Palmerston North -
Saturday 22 January 2005
New World 248 Stockcar Spectacular
Report and pictures by Mike Pollard
A good crowd turnout, who witnessed a great
meeting, including some of the best Superstock racing seen all season!
31 x Kiwis, 3 x Brits and a Dutchman taking to the track over the 3 x heat rotating grid
championship format to decide the winner of the new World 248 Champs.
#53GB John Lund in a very English looking car (maybe it was the Kramar signwork), who has
never shown his true form down under, looked the quickest I have ever seen him in New
Zealand. Close on his heels was #338UK Chris Brocksopp who was now getting used to the
Kerry Remnant car. Not far off the pace of these 2 was surprise package #29D Ronald van
del Hadelkamp whilst #1GB Peter Falding looked decidely uncomfortable!
Drama before the start as the Peter Falding crew worked overtime to repair a collapsed
wheel bearing. If this was the reason for his slow practice sessions then the Kiwis hoping
to take the 248 Champs could well have a very strong overseas contingent to contend with.
The first heat of a Championship is usually a quiet, racey affair, but with 35 cars on
track there was action from the start. At the green it was #79N Brendon Higgins who was
1st to lead, whilst the 1st to come to grief was #52P Gary Hayes who came into trouble
amongst a gaggle of cars on the backstraight.
Into the 2nd lap and more trouble as a number of cars were retired including John Lund who
stuttered to a halt in a smoking car just making it to the centre green. Lundy was to take
no further part in the meeting, the trouble being later diagnosed as a split steering box.
Meanwhile at the front #1NZ Bryce Penn had taken up the running at about the same time the
reds were thrown for a driver who was in the wall. It could have been #66P Tony Whittaker.
2 laps later and the reds were out again for attention to Russell Harrop #24P who had
crashed into the stricken Lund car in a nasty looking incident. at the chequered it was
Bryce Penn ahead of the charging #591P Wayne Hemi with Higgins taking third.
A measure of the race, was that of the 35 x starters only 17 were left mobile at the
This time it was #58P Peter Bengston who was 1st to lead from the front, whilst Hemi
managed to spin it on the 1st lap. Into the 2nd and the reds were out for #16P Brian
Parfitt who had found himself in the wall. Into the race and #8W Dave Ashkettle spun and
stalled on the backstraight, and looked to be in a precarious position. Sure enough 2 x
laps later and the car was collected by both Gary Hayes and #6P Gary Parkes which brought
out the reds again. During all this Chris Brocksopp kept working his way through the field
only to encounter problems and fall back again. At one point Brocksopp was as high as 4th
but also as low as 11th. At the flag it was still Bengston who had led from the start
ahead of #53P Kevin Roberts and #14N Dale Ewers. Falding finishing in 6th (up from 30th)
with Brocksopp showing in 8th.
Because of the large numbers racing and the rotational grid throwing up a new set of names
up front, the cumulative points showed it was very close at the top, with 5 points
seperating the top 6 drivers.
1.#14N Dale Ewers 62pts 2.#58P Peter Bengston 61pts 3.#79N Brendon Higgins 60pts 4.#591P
Wayne Hemi 59pts 5.#1GB Peter Falding 58pts 6.#NZ1 Bryce Penn 57pts
Of the top contenders it was hemi who had the best grid draw for the deciding heat.
#17N Carey Harwood was slow off the front leaving it to #72S Simon Joblin to lead them
on lap 2 #10P Peter Rees effectivley ended the British hopes by putting Falding well away
into the wall which neccesitated the red flags. On the restart the Hemi machine burst into
life accelerating past Joblin for the lead. Mid way through the race saw Dale Ewers send
Peter Bengston into the fence, and whilst riding the wall Bengston managed to roll Peter
Rees! 2 x laps later and all chances of a British podium place were ended when #53P Kevin
Roberts sent Brocksopp into the wall. Hemi took the white flag and was set for victory
until #52P Gary Hayes squeezed him against the wall on the last lap. Hemi recovered to
spin Hayes on the 3rd bend, only for Hayes to put it into reverse and slam Hemi into the
fence on the home straight. Hhis delayed Hemi long enough for Joblin, who had always been
in touch, to take the win ahead of #71P Kim Lace with Hemi recovering for third.
The points were tallied which showed Hemi to be a clear winner of the new World 248 Champs
ahead of Bryce Penn with Kim Lace making the podium in 3rd. 11th and 12th were Brocksopp
and Falding with van del Hadelkamp finishing 22nd overall thanks to his 8th placing in the
1.#1NZ Bryce Penn 2.#591P Wayne Hemi 3.#79N Brendon Higgins 4.#71P Kim Lace 5.#61P Garry
Trotter 6.#10P Peter Rees
1.#58P Peter Bengston 2.#53P Kevin Roberts 3.#14N Dale Ewers 4.#5P Bruce Ward 5.#72S Simon
Joblin 6.#1GB Peter Falding
1.#72S 2.#71P 3.#591P 4.#1NZ 5.#5P 6.#55S Antony o'Hanlon
Snr Ministox 31
Jnr Ministox 18
Std Stox 18
Manfield cars 9 (circuit racers)
Solos 5 (demo)