By Allan Powell
On Friday and Saturday nights the 9th and 10th March at Huntly and Te Rapa Placemakers Speedway was the Central Metals and Ryco 24.7 North North Island Saloon championship meeting. Friday night was qualifying and the finals on the Saturday night. Added to the Saturday night event was the Raceworks Modified Silver Cup and the Oval Superstar Tour for Mini Sprints round at Huntly. Finally the weather is now playing its part and the speedway track had a hot and fine weekend.
Qualifying on Friday night for the Saloons was run as 3 groups and over 3 x 12 lap heats for points towards the 20 car final on Saturday night. Qualifying Caddy Shack Racing group heat one winner was 8H Ryan Johnson followed by 36M Dale Bigwood, 27S Joe Ingram and 6M David Moorcroft. Heat 2 was won by 86H Stefan Roigard, 27S Joe Ingram and 77K Rossco Cresswell. Third heat was won by 6M David Moorcroft, 49M Brodie Abrahamson and Ryan Johnson. G W Motorsport group Heat one was won by 18K Chris Taylor, 89H Cam Roigard then 48A Jeremy Silcock. Heat 2 won by 3NZ Matt Eckersley, 76G Ethan Cook then 12S Blake Hooper. Heat 3 was won by Ethan Cook, 8M Jared Fletcher then Jeremy Silcock.
Karapiro Charters group heat one was won by 8s Craig Kroff, 42M Trent Amrein then 77G Daniel Cook. Heat 2 was won by 27B Joshua Smith, 61K Josey Peat – Bennet 21H Steve Williams. Heat 3 was won by 77G Daniel Cook, 7S Richard Dreaver then Steve Williams.
Support classes on Friday night were Superstocks, Ministocks, Productions and Golden Oldie Stockcars. In the Superstocks 96H Thomas Joyes claimed his first 2 wins in the Superstocks.
First up on Saturday night was the repercharge race for the Saloons. Top 2 cars went into the finals to make the 20 car field. The top 2 cars to progress were Stefan Roigard and 25H Reece Clements. The final consisted of two 15 laps races for points then the final of 20 laps.The first Central Metals heat was won by 27S Joe Ingram, Josey Peat / Bennet and 3rd Craig Kroff. Heat 2 was won by 77G Daniel Cook, 8m Jared Fletcher and 3rd Joshua Smith. On pole for the final was 49m Brodie Abrahamson and Daniel Cook.On lap 2 Abrahamson developed steering issues and unfortunately he had to go to the infield. As the race progress Cook held a good lead over Kroff and Smith. Cook was now pulling away from the field to the finish. Your new 2018 Central Metal North Island Saloon champion is Daniel Cook which Cook also won in the 2013 / 2014 season. 2nd was Craig Kroff, 3rd Joshua Smith,4th Joe Ingram, and 5th Stefan Roigard from Huntly.
Also part of the Saturday night meeting was the first time of the Raceworks Modified 30 lap Silver Cup. 11 mods were on track for heat one. With the track still a bit slippery 119H Brad Lane took the lead to the finish. Cars out in this race were 193 H Syd Fergusson minor roll over on turn 1. 21H Gary Parker, 78H Mike Harrison and 52H Barry Hunter. Heat two with changed grids this time 4H Paul Hodson took the lead from 89A Luke Brown, Brad Lane and 21S Newton Gordge.
The final for the Modifieds had the total laps rejuice to 15 laps for time. Lane had the early lead from Brown. Brown did get close at times, but Lane was to fast on track rto take the win and the Raceworks Silver Cup. Second was Brown and 3rd 12S Jason Kalin, 4th 78A Ray Chatfield
Last part of the triple header night was the Oval Superstars Minisprints. Only 14 cars,but the talent was good with 1NZ, 2NZ and 3NZ at this round. 1NZ Chris Hermanson in the Herminator was fast until the motor cried enough and started to smoke and went to the infield and Hermanson night over. 37K Jade Barnett rolled and his night was also over. The Minisprints also had their 20 lap final reduced to 15 laps. The winner was 57H Ben Vaughan, 2nd 93P Karl McGill, 3rd 2NZ Dean Cooper, 4th 3NZ Shane Dewar, 5th 38S Donald Kuriger. Overall it was a long weekend of racing.
Next meeting at Huntly PlaceMakers Speedway is this Saturday night for the Huntly Quarries Season Finale and the Waikato Super Saloon champs and the Kevin Bates memorial. See you trackside.