Derby draws large crowd

Stratford Press - - News - By JARROD MACBETH

A mas­sive crowd turned up to Strat­ford Speed­way on Box­ing Night to en­joy the rac­ing that in­cluded the King of the Moun­tain Mid­get Champs, Taranaki Youth Min­i­s­tock Champs plus a more than 50 car De­mo­li­tion Derby along with sup­port­ing classes of Su­per­stocks, Stock­cars and Saloons.

Jimmy Gree­nough was in top form in the mid­get class and was lead­ing the first race for a num­ber of laps and hold­ing off lo­cal speedster Duane Hick­man un­til he came upon a lapped car. He made the wrong lane choice and lost sev­eral spots, al­low­ing Hick­man through for the win, with Greg Jones fol­low­ing close be­hind, cost­ing Gree­nough sev­eral valu­able points.

Race two saw Jones beat Hick­man home from Gree­nough while race three saw Jones again win but this time from Gree­nough and Hick­man. The Su­per con­sis­tent Jones (two wins and a sec­ond) won the KOM Champs ahead of Hick­man while for Gree­nough it was a case of ‘what might have been’.

A full field of com­peti­tors com­peted for the Taranaki Youth Min­i­s­tock Champs. Jesse Whe­lan, Zen Do­dun­ski and Alana Buck­thought were the race win­ners on the night but it was the con­sis­tent Cory Ward who be­came the new Taranaki cham­pion. Ward placed sev­enth in race one, third in race two and fourth in race three to win the champs by a two point mar­gin from broth­ers Jesse and Liam Whe­lan who were tied in sec­ond spot. The pair raced a four lap run off to de­ter­mine who would fin­ish where in the mi­nor plac­ings with Jesse get­ting the up­per hand to come home sec­ond from Liam.

An im­pres­sive20 Su­per­stocks fronted to race on the night in­clud­ing visit­ing driv­ers Ma­son James from Wan­ganui, Chris Colling­wood from Palmer­ston North, Blake Dyk­stra from Tau­ranga and Ste­fan Roigard from Huntly. Neville Nolly picked up a good win in the first race af­ter he in­her­ited the lead when ini­tial leader Brent Pas­coe was ob­structed by a lapped car. Lo­gan Sharpe con­tin­ued his good form to win the next two races.

Twenty-six stock­car com­peti­tors lined up for the first race with driv­ers from Ro­torua, Palmer­ston North and Ki­hik­ihi a wel­come ad­di­tion. Race wins went to Michael Abel, William Hughes and Ro­torua com­peti­tor R Mor­ris.

Saloons com­pleted the pro­gramme for reg­u­lar classes with Thomas Korff win­ning all three races.

De­mo­li­tion Derby com­peti­tors were split into two groups and had a race each prior to the derby it­self where they would de­stroy their cars. Jason Dunn won the race for the first group while Re­gan Jor­dan won the race for group two. The derby was held at the end of the night (for ob­vi­ous rea­sons) and af­ter 15 min­utes of car crunch­ing car­nage, Jay­den Wai­wiri was the win­ner.

Axel Lilly won the prize for Best Pre­sented while the Hard Luck prize went the way of Emilio Hatcher. Steve Reed, who in­ci­den­tally was rolled in the later stages of the derby, and Tyler Walker were judged to be the two best stir­rers.

PHOTO / MITCHELL BODNAR ON SHOT PHOTOGRAPHY

Chris Colling­wood man­aged to get some air, al­beit by driv­ing over an­other com­peti­tor’s car, dur­ing Su­per­stock rac­ing on Box­ing night.

PHOTO / MITCHELL BODNAR ON SHOT PHOTOGRAPHY

The Taranaki Youth Min­i­s­tock Champs podium. L to R, 3rd Liam Whe­lan, 1st Corey Ward, 2nd Jesse Whe­lan.

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