Derby draws large crowd
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.
Chris Collingwood managed to get some air, albeit by driving over another competitor’s car, during Superstock racing on Boxing night.
The Taranaki Youth Ministock Champs podium. L to R, 3rd Liam Whelan, 1st Corey Ward, 2nd Jesse Whelan.