By Jeremy Fleming
It was a stunning day to spend in the garden before heading down to TWS Paradise Valley Speedway for the 50th Anniversary Superstock Triples meeting.
The orange group of ministocks got the ball rolling nice and early at 6.30 sharp, 79r Eyan Foster and 71r Cody Harford were on the front line as the green flag dropped. There was no mistaking how eager they were to get moving as the clang of bumpers colliding started immediately. 95R Mitch Fabish made his way to the front of the pack after a few laps, and the race started to flow, 65r Imogen Aulding eventually got turned around in turn one and the orange lights were called on. It was a quick reset and the green lights were back in no time, it was a quick dash to the finish line for 95r to take the win, 71r stuck in there to hold second and third was 79r.
The second orange race started off bunched and they stayed well packed for the entire first lap, 941r got turned around and stuck just below the flag as they started the second lap, an orange ensued. The restart had them spread out a little more and the race gained some legs. 65R and 212r Terrence Dorrell battled hard for the lead over a few laps, 212r eventually found the advantage and took off to claim the win, 88r Cohen Wright slipped through to second in the last lap and 65r took third.
Race three got off to a speedy start for the orange ministocks, 88r made quick work of squeezing out into the front spot to carve a lead, 212r had to work a bit harder to get through into second and a bit of a rut seemed to have opened up at the entrance to turn one which meant a few of the youngsters got a couple of wheels off the ground regularly. An orange light ate up the lead 88r had which meant for some very tight racing at the front for the field, it was 212r who managed to take the win, 88r second and 43r Tasman Bryson was third.
The yellow group of ministocks were next up on the program, 8 laps for the newbies to spread their wings. It wasn’t half a lap in before we had a car tipped on its lid in turn two. 15R Benjamin Cooper got a bit crossed up in front of a little traffic, dug in and was gently put over. After a bit of an orange we were racing again with 13r Sean Nicholls in the lead. There was a spin in turn one again but the orange lights weren’t needed as they were able to get moving again. 811R Luke Steiner did a few laps with a flat rear right leading to a couple of small near misses before pulling to the infield. 11R Jack Cunninghamm-Moffat took the race win ahead of 12r and 82r Bridie Morrow.
I was a smoother start for race two, though a care or two did find the wall exiting turn two the racing started proper. 11R got out to the front quickly and took off from the pack, only getting caught up once the orange lights came on for 811r who was parked nose first in the concrete in turn two later in the race. 11R held on to take the win, 971r George Crawford took second and 99r Makayla Dick came in third.
The third yellow race was looking good and flying by nicely, with a few laps to go a couple of cars got spun up in turn three and four and the orange lights came out, depleting the lead the front runners had created for themselves. There were a series of oranges for several incidents, one of which was 787r Damian Turnbull taking a pretty decent tumble coming out of turn four. 21R Jack Wilson took the race win ahead of 94r Pippa Berg and 81r Sophie Orr Franklyn.
The first group of superstocks came out looking sharp as ever, 911r Carl Southall leading them out the gate and some top machinery followed. 8 teams of three for their first of two reverse grid heats, the top 4 teams will go through to the one race final to get the overall winner. It was full noise from the get goo, a bit of water was on top of the dirt though which kept the opening laps a little slow and the cars bunched. As you might expect from any first heat it was all about position, everyone running hard to get as many points on the board as they can to see where they land for heat two. The pace picked up and before you knew it the race was over. 46b Quinn Ryan took the race win ahead of 591p Wayne Hemi and 77r Lance Elsworth took third.
Heat two brought a bit of excitement with it as they lined up, a few empty spots littered the grid, but it was all go. 911R was having a go at slowing 591p to sneak his team into the final but didn’t really make contact. 87B Thomas Stanaway took the race win ahead of 106h Des Curry and 166b Hayden Hart in second and third in a very quick race with plenty of close action.
Superstock Group One Points
The second group of triples was no slouch either, roaring to life with a hard push into turn one which did not end well for 85p Justin Roberts who was pushed into the concrete and over onto the roof. A short red saw him tipped back over and the race back on. This group were much more willing to use the bumper, and a lot of spins were put in to take position. A red light was called to clear a bit of debris from turn three with a few laps remaining. A few cars retired with flat right rears. There was very nearly another roll-over as 33a Robbie Mabey was tipped right up on his side coming out of turn four, but the car slipped out from underneath and he came back down on all four.
