By Allan Powell
It`s been a while since we have had a review of the events over the christmas and New Years break at Huntly and Te Rapa PlaceMakers Speedway. It has been very busy with 4 big meetings over this time and the weather has been great and really hot trackside. Big man hours keeping the track prepped, ready to go for all the meetings so big up`s to the Huntly track team and the club for the great effort. The track photographer`s have been busy taking all the shots of action and the ever different shots you see from time to time. Congratulation must also go to Huntly registered drivers at various New Zealand titles. 86H Stefan Riogard now 2NZ Saloon, 57H Ben Vaughan now 3NZ Mini Sprint, 14H Wayne Warrender now 2NZ Production Saloon and 21H Gary Parker now 2NZ Modified.
First up over this period on Saturday 29th December was the DVS Super Saloon series combined with the Freestyle BMX riders plus the awesome infield Fireworks show which was 2 days before new years eve. The freestyle BMX riders were something very different at the speedway and the were great to watch. 3 riders on BMx bikes and the other rider was on a Mountain bike and they were good at doing all their tricks and flips over the high style ramp. They must be fit as soon as the finish one jump it was the concrete pad full speed and another different type of jump, backward flips, sideways and no hands or legs on the bike. During the night the DVS Super Saloons had 3 heats and a pole shuffle before their final / feature. Winner of the feature and the 2nd Huntly round for this series was 99A Shane McInteer, 2nd 21H Steve Williams, 3rd 38R Marcus Bullen and 4th 48A Wade Jennings.
Next meeting 2 days later on Tuesday 1st January was the United Truck Parts World International Midget Series. The best Midget drivers on dirt from USA, Australia and New Zealand were at Huntly Speedway for round 4 of the series. Racing coverage of this event was been sent off to America throughout the night. 5 heat races, B main, a test match race between USA, Australia and New Zealand which was won by 1 USA Kyle Larson, 2nd 1 Australia Kadion Brown. Kyle Larson from America mentioned that it was great to be over racing at New Zealand tracks with his young family and be able to watch the racing at Huntly between heats on the grass banks in some areas. The main show on this night was the 40 lapper and a common race for midgets at Huntly. The grid was sorted and the top points drivers were at the front. After a early caution the race run for 37 laps to the finish. Larson started further down the grid so he wasn’t able to join 4 USA Tyler Courtney, 21 USA Christopher Bell and 3NZ Michael Pickens at the front. Bell and Pickens spent most of the race on the high line up near the wall with Courtney running the low line through the race. As the race went on those drivers weaved their way through the other cars and showed the huge crowd awesome midget racing. The final placings the United Truck Parts 40 lapper at Huntly were 1st Tyler Courtney, 2nd Christopher Bell and 3rd Michael Pickens.
The Huntly track now had a breather for 10 days before the Made In Metal New Zealand Super Saloon championship. Thursday night 10th January was the official practice for Super Saloons and see what the track was going to like and get some set up`s in place before the qualifying started on the Friday night. 41 Super Saloons had entered and been split into 6 groups which had 5 heats over the 2 nights to accumulate points for the big 25 lap final on Saturday night. No notable big movers on the Friday night, but on Saturday night front grids helped you get more points. After 2 repercharge races the one race final had it`s top 20 cars for the 25 laps. You really needed to be in the front 3 rows as the track now was going a bit slick, but saying that the outside lane was still there if you wanted to chance your arm. The track had taken a pounding over the 2 nights with the big wide tyres. Up front was the Cowling brothers Steve and Chris. Grid 3 was 21N Ian Burson and grid 4 was 63A Nigel Mouat. 37M Steve Cowling, pole and 27M Chris Cowling. The Cowlings held the front from Burson, but Mouat was going backwards and eventually retiring to the infield. As the race progressed 24A Ben Harding racing on the outside collected the wall and went on the infield. 8H Craig Cardwell and 21W Donald Gregory had a bit of biff on the control tower straight and both also went to the infield. As the laps went down Steve Cowling had the lead. Burson was under heavy pressure from 5B Steve Flynn, but Flynn remained in 4th at the finish. At the finish of 25 laps your new 2019 Made In Metal New Zealand Super Saloon champion is 1NZ Steve Cowling, 2nd 2NZ Chris Cowling and 3NZ Ian Burson.
Another great meeting at Huntly and a huge crowd over the 2 nights of summer racing.
Recently at Huntly Speedway on Saturday 26th January was the Lightning Concrete Waikato Stock Car championship. 29 cars trackside and raced 3 gruelling 15 lap heats. Heat one was won by 735A Keegan Orr, heat 2 was won by 49H Kyle Hickford and heat 3 99H Tony Wootton. Overall winner of the Lightning Concrete Waikato Stock car championship was 49H Kyle Hickford, 2nd 98H Bruce Beaumont and 3rd 88H Justin Hutchby. Also on the night was the race for the Hazelton Stock Car memorial won by 51H Ali Van Amerstdam plus the Alex Gillian memorial for best stirrer was 88H Justin Hutchby. Plus on the double header night was the Oval Superstars Mini Sprint round at Huntly. During the night the cars race over 3 heats and a 30 lap final. The final was won by 3NZH Ben Vaughan, 2nd 1NZP Chris Hermansen, 3rd 2NZP Shane Dewar.
Next meeting at Huntly and Te Rapa Placemakers speedway on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th February will be the Huntly Door Systems NZ Stock Car Grand Prix plus added to the Saturday night the Huntly Door Systems Waikato Super Stock Championship.