|PALMERSTON NORTH - SATURDAY 11 DECEMBER 2004
Report and pictures by Mike Pollard
A three way Feature tonight at Palmerston North, the Xmas Summer Sizzler for Ministox, Standard Stox and the Superstox, with extra monies paid to the leader of every lap in the feature.
This obviously grabbed the attention of the drivers with a high turnout in all grades, but especially in the Superstox class with a good representation of drivers from visiting tracks.
Most patrons felt the title was not quite apt as the meeting took place in a bitterly cold wind. They had obviously never been to Buxton, as I thought it was quite warm!
The meeting started with Santas Cash Drop, who hovered over the stadium in a helicopter emptying his sack of redeemable vouchers over an appreciative crowd. One floated its way over the pits which I managed to grab... was it $50 or $100 maybe ... eager anticipation as I looked to see that I had won..
...a hot dog! (Ed's note: Remember Mike its Christmas and its the thought that counts! How many free burgers have you had at UK tracks??!!)
3 heats for the Feature formulas on the usual rotating grid format with a one off Feature race for each, highest point scorers at the front.
After the qualifying heats the Ministox lined up with #88P Andrew Humphries and #81P Andrew McKeeman on the front row. Humphries and McKeeman shot away at the green and had quickly managed to put a half lap on the rest of the field. With 2 laps to go McKeeman tried too hard and spun in his attempt to catch the flying Humphries, leaving #88P to take a flag to flag win (and all the lap money) from a distant #93P Declan Roe with #8P Dean Watts finishing 3rd.
The second feature of the night was for the Standard Stox, which proved to be by far the most entertaining.
The front row consisted of #54P Bevan Humphrey and #94P Brad Lucas. 2nd row comprised #19P Kerry Humphrey and #11P Peter Rees. The usual clutch start and the whole field was pushing hard into the first turn. #54P Bevan Humphrey eager to avoid the big push entered the turn too fast and spun while Rees put a big push on Lucas. In an attempt to avoid the spinning #54P car, #19P Kerry Humphries slowed and ended up in the wall for his trouble. Out of the 2nd turn and the leader was #22P John Taylor!
#54P Bevan Humphrey was trying to make amends for his early spin by battling hard with every car he came near . #97P Graeme Ward, #57P Kelvin Honore and Rees all getting involved with #54 car at some stage! During the carnage #15P Robert Miers led briefly before being passed by #97P Graeme Ward who went on to take the win from #22P John Taylor with #57P Kelvin Honore taking 3rd.
After the 3 heats for the Superstox the points were tallied which meant #77B Shane Penn and #121P Bryce Penn on the front. 2nd row comprised #71P Kim Lace and #591P Wayne Hemi, with #72S Simon Joblin and #58P Peter Bengston making up the third row of the grid.
At the start it was the visitor #77B Penn taking an early lead from hemi, Bryce Penn and Kim Lace. These drivers were keeping station early on, but with the fastest going off the front they were quickly about to lap the backmarkers. hHemi saw his chance and put pressure on Shane Penn just as he was about to lap #6P Gary Parkes, the result was that Hemi was in the lead, Shane Penn was 3rd and Parkes was upside down! The red flags came out for the stricken Parkes. At this point it was Hemi now leading from Lace with Shane Penn in 3rd. On the restart Hemi blasted off in the mega-buck red waka leaving a great dice behind him between Lace and Shane Penn who swapped positions a number of times. #66P Tony Whittaker tried to halt the progress of Hemi on his way past but at the chequered it was Hemi from Lace ahead of Shane Penn.
A good if not spectacular nights racing, but I managed to get a couple of laps around the track in the "Car of the Week" courtesy of the promoter and the track sponsor Robertson Holden........and a free hot dog!
1.#71 kim Lace 2.#18P Graeme Peter 3.#77B Shane Penn 4.#121P Bryce Penn 5.#6P Gary Parkes 6.#98P Craig Humphries 7.#72S Simon Joblin 8.#53P Kevin Roberts
1.#77B 2.#121P 3.#72S 4.#53P 5.#58P Peter Bengston 6.#591P Wayne Hemi 7.#6P 8.#71P
1.#591P 2.#58P 3.#98P 4.#71P 5.#77B 6.#121P 7.#31B Andrew McGobe 8.#18P
Feature - Summer Sizzler
1.#591P 2.#71P 3.#77B 4.#58P 5.#31B 6.#72S 7.#14B Paul Demanser 8.#24P Russell Harrop
Snr Ministox 31
Std Stox 19
Jnr Ministox 13
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