Speedweek series returning to North Island
The DHL-sponsored Speedweek series for speedway saloons, organised by Steve Williams, better known to non-speedway fans as Tiger Wood’s golf caddy, is set to return to the North Island in late December.
Due to political wrangling within the sport the series was moved to the South Island and for the past two seasons three Matamata based saloon drivers and their families have gone on tour to compete in the series.
Graham Brockelsby (Chev Corvette #5R), Paul Cressy (Holden Monaro #45M) and Ross Cresswell (Ford Mustang #77K) all agree the series has advanced their class in the South Island.
‘‘When we first went down there was only one saloon registered in the South Island,’’ said Brockelsby.
‘‘This past season there were about 20 cars listed.’’
Cresswell said that as many as eight South Island cars had indicated they would travel North to Kihikihi to compete in the national championship next season.
In the 2009-10 season series all three drivers had their best results for Speedweek with Cressy, Cresswell and Brockelsby placing fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.
‘‘Combine this with no mechanical problems and very little accident damage, the tour was a dream,’’ said Linda Brockelsby who prepared for the trip three months in advance.
The 2010-11 season saw the trio start the series racing at Cromwell Speedway.
With a further five tracks raced on and over 3000km travelled, they finished the series with placings slightly further back.
Cressy, who is also a nominee for SNZ Competitor of the Year, was placed ninth. Brockelsby was 11th and Cresswell 12th after having to repair a badly damaged Mustang in a Dunedin workshop.
‘‘But all the guys are eager to help any way they can.’’
Highlight of the tour was the meeting at Greymouth’s Greenstone Park Speedway.
The feature race, which is normally held over 20 laps, was increased to 29 – one for each miner killed in the Pike River disaster.
Prizemoney donated by the drivers from that meeting and collections from other tracks they raced on allowed the competitors to present a cheque for $16,244.00 to the mayor for the relief fund.
Cressy was also thrilled to race on Christchurch’s Ruapuna Speedway where saloons have not competed since the early 1970s.
All three drivers will compete in the series throughout the North Island this coming season.
The final itinerary has
yet been decided but you can be assured Speedweek will come to a track within easy reach of Matamata.
On the road: Graham Brockelsby taking a break from travelling between race tracks in the DHL series with Mt Cook in the background.