By Daniel Neville
A brilliant summer day greeted petrolhead sat Paradise Valley Speedway for the finalsof the TWS New Zealand Superstock Championship and if you saw the qualifying then that was just an appetizer to what the second night delivered. The main event, tier 2 and 3 along with a best pairs for the remaining cars made for a big night of action.
The repercharge to final the last 2 qualifiers kicked off the meeting with Vazey in 351r on pole alongside 3nz Adam Joblin but it was anyone's race with top machinery and driver from the front to the back of the grid. 29m Ryan Hunt got to the lead with 95n Alex Hill slotting into second. Vazey spun away his chancesearly while 2nz Adam Joblin smoked it up for most of the race before retiring infieldafter a hefty punt from 85k Jared Wade. Hill was unluckily spun in the closing laps as Hunt took the win and a huge fight for the last spot erupted before 98m Mark Costello edged out the rest to make the cut.
Next up was the Classic Builders tier 3 competition which saw multiple crashes in heat one due to a slightly greasy track. Things got a bit better as the surface dried out with 282s Phil Ogle taking the first up win. Race 2 there was immediate action with 85m Dan Pollock hung on the wall by 25m Scott McEwen. A smokey 88w took the win to take good points into heat three.
The third and final race for this one was over pretty quick with 34p Rebecca Barr leading them home to take the overall win. Second was 147k Matt Nielsen from 185s Dale Michielsen completing the top three.
The PTS tier 2 group was next on track for the drivers that were oh so close to being in the big dance. Lap one saw 49h Tony Van Lieshout take a big ride up the wall and down again. A few others found the wall too but it was 87b Thomas Stanaway who cleared out for the race win. Race 2 was a tidy one with all cars finishing and 166b Hayden Hart taking the flag and the points lead heading into race three. Race three went the way of 85k Jared Wade who took the overall win from Hart with 9g Jamie Hamilton third on points at the finish.
2019 national champion 41b Jason Long led out the 26 for heat one of the TWS NZ Championship to a great reception from the big Wednesday night crowd. 41b Jason Long took a big lead with some fast hard racing going on behind him. Long continued on for a great win from 66r Steve Hampton and 26k Mitch Vickery. The biggest mover was defending champion Randal Tarrant in 1nz who went from grid 20 to 5th.
Heat 2 saw 19m Kerry Remnant, 106h Des Curry & 591p Wayne Hemi all missing from the grid with 58p Peter Bengston assuming pole. A dramatic start saw Tarrant spun on the first corner and restarted dead last then 71p Shane Mellsop lost a wheel with the stray part a lap later becoming a launching pad for 81r Damian Orr who rolled spectacularly and emerged unscathed. A few laps later 66r was left stranded on the wall thanks to 72a Cody McKee as Bengston led the race. Things settled down after that with Bengston winning from 127g Ethan Rees and 46b Quinn Ryan. The points situation after 2 heats had Ethan Rees leading with 46 points then back to Jason Long on 44 with Asher Rees and Bengston sharing 3rd overall on 42 a piece.
So to the decider and it was all on for 15 laps to find the champion. 21 cars made the grid with 72p Simon Joblin on pole. Lap one saw carnage in turn one with Peter Rees up the wall and Dale Robertson in a similar position nearby and others tangled up in the mess. No one was able to break free so Mark Costello, William Humphries and Ethan Rees along with the other 2 were forced to bow out early. A long delicate rescue effort removed all 5 cars so the race could continue. 126k Asher Rees led the restart, 48n Brett Nicholls tagged Bengston mid race with the 58p heading infield. The race pretty much ran it's course from then on with Asher Rees cruising to the race win and in doing so became the new NZ champion. Long made up some major placings to get 2nz for the second in his career while Mitch Vickery kept it clean for a well deserved 3nz. Fourth over all was Jack Miers with Tarrant completing the top five.
The PG Hydraulics Championship was next on track which replaced the best pairs event following some withdrawals from the field. Just the 11 starters and 94r Dale Stewart taking a good win. Race 2 was a P benefit as 26p Nic Davey winning as race one winner Stewart failed to finish. Just four came out for the last race which was won by 58k Stefan Roigardwho topped the points table from 15a Karl Pegg with Davey third overall.
There were 2 stockcar teams races between the Rotorua Rascals and the Waikato Raiders which were both action packed. The Raiders drew first blood taking race one but it was the Rascals who bit back in he rematch evening the score with a victory.
The next meeting at TWS Paradise Valley Speedway will be somewhat more subdued on Wednesday January 13th which is a mid week club night featuring Stockcars, Ministocks, Production Saloons, Six Shooters & Vintage Stockcars with racing from 7.30pm.