By Allan Powell
Hasn’t the weather changed. A month ago we were all complaining about how the weather was shocking and cold, but now a 3 week period of no rain change the mood at Huntly PlaceMakers Speedway has certainly brightened up. It was another really hot day at the track and a really nice breeze was coming from the south west direction. Lots of water had been poured into the track from Wednesday to give all the competitors a good surface to race on. Started out a bit wet, but knowing the surface good be great later as the meeting went along.
This night was another triple header event with the North Island Super Saloon championship, The Alex Gillian and George Hazelton Stockcar memorial and last of all the awesome Hamilton Collisions Repair Waikato Superstock championship over 3 gruelling heats of 15 laps.
First up was the North Island Super Saloon groups split into two groups. Each group was evenly matched run 2 heats of 12 laps per group.
Group one 18M Sam Waddell lead 8H Craig Cardwell Who called for the 3 minute bell to readjust the cars supensionion a wet track) and 48A Wade Jennings. The finishing order was Waddell, Cardwell and 124M Dan Corrin the defending 2016 North Island champion. Second heat had a bit of drama in the early laps with Waddell drove into the left rear tyre of 7M Brent Emmerson resulting in Emmerson retiring to the infield and Waddell sent to the rear. Winner of heat 2 was 21H Steve Williams, 2nd Dan Corrin and 3rd Craig Cardwell.
Group two heat one and 21W Donald Gregory from pole went up the wall and then back down onto the track but back 2 places. Then 77K Rossco Creswell took the lead only to go into the wall on turn 3 handing over the lead to 41M Terry Corrin to the finish for the win. 2nd was 24A Ben Harding and in 3rd 16R Mark Osborne. Heat two for group 2 this time had previous heat winner Terry Corrin into the wall and carried on racing. The heat was won by Osborne, 2nd 5B Steve Flynn and 3rd 96A Lance Jennings.. Next up was the pole shuffle for the top 6 cars from both groups. 6th 24A, 5th 124M, 4th 41M, 3rd 8H, 2nd 18M and 1st in the pole shuffle was 16R.
The 20 lap final started with the 4 wide salute to the crowd to say thanks for coming for the racing. Osborne had the led at the start over Cardwell and Dan Corrin. Waddell was going backwards from starting up front. Waddell had more issues on lap 7 tangling with Emmerson and 43K John Roberts. Cardwell had just taken the lead from Osborne,but a caution meant Cardwell had to give back the lead. From this lap on Osborne lead with a good battle behind between Cardwell, Corrin and Steve Flynn. Placings did not change to the finish and your new 2017 North Island Super Saloon champion is Mark Osborne from 2nd Craig Cardwell, 3rd Dan Corrin and 4th Steve Flynn.
Second show on the night was the H C R Waikato Superstock championship. 25 cars and they had come from throughout the North Island tracks. Heat one 25 cars and turn one you have to be brave as its full noise into the corner 555R Dan Holland got shot up the wall plus 144C Tim Ross also up the wall, but continued only to turn 3 and this time Ross up the wall again on another big push into the corner. 49R Blair Neal was in the lead only to stop on the back straight and his car catch on fire. The engine fire was pretty fierce, but the fire was under control shortly by the infield safety crews.Neal jumped out of the car to his safety. The race continued with 98M Mark Costello losing the lead on the last corner to 23R Lance Ashton. 2nd Costello and 3rd 136B Maddie Wise, 4th 45G Nick Valance. Heat two Wise took the early lead from 316H Greg Mitchell with Mitchell showing really good pace. On lap 9 the race stopped for Tim Ross again, and probably not a good trip up from Christchurch. Added to the stopped was 109A Jason Brown, 31A Blair Mitchell and Greg Mitchell all going to the infield. The race was won by Maddie Wise, Lance Ashton, 81R Damien Orr and then 85H Jared Wade. Top on points after the 2 heats was Ashton, Wise, Orr, 218H Alderton, 99H Chestnut and Wade.
The Superstock final.and who was going to first to go. Wise got walled and rolled by 717H Tyson Wootton and 97H Aidan Eustace. Wootton got his car free and continued and now after Ashton only to have the car come to a halt on lap 11. Jared Wade took the win from Alderton but they couldn’t stop Ashton from the overall win. This win gave Lance Ashton back to back championship wins over 2nd Damien Orr, 3rd Aaron Alderton, 4th Jared Wade.
The triple header on the night was the Alex Gillian and George Hazelton Stockcar memorial. A good field of Stockcars. 7H Dave Moore won the first heat form 8H Larry Henderson and 3rd 51H Ali Van Amsterdam. Heat two was won by Van Amsterdam, Moore then Henderson. Heat three and the feature was who could stop Dave Moore, but Moore showed his class and stayed out of trouble. The win went to Ali Van Amsterdam, but the winner of the George Hazelton memorial was Dave Moore, Ali Van Amsterdam and in 3rd 56H Cameron Taylor and 4th Larry Henderson.
Next meeting at Huntly and Te Rapa placemakers Speedway will be on Saturday 30th December for the Holden Trade Club Saloon Speed Week presented by Valvoline and the big Fireworks show and supporting classes. Two days later on Monday 1st January is the United Truck Parts International Midget series starting at 7pm. All the USA, Australian and New Zealand midget stars will be at Huntly. Watch out for more information on Huntly Speedway website.