Palmerston North - 10
Panthers v Tigers
Report and pictures by Mike Pollard
The battle of the big cats. The cock o' north v The pride of the south.
Well they dont come much bigger than this. The Palmerston North Panthers up against the
The South Island drivers are a bit of a rarity up north, away from the major champs and
yet I was still very aware of the names #81n Brendon Higgins, #82n Jared Gray and #83n
Mark Ewers who were joined by #84n Carey Harwood in making up the Nelson Tigers and were
unbeaten in 4 x starts this year in teams racing.
The Palmerston team oozed class by way of #8p Scott Miers, #9p Brett Hyslop, #10p Peter
Rees and #66p Tony Whittaker.
Drama just before the start as #83n Mark Ewers and reserve #88n Lance Goodall pull up to
the pit gate to change a flat tyre on the Ewers machine. #10p Peter Rees on pole with #81n
Brendon Higgins alongside. Green flag and Rees storms off the front with Higgins content
to block the remaining field. Rees has built up a useful lead by the time the pack breaks,
which acts as a signal for the mauling to begin as #82n Gray tries to deliver the big hit
on #8p Miers as simultaneously #83n Ewers launches an attack on #66p Whittaker. Lap 3 and
#81n Higgins spied Rees running high and managed to lay a perfect hit on the race leader,
retiring him albeit temporarily to the infield. Higgins immediately had the opportunity to
do the same to #9p Hyslop, but now with a flat tyre choose to overtake instead, giving
Hyslop the perfect opportunity to drill him into the wall! The battered car of Higgins was
now set upon by the even more battered looking car of Whittaker who had most of his front
bumper hanging off as the cars took to the grass. 7 of the 10 laps gone, and #82n Gray was
screaming around the oval, was looking good, and even had time to attempt to see off the
#8p Miers car which had been struggling with a flat since early on. Miers was allmost
overcome as #84n Carey Harwood joined Gray in the battle. Miers did manage to impeed the
progress of Gray late on, but with a couple of laps on the rest of the field this proved
to be little problem for Gray, who took the chequered flag and 5 x straight victories this
year for the Nelson Tigers. #9p Hyslop and #66p Whittaker took no further part in the
#5p Bruce Ward led from start to finish with #18p Graham Peter working his way up to 2nd
from the back, but with 3 x laps to go, and on the #5p Ward back bumper, Peter failed to
deliver the hit that could have given him the win. #10p Peter Rees unusually came off
worst in a battle, this time with visitor #55b Tony True. The highlight of the meeting
however was a spectacular roll from #71p Kim Lace who managed to get sprawled across the
bonnet/nerf rail of #98p Craig Humphries coming out of turn 2, but for some reason kept
the power down and did the inevitable multiple barrel rolls combined with a couple of
flips ..... a perfect 10 from the judges!
1.#5p Bruce Ward 2.#18p Graham Peter 3.#11b Nigel Cooper 4.#61p Gary Trotter 5.#58p Peter
Bengston 6.#97p Graeme Ward
1 x stockcar at the front, with 17 x superstocks behind. Green flag and unbeleivably the
#97p "standard" with a mystery driver at the wheel pulls away from the
superstocks. Half way through and the track is finally coming to the superstocks as they
eventually start to catch the mystery driver who turns out to be Roydon Colingwood making
a welcome return to the contact division. #10p Peter Rees launches a huge hit of
retribution on #55b Tony True only to come off 2nd best yet again!
1.#81n Brendon Higgins 2.#8p Scott Miers 3.#97p Graeme Ward 4.#58p 5.#61p 6.#33p Craig
A superfast race this with only 2 x dnf's .....yep, #55b Tony True and #10p Peter Rees who
"retired" on the 1st lap. #58p Peter Bengston winning from the front.
1.#58p 2.#98p Craig Humphries 3.#72p Simon Joblin 4.#61p 5.#82n Jared Gray 6.#81n
Not a bad meeting, helped in no small part by the superstocks who put on a wonderful show
in both the teams and open races. The lasting memories will be the speed and success of
the Nelson cars together with the spectacular roll of Kim Lace, whilst not forgetting the
fact that a driver with the skill of #10p Peter Rees can be limited to just 2 x laps in 3
x races thanks to #55b Tony True.
Snr Ministocks 24
Jnr Ministocks 18
Boy Racers 14