46w Ethan Levien took the race win, 94p William Humphreys took second place and 5w Keegan Levien was third.
A few empty spots didn’t stop another hectic first bend, 5w came under a lot of attention walled a couple of times by 33a but he wasn’t slowed down too much in the thick of it. 22B was pumping out a bunch of smoke as his rubber rubbed his steel before finally retiring to the infield unhappily. 94R Dale Stewart took the race win in the new weapon, 99m Todd Hemmingway took second and 96h Thomas Joyes took third.
Superstock Group Two Points
After two heats for each group we had 8 teams qualified, and 8 left over for a consolation race. 7R Michael Rumney sat on pole for the consolation, only 14 cars lined up. They looked quick heading into turn three, 7r ran into trouble, the engine appearing to cut out, he tried to get infield but a bit of traffic made that a hard ask. The field was thin but the racing at the front was very quick, hard, and close. 166B took the race win ahead of 96h in second and 77r third.
The grid was nice and full again for the 15 lap feature winner take all final for the triples, with a decent stack of prize money up for grabs they were keen to get going. 10R started the race on the brakjes and 45b very nearly ended up on his roof which slowed 581p greatly too. 87B was in the lead when 10r had a dig and managed to put in the spin, which put 118r into the lead but coming up behind 26k who looked to be ready to go into block mode as the red lights came on to clear a stalled 571p out of turn three. On the restart sure enough 26k was out to stop the leader, after a big knock and squeeze the right front of the 118r failed and 87b was back through to the lead. The race just exploded from there, cars were being taken out left right and centre. It was hard to know where to watch, it didn’t really matter though because wherever you looked something was happening. With the race coming to an end 94p got squeezed up between two cars but nobody was backing off, which lead to one of the biggest and fastest tumbles the valley has seen in quite some time, the car was launched sky high, bouncing a few times digging a few holes on the way. 87B ended up taking the race win for the team 26k and 147k sharing the glory. 89W was second on the track ahead of 48n.
A decent looking field of production saloons came out for a skid, a welcome change from the usual half dozen usually fielded. There was some pretty good racing and a little rubbing, it was neck and neck down the main straight for 32r to just take the win from 95r in second place, 5r was not far back in third place.
It was a creeping start to race two in the proddies, 27r jumped to a big lead in the first lap but after a few something went wrong sending the car towards the wall before pulling to the infield. 14H was the quickest to take advantage of the situation, taking the lead all the way to the finish, 48h was next behind, ahead of 11h.
The productions were looking quick in their final race of the night, a little bit of contact ended 48g’s race a bit early, 14h took another race win, 48h was second and 95r took a third.
Production Saloon Points
It was a full field of stockcars out for a bash, 68r Keith Spanhake sat on pole inside 464r Mark Willis as the green lights flashed. There was plenty of bang bang in the opening lap, it looked like they were all going to make it though until 638r Robbie Morris got crossed up down the pit straight and was collected a couple of times which stopped the car and caused a quick red. There was plenty of action going on in the racing as well as a bit of actual biff as a few drivers had a go at each other. 68R ended up taking the race win after a number of swaps at the front, 184r Anthony Robinson took second, 28r Alex Jones was third.
Stockcars were off to another quick start, well most of them, 66r Mullet Man didn’t make it off the line and the reds were called as the group came around turn three. It was very much s hard and fast race from there, lots of bumper work in the mix of the racing, eventually boiling over as at the front of the pack 3nz Mitch Vickery, 184r and 91r Tony Coxhead got into each others personal space, 91r ending up spun up and pushed in the ruts over onto his roof. After the red it was a quick finish with 272r Seth McConchie taking the win, 53r Aaron Powell took second and 5h took third.
A couple of cars were spun up in a had and fast first corner for the third stockcar race. It wasn’t an explosive or particularly action packed race but it must have been hard, not many cars made it to the end. 3Nz took the race win, 44r Shea Nicholson was second and 31r was third.
Fitting for the 50th anniversary meeting a healthily sized group of vintage stockcars did some laps. Most of the cars looked pretty quick out there. The racing looked good and close, 15p walked away with the first win. The second race win went to 23v. The final win of the night to the white 15h.
It was a fantastic night that delivered a whole lot of action, this format might do well to be repeated.
Meeting Photos available for viewing and Purchasing @ www.sportsweb.co.nz