|PALMERSTON NORTH - MONDAY 27 DECEMBER 2004
Report and pictures by Mike Pollard
27-12-04 So impressed was I by the Saloons at Wellingon the previous evening, I decided to drive past my local track (Wanganui) who were staging the West Coast Sidecar Champs, and visit Palmerston North who were staging round 2 of the Telstra clear Limited Saloon Champs.
I think I made the right choice as the crowd witnessed some excellent Saloon racing from the North Island's top drivers.
Same format as the night before.... 3 x heats on a rotating grid format with a Super 6 Dash for the Cash to finish.
The buzz from the first round in Wellington the night before suggested #48M Phil Towgood was the man to watch. He certainly didn't disappoint in the first race, showing the field a clean pair of heels to win comfortably from #28W Owen Larsen with #21H Steve Williams close behind in third.
#4S Ash Cook led from green to chequered with most of the excitement being provided by #5M Brent McClymont and #48M Towgood working their way cleanly and intelligently though the field from rearward grids without trading any fibreglass for 2nd and 3rd places.
After the points were added up from the 2 x heats the charts showed Towgood with a 3 point lead over Larsen with Brent McClymont a point further back in third.
Towgood was starting in mid-pack and needed only to overtake a couple of cars to win the round. Half way through the race he was up to 4th and right on the bumper of Steve Williams. Lap after lap Towgood tried to pull alongside on the inside, but each time Williams managed to nose ahead. Onto the last lap and Towgood switched line and tried to pass on the outside. the 2 x cars made contact and Towgood was sent into the wall and out of the race! Meanwhile McClymont was repeating his performance from the race before, but this time even better by taking the win from #9P Mike Hermansen with #42w allen jacob in 3rd.
After the points were totalled #5M Brent McClymont was declared the winner 2 points ahead of #42W Allen Jacob with #28W Owen Larsen a further 2 points back in 3rd.
Ironically had towgood settled for 4th place in the last race it would have been enough to secure him overall victory!
Super 6 Dash for the Cash
Sadly Towgood was not able to repair his car in time to make the grid after putting on an excellent display all night, so we had a fab 5 race instead! McClymont just underlined his skill and speed on the Palmerston North surface by winning the top five Dash for Cash from the rear of the field, Passing all of the next four fastest cars on the night. Overall the racing was superb from the Saloons who put on a great display for the crowd who included someone with a BSCDA cap!
In the Superstox it was a fabulous night for #61P Garry Trotter who took wins in both the heats and was the first Superstock home in the feature, crossing the line in 2nd behind the very quick Std Stock of Robert Miers.
1. #61P Garry Trotter 2. #121P Bryce Penn 3. #31B Aandy McCabe 4. #4P Joel Pitcher 5. #112P Shaun Pearson 6. #21B Nigel Cooper
1. #61P 2. #58P Peter Bengston 3. #121P 4. #98P Craig Humphries 5. #53P Kevin Roberts 6. #6P Gary Parkes
Feature (all in)
1. #15P Robert Miers (Std) 2. #61P 3. #53P 4. #77P Wayne Norris (Std) 5. #121p 6. #37B Brendon Rowlands 7. #72S Simon Joblin 8. #31B
Grand Slam (all in)
1. #112P 2. #24P Russell Harrop 3. #72S 4. #37B 5. #121P 6. #19P Paul Harris
Snr Ministox 25
Std Stox 17
Jnr Ministox 11
NB: The second photo is of Mike's wife Andrea who UK fans may recall could be regularly spotted at stock car meetings reading a novel to fill in the gaps between races!
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