By Daniel Neville:
It took four attempts, but at last the finals field for the 2020/21 TWS NZ Superstock Championship at Paradise Valley Speedway is all but sorted with 24 qualifiers found tonight. Two more will join the others from the repercharge which will be the first race on the programme at 6pm before tomorrow night's title decider.
It all began on Saturday when scrutineering took place at the lake front for the 140 plus cars but the weather turned sour in the early afternoon forcing a postponement. It was a similar story come Sunday with a relatively early call as heavy rain once again made it impossible to race on despite the best efforts of the track preparation team.
So onto Monday and it everything looked great until the 133 remaining entries rolled out for the grand parade and it started to spit which rapidly turned into a heavy downpoursaw the umbrellas go up and eventually had patrons scurrying for the car park well before the call of "come back tomorrow" as the track and infield was once again waterlogged. Thankfully only one entry withdrew leaving 132 of the best to battle it out for the title. There were 18 straight Superstock races with just the top 4 from each progressing to the finals.
Red group qualifiers: 19m Kerry Remnant, 89w Dale Robertson, 66r Steve Hampton & 591p Wayne Hemi.
Blue group saw 46b Quinn Ryan lead them away then moments later 73a Bryce Marx rode up up over the front of 33s Logan Sharpe with both managing to continue. Ryan went on to claim the win followed by club mate 166b Hayden Hart. Heat 2 was a clean and tidy affair with local driver 93r Gary Hunter first home. Heat 3 went the way of 5g Josh Prentice from 54s Paul Johnson as drivers went hard out to make the cut.
Blue group qualifiers: 46b Quinn Ryan, 88p Jack Miers, 5g Josh Prentice & 54s Paul Johnson.
Blue Group Points
The Green group was next up with 3nz Adam Joblin the pole sitter who shot to the lead in tun one while 23r Kendyll Ashton was spat out into the wall. 41b Jason Long found a way past Joblin to collect the race win and maximum points first up. Heat 2 was another fairly tame race with 351r Paul Vazey going flag to flag for the win. Heat 3 saw a few gaps on the grid which threw things wide open. 10g Peter Rees cruised home for the win as the rest battled on.
Green group qualifiers: 10g Peter Rees, 106h Des Curry 41b Jason Long & 48n Brett Nicholls.
Green Group Points
Yellow group came out next with 722p David Lowe off pole but it was 19r Jason Brown who got away first. Then 571p Jayme Hemi became a pinball in turn one and was removed from the track as 96h Thomas Joyes and 34p Rebecca Barr locked horns just in front of Hemi. Brown took the race win from 71p Shane Mellsop. Heat 2 saw a huge rollover by 98b Quintin Butcher entering turn 3 after bumping the wall. Local hopeful Damian Orr in 81r was honking out front took a popular win. Heat 3 saw 991c Harley Robb in attack mode launching 307s Matthew Picard in turn 4 to the delight of the crowd. 72a Cody McKee took the win from 94p William Humphries.
Yellow group qualifiers: 94p William Humphries, 71p Shane Mellsop, 81r Damian Orr & 72a Cody McKee.
Yellow Group Points
Next on track was Orange group out the gate led by 58p Peter Bengston in pole position but it was 72p Simon Joblin who cleared out for the win from 10r Alan McRobbie. Heat 2 went to 126k Asher Reeswhile heat one winner Joblin almost went over in a tangle with 87b Thomas Stanaway. Heat 3 saw Rees take his second win of the night from after early leader 9g Jamie Hamilton punctured.
Orange group qualifiers: 126k Asher Rees, 72p Simon Joblin, 58p Peter Bengston & 82s Hamish Booker.
Orange Group Points
The sixth and final group was White and featured defending champion Randal Tarrant. Pole sitter was 557c Darrel Wallace but it was 9r Brent Stewart who shot to the front. A lap later things got a little hot for 15a Karl Pegg with a fire erupting from underneath as he drove off the track. 4p Chad Ace took over at the front late in the race to collect the win. Heat 2 went the way of 5w Keegan Levien who pipped 13m David Elsworth on the line for the win. Heat 3 went to 581p Jordan Dare in a rapid race to make the finals.
The finals night will be tomorrow with the repercharge starting at 6pm which will complete the finals field with the main event commencing at 7pm.
There will be a tier 2 & 3 for the next two sets of non qualifiers as well as a best pairs competition for the rest.
Make sure you're trackside at TWS Paradise Valley Speedway or catch the live stream from The Pits TV to find out who will wear the 1nz for the next 12 months.
Fields & Grids for Finals Day.