By Daniel Neville
Club night number two for the season took place at TWS Paradise Valley Speedway on December 18th and was the final meeting for the year 2020 but of course there is so much more to come in the new year, especially for those of you who love Superstocks. The NZ Champs will kick off 2021 with the annual World 240's just 3 weeks later and the club night was a small taste of what's to come at those two major meetings with 43 cars on hand getting valuable track time in the lead up.
The field was split into 2 groups due to higher that usual numbers with each getting three races. The contact was mostly incidental with the odd push or nudge to pass happening and throw in the occasional pile up and you are in for major mayhem come January.
Group one wins were shared in between the in-form 19M Kerry Remnant, the always rapid 88P Jack Miers, and the consistent local 81R Damian Orr. Also on the pace and gaining good placings were 94R Dale Stewart, 7R Michael Rumney, and 99M Todd Hemingway.
Group two also yielded three different winners in the form of 96M Dylan Towler, 85M Dan Pollock, and 46B Quinn Ryan. Others to impress from group two were 106H Des Curry, 22W Richard Gaskin, and the Roigard brothers Cam and Stefan in their Kihikihi registered tri-rail cars.
The Stockcars were out too and had four races, like their bigger brothers they had minimal crashes but some good push and shove racing nevertheless. Somehow the Rotorua cars allowed sole Bay Park visitor 93M Mark Dunn take the flag in race one and again in race four but 186R and former 3NZ Richard Keijzer matched that with 2 wins of his own in some close competition. Another stand out driver was 92R Karl Garnett who was rubbing rails a lot but still gained a third and two fourths for his efforts. The class also staged a pair of teams races with the Rotorua Rugrats taking on a Huntly select side. The two 10 lap races went the way of the visiting Waikato side who showed good speed and blocking ability when it was needed whereas the local relatively rookie side was beaten in most areas but will learn from that and hopefully come back stronger next time. It was 15H Hadley Dixon who took the first match up followed home by 27H Brett Aitken with 272R Seth McConchie the first home for the Rugrats in third. Aitken backed up his second place by winning round 2 with 144R Steven Pattle in second despite leading for part of the race. A mention goes to 24H Brad Philpott who helped his side across the line with some great bumper work while 28R Alex Jones and 6R Ricky Malcolm tried their best but unfortunately it wasn't enough.
The Ministocks began their four race programme with a lengthy race marred by multiple stoppages suggesting it was going to be a long night but thankfully things improved in the latter three outings. 81R Sophie Orr Franklyn only completed three quarters of a lap before her night ended with the 81R tangling with a few others and being put on its side coming out of turn four with 42R Tasman Bryson and 555R Joshua Holland parked on either side. Winners on the night were 454R Jessie Henderson who grabbed 2 plus a third place in the other and showed excellent place bagging the fastest lap in each of her races. Also getting a hand on the flag were 118R Joel Steiner and 941R Alisha Clarey.
The Streetstocks drew six starters for their 3 races and it was a familiar look about the results with current national champion Mike King doing what he does best taking a pair of wins and then diced with Alan King in the final race and finished second as the 58R car got home first by the slimmest of margins.
The Six Shooters also had three races with 71M Boyd Westbury the dominant driver taking a fine pair of wins with Auckland visitor 87A Paul Smith making the trip worthwhile taking the other. The Production Saloons rounded out a busy 25 race programme with 5R Trent Robertson the best over the three races taking a win, a second and a third. Other winners were of Huntly benefit with 48H Dave Pilkington and 25H Mark Levin each crossing the line first.
Production Saloon Points for the night
The next meeting at Paradise Valley is the big one, the TWS New Zealand Superstock Championship which will take places over three consecutive nights. January 1st will be the Shakedown meeting which is essentially a practice run before the main show. Qualifying will happen on January 2nd followed by the finals on the 3rd and with more than 160 cars entered it's anyone's guess who will come out wearing the 1NZ at the end of it all. There will be a second and third tier competitions as well as a best pairs event for those who don't make the top 26 to contest the title. So make sure to get your slice of Superstock heaven and be at TWS Paradise Valley Speedway in the new year for what will be the biggest New Zealand Superstock Championship, ever.