Speedweek se­ries re­turn­ing to North Is­land

Matamata Chronicle - - Motoring - By DAVE WAKE­FIELD

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

not

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.

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