Speedway back in action
A new season of speedway is about to get underway this weekend at the Robertson Holden International Speedway in Palmerston North this Saturday night.
The Tararua district has a large contingent of drivers and riders competing over the next six months.
The Youth ministock class for drivers starting at 12 up to 16, was set up as a feeder class to speedway. Pahiatua has two drivers in this class, Rachel Bradbury (29p) with three seasons under her belt, and sister Amanda Bradbury(45p) last year’s rookie along with Eketa¯ huna’s Wade Bengston (11p). From Dannevirke are Max Lowe (55p), sister Holly Lowe (56p) and Jordan Adie (57p) who will be racing his last season in this class.
Considered by some a Hot Dog class, they provide spectacular racing and crashes. The Bradbury girls are no exception. At the penultimate round last season Rachel was the first to roll, then Amanda had a spectacular roll in the next race. Rachel had an even more spectacular roll at the season finale the following weekend to the horror of onlooking family. Rachel climbed from her car with a grin from ear to ear.
In the Adult ministocks is Pahiatua’s Steven Sowry (29p) starting his second season, cousin Aaron Sowry (73p), a veteran of six years in Ministocks, who will be debuting in the Minisprint class this season. Aaron’s father Bryce Sowry (93p) will be starting his fifth season.
In the Stockcar ranks, from Pahiatua are Scott Renwick (7p), and brother Cameron (76p). Cameron is a seasoned campaigner having come through the ranks of Youth Ministocks and has often been seen carrying the chequered flag. Cameron has raced for the Palmerston North Steelers Stockcar team.
Stu Sowry (24p) has four seasons and found good form last season to carry the chequers five times. He raced for the Palmerston North Pumas Stockcar team at the NZ Teams in Auckland. Brother Bryce Sowry (78p) is starting his second season in the class.
From Woodville, Adam Mabey (64p) and Neil Coley (38p) will be there. Neil is a seasoned driver with many years racing and a crowd favorite. If Neil isn’t putting someone up the wall, which is encouraged, someone is putting him up. Neil has also represented the Pumas Stockcar team in the past.
Considered the premier contact class is the Superstocks. A legend in the sport is Eketa¯ huna’s Peter Bengston (58p). Peter raced stockcars in his earlier days, and now has a huge fan base around the country having won numerous Superstock titles. He is a longstanding member of the Palmerston North Panthers Superstock Team winning the Teams champs several times. However the one title still to elude Peter is the NZ Superstock title having made 2NZ two years ago.
New to the class last year is Dannevirke’s David Lowe (722p). David came up through the Youth ministocks too, and raced a stockcar for a few years before stepping up to the Supers last season. In his first major race, David turned heads when he won the World 240s Global Challenge in Palmerston North last February.
A class that often puts on a good show, or at least has the crowd on the edge of their seats due to having no brakes, is the Sidecar class. This class has a strong contingent of riders from the Tararua, or ex-Tararua residents and is littered with Bushrider members. Russell Stuart(1nzp), formerly of Eketa¯ huna, is the current NZ, North Island and Manawatu¯ Champion. Local Wayne Lett (2nzp) as his number denotes, is the current 2nz. Absent from the track this year will be the father and son combo from Eketa¯ huna of Derek and Mathew Ramsay (6p) with Derek announcing retirement after several successful years including 1nz in the 16/17 season and three times 3nz with Tony Hislop on the side. Tony Hislop (17p), is now on his own bike. Simon Windelborn/ Austin Windelborn (58p), won’t be back till mid season after a big crash last season. Ben Franklin will no doubt be back on the side of a bike. New to the class is Stu Sowry(24p), with Dean Harding swinging, also brother Craig Sowry (19p) with partner Lori swinging.
Rachel Bradbury — 29p — proves you don’t need wings to fly.
Stu Sowry — 24p — attacks 2NZ Dion Mooney down the front straight.
Peter Bengston — 58p — was part of last season’s ENZED Superstock Teams Champs-winning Palmerston North Panthers team.
722p David Lowe set the fastest lap times in a big feild when he won the 248 Global Challenge Cup at Palmerston North last season.