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NAPIER – FRIDAY 25th March 2005 - EAST COAST CHAMPS
Reporting by Roger Morrison and pictures by Jeremy Savell/Mike Pollard

 

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NAPIER – FRIDAY 25th March 2005 - EAST COAST CHAMPS

Reporting by Roger Morrison and pictures by Jeremy Savell/Mike Pollard

Good Friday saw the running of the East Coast Champs for all classes at Meeanee Speedway. Inclement weather conditions leading up to the day must have made it difficult to prepare the track surface as after the 1st Heat of the Std Stocks the corners began to carve up with big ruts developing off pole line. As the meeting progressed the corners became bumpier and drivers straying from pole line had to hang on for dear life. The track corners aside this was a good meeting with most class champs fought keenly.

A Grade Stocks

The 9 locals were joined by 1NZ Bryce Penn, 71P Kim Lace, 7R Dayne Wright, 515R Stan Hickey in his new "Dolly" & 8A Graham Goldsmith. The 1st Heat was largely uneventful with 65B John Hynd & 8A Goldsmith out early. 1NZ Penn got away & wasn’t touched with 515R Hickey looking good in chasing down 31M Andy McCabe for 2nd. Heat 2 was a stroll for the 515R Hickey machine although 77B Shane Penn pushed hard before getting caught in the ruts at the road bend. In to the last Heat and 515R Hickey had a 1 point lead over 1NZ Penn with 31B McCabe & 77B Penn 3 points back. 515R Hickey was away well in the 3rd Heat until coming to a halt in the road bend wall – either a drive shaft or diff must have given way. Out front 71P Lace was showing good pace from 31B McCabe with 1NZ Penn looking for a good finish to sew up the Champs. 77B Penn came to fiery end with the motor spewing out flames forcing his retirement in the penultimate lap. Driving consistently fast was enough for 1NZ Penn to take the Champs from 31B McCabe & unofficially 71P Lace & 21B Grant Hollyford (in the silver bullet) 3rd equal. Nigel Cooper drove the ex-Brian Musgrove car to complete the Cooper stable.

Standard Stocks

The 21 locals were joined by 31P Gary Davis, 57P Calvin Honore and 63H Erin Harris. 3 great Heats of action with targets being previous Heat winners, previous Champs – 74B Tony Palmer – and anybody high up on the points. Heat 1 was a huge boilover with 64B Beatle Tarrant in the unusual position of running for the flag to gain maximum points. 117B Keith Hingston stayed out of trouble to secure 2nd ahead of 23B Kerry Tong. 52B Regan O’Brien was quickly in to action stirring any one that took his fancy. It didn’t pay to be successful as in Heat 2 64B Tarrant initially tangled with 86B Marty Cooke & then got hammered twice by 24B Jason O’Brien to ruin his title chances. 52B O’Brien was in the wars again. 8B Brett Hollyman emerged as winner ahead of 5B Michael Smith & 117B Hingston. This gave 117B Hingston a 2 point lead over 23B Tong going on to the 3rd heat with 8B Hollyman a further 4 points adrift. The 3rd Heat was carnage with 52B O’Brien quickly taking out 8B Hollyman. Up front every one left 24B O’Brien alone as he finished clear of 74B Palmer & 48B Scott McLachlan. Amongst the many hits going on 117B Hingston managed to nurse the car to a finish to give him the title by 7 points from 23B Tong & 31P Davis. Stockcar racing as it should be.

In the other classes the Dwarfcars title amongst the 8 locals appeared to have been shared by 22B Ross Cocking & 66B Tony Meachen. The Super Saloons and Ltd Saloons joined together for a 17 car field. The Supers went toe to toe with 6B Grant Flynn prevailing ahead of 24W Martin Halcrow who was spectacular on 3 wheels at times. As far as I could make out the Ltd Saloons was shared between 13K Murray Guy, 9P Mike Hermansen & 28W Owen Larsen. The Youth Ministocks field of 28 included the Brocklesby girls from Kihikihi and 24G Nicole Horton but up front it was a remarkable hat-trick of wins for 28W Jason Larsen who blasted his way through the field to win each race by ever increasing margins. 22B Michael Paaymaas was 2nd overall ahead of 32B Bryce Cross. The TQ’s was an open event with no Todds. 4 Gisborne visitors boosted the field to 11. This closely fought title was eventually won by 19B Mark Alexander thanks to a last second lunge for 2nd in the final heat. 39B Glen Dudding was 2nd ahead of 4B James Tollison. The sister cars of 74G Ryan McGregor and 93G Grant McGregor had the misfortune of both barrel rolling out of title contention in the same Heat in separate incidents. The Streetstocks had a small field of 10 local cars with 1NZ Bill Tawler completing a hat-trick of wins to easily take the title ahead of 5B Richard Houston & 72B Darren Melling.

 



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