By Allan Powell
It’s time for Speedfest 2017 at Huntly and Te Rapa PlaceMakers Speedway this Saturday night. Speedfest 2016 was a cracker of a meeting with the weather finally giving Huntly a break and the same weather pattern seems to be again playing with the nerves of the Huntly club. The Wingless Sprint cars aren’t on the program this year, but the other classes of Superstocks, Stockcars, Saloons, Super Saloons, Modifieds and the ever entertaining Midgets. With the lap records tumbling at the last meeting who knows what records in which classes will be lowered at Speedfest. With again more clay for the racing surface added last week Red reckons there is every chance the records will go as this new track will get faster and the drivers will really need to be on their game and pushed to the limit. The Superstock record hasn’t changed for a few years held by Stan Hickey in his Superstock called Dolly. Stockcar and Saloon record is still up for grabs and the record holder 3NZ Shane McIntyre will be back in his awesome looking super from the South Island town of Cromwell. Plus making the trip North with McIntyre is 1NZ Peter Dickson. It`s also time for the Midget lap record to be broken held by Brad Mosen who is racing at Speedfest on Saturday night. This great show case meeting of speedway would be awesome for the club, track management team rewarded with records to show their hard work in preparing this new surface has worked.
Current New Zealand Midget champion will not be able to attend speedfest as his car has been shipped to race in Australia over the next three weekends. This is a shame as Pickens is right at the top of his game again this season with feature wins in both midgets and sprintcars. Speedfest 2016 and 2016 Waikato Midget champion Dayne Maxwell is back to defend his title on his home track. Hot on Maxwell’s bumper will be all the hotshots from Western Springs including Brad Mosen, Peter Hunnibell and Brock Maskovich plus many more.
Super Saloons will finally get to race this season at Huntly. 2016 Speedfest champion Ben Harding will defend his title. Harding`s style of driving has great success at Huntly. His competition will be fierce as most of the drivers race in the Pro Dirt series throughout the season and they all know each other`s moves. Other drivers to look out for will be Mark Osborne, Mark Pitcher, Flynn brothers Grant and Steve and Chris Cowling.
Saloons a strong local class will no doubt entertain the fans on the night with drivers Geoff Webb and the Roigard father and son duo of David and Stefan. Other drivers to watch will be 2NZ Paddy North from Blenheim plus 2NZ Steve Cowling Tauranga and drivers from Stratford.
30 Stockcars will start and the hits will be from the first lap or even the first corner. 2016 Speedfest champion Gary Lonergan is back, but it`s a lottery who can win. No doubt the racing will be fierce and local drivers Malcolm Read, Dave Moore, Larry Henderson and Brett Aikin will keep all out of towers honest. Others drivers entered are Michael Rummney, Callum Flavell, Tyler Walker, Hayden Barker plus not to forget 1NZ Josh Prentice and 3NZ Josh Walsh.
Super Stocks will be coming from throughout other New Zealand tracks. Scott Joblin 2016 Speedfest champion is back along with brother 3NZ Adam Joblin plus Thomas Stanaway, Bryce Steiner, Lance Ashton, Mark Costello, Bernie Fox and Phil Ogle plus many more. Added to this list is an impressive local line up including Jared Wade, Scott Redfern, Tony Wootton and Aaron Alderton. All drivers are capable of winning from this 30 car strong field.
A full field of Modifieds are back and their driving antics are just awesome to watch. Top of the list is current Speedfest champion Brad Lane who now resides in Huntly and also new lap record holder for Modified`s at Huntly PlaceMakers Speedway. Lane`s competition is huge 1NZ Bunter Pierce, 3NZ Jamie Fox plus Shaun Bloemen, Luke Brown plus other Huntly drivers Gary Parker, Syd Ferguson and Paul Hodson plus many more.
Added to this fantastic night will be the return of the roll over car which will try and beat it`s record rolls of 9 times. Plus on the night will be the 2 seater Sprint car.
All the action starts at 6pm for this Showcase of Speedway racing and a meeting not to be missed.