good lead. 992w Taylor Lampp also made a great start and chased the 74w all the way finally managing to take the win from Corey Small by 0.47. The battle for 3rd and 4th place was even closer with 5w Josh Prentice just pipping 669w Brendon Tye home by 0.034. 46w Ethan Levien came home in 5th place to keep himself in the hunt for the championship with 89w Dale Robertson and 6w Paul Gaskin still very much in the points chase with 7th and 8th respectively. Going into the final heat 5w Josh Prentice was the points leader with 46w Ethan Levien, 89w Dale Robertson and 992w Taylor Lampp snapping at his heels and 74w Corey Small, 6w Paul Gaskin and 669w Brendon Tye not far behind them. When the drivers took up their grid positions the 89w of Dale Robertson was conspicuous by its absence as was another pre-meeting favourite 96w Brad McGee thus making the job of retaining his title a fraction easier for Josh Prentice. At the off 52w Josh Lockett took off like a rocket to take a huge lead away from all the team tactics going on behind him as 88w Allen Levien and 4w Keegan Levien made their presence known to a number of drivers, inexplicitly leaving the reigning champ 5w Josh Prentice alone to chase the 52w. Adding to the fun were the 45w Kelly Houghton and 25w Jarod Higgins who were having their own private war. The 52w Josh Lockett held on to take the flag ahead of 5w Josh Prentice, 46w Ethan Levien, 6w Paul Gaskin, 669w Brendon Tye and 74w Corey Small.
These results meant that 5w Josh Prentice retained his title with 46w Ethan Levien the runner-up and 669w Brendon Tye in 3rd place. One point back, 4= were 6w Paul Gaskin and 74w Corey Small with 992 Taylor Lampp completing the top 6. 98w Ashlee Gaskin-Robinson finished a creditable 8th which will stand her in good stead in her upcoming teams racing debut.
The Modifieds ran both their Wellington Championship and the one race Phil Patterson Memorial. The local field was joined by reigning Wellington Champion 71s John Jackson, 21s Newton Gordge and 4h Paul Hodson. In their first heat 5w Brian McPhee started well and took the early lead only to be overtaken by the 21s Newton Gordge before the first lap was out. In an attempt to retake the lead the 5w made contact with the 21s, spun and ended up retiring to the infield. 18w Damon Smith managed to get as far up as 4th but unfortunately ended his race on the infield as well. The one making all the moves was 17w Jonas England who made some excellent passes and ended up running away with the race taking the win by 9 seconds, nearly 2/3rds of a lap ahead of 21s Newton Gordge and 57w Ben Cawthra. Their next heat saw another disaster for the 5w Brian McPhee when he rode the wall on the first lap and came to a stop on the next corner, ending on the infield and triggering a complete restart for the rest of the field. 71s John Jackson got the best of the restart and went on to win the heat from 21s Newton Gordge and 17w Jonas England. Going into the third heat 21s Newton Gordge and 17w Jonas England were tied on points with 71s John Jackson just one point behind them. 71s John Jackson made a great start from his front grid and led the race from start to finish. 17w Jonas England chased as hard as he could but had to settle for 2nd place ahead of 57w Ben Cawthra and 21s Newton Gordge. These results necessitated a runoff between the 71s and the 17w to decide the 2019 Wellington Champion. Much to the crowd’s delight 17w Jonas England made the better start and having the better race went on to take the win. 21s Newton Gordge filled the third podium spot. In the Phil Patterson Memorial the night of 5w Brian McPhee took a turn for the better when he took a convincing win. Another of the more ‘experienced’ drivers 21s Newton Gordge came home in second whilst the newest driver to the Wellington Modified ranks 18w Damon Smith completed the podium.
Support classes were the Panhead Streetstocks who continue to thrill and delight the spectators with their antics. Their first race was what we would call a
proper Streetstock race with plenty of action. 8w Tristan O’Donnell was helped greatly by those ahead of him taking part in the melees as he went on to take the chequered flag from 10w Corey Draper and 9w Aaron Wilton. Their next race saw 65w Eric Snow’s bad luck with his new car continue when he had a fire and had to be towed off. 19w Daniel Fergusson took the chequered flag with 10w Corey Draper and 8w Tristan O’Donnell following him home. In their final race the action continued with 8w Tristan O’Donnell taking the win from 9w Aaron Wilton and 19w Daniel Fergusson.
The Youth Ministocks presented with some great racing and again an extremely close finish. 94w Ethan Donohue made a pass in the final lap to take the win by the narrowest of margins from 64w Dominik Hargraves and 24w Keegan Cotter, there being 0.5 between them. Their next race was not so nail-biting with the 9w Cyrus Crook gaining the front running on the second lap and maintaining his lead to the chequered flag. 94w Ethan Donohue and 64w Dominik Hargraves completed the top three. In their final race 24w Keegan Cotter took a good win from 27w Vaughn Smith with 94w Ethan Donohue completing a good night with third place.
The Saloons had three different winners, 24w Martin Halcrow took the first race driving daughter Ashleigh’s car, Todd Moffatt donned his race suit and piloted the 13w to a win in the second race and 34w Amy Eckersley continued her good form winning the third.
The night concluded with the carnage of the GMR Demolition Derby.