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Track: Palmerston North
Date: Saturday 14 October 2006
Event: Grand Opening of 2006/07 Season
Pictures & reporting by Mike Pollard


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Palmerston North - 14 October 2006
Grand Opening of 2006/07 Season
Pictures & reporting by Mike Pollard

It took an age for the parade lap, as the pits were chock full with cars, and then all of a sudden season 06snz07 roared ino life on a newly laid track on a damp evening in Palmerston North.

The surface started out slippy, but by the end of the evening, the fastest lap ever, in the stadiums' 75 year history had been set at under 14 seconds*

The big talking point over the winter had been Palmerstons' decision to run the Mini-Sprints (a stepping stone to the sprint cars, which had been intoduced the previous year).
A reasonable x 8 turned out for the formula's 1st ever meeting at Palmy, and showed they were quicker than the Superstocks and only about 2 seconds behind the mighty Sprint Cars.

Superstocks
Heat 1
#4p Joel Pitcher and #66p Tony Whittaker were first to show, before #66p Whittaker fell back and # 98p Craig Humphries and # 58p Peter Bengston moved up to chase #4p Pitcher. This race heralded the arrival of the brand new tank, of New Zealands' living legend #8p Scott Miers. the #8p machine looking exactly like the car he debuted last season. Deja vu here, as once again Miers ran mid pack, testing the car's speed, before testing it's strength by launching it at the unfortunate #53 Kevan Roberts, who had already been tested by #10 Peter Rees. Before the chequered, #98p Humphries hooked up losing a place to #58p Bengston, who could only look at #4p Pitcher in the distance, whilst #8p Miers, again tested his cars strength by testing it out on er...... #53p Roberts again!

1.#4p Joel Pitcher 2.#58p Peter Bengston 3.#98p Craig Humphries 4.#71p Kim Lace 5.#96b Murray Long 6.#66p Tony Whittaker

Heat 2
First out of the pack, was #71p Kim Lace ahead of #96b Murray Long and #112p Sean Pearson. behind these, #66p Tony Whittaker was quickly up past #58p Peter Bengston and #98p Craig Humphries before dropping back and beyond just as quickly. the track was bedding in nicely, and #71p Lace ran away to a fine victory.

1.#71p 2.#96b 3.#112p Sean Pearson 4.#4p 5.#58p 6.#98p

Feature
#58p Peter Bengston was the early leader, from #8p Scott Miers and #112p Sean Pearson in tow. With the track in record shape, this was fast and then it got faster. #8p Miers got it wrong on turn 4 mid way through the race, which resulted in a trip to the grass, heaps of places lost, and then a search and destroy mission, wlth the target being #53p Kevan Roberts! A great battle was developing behind #58p Bengston for 2nd, between #112p Pearson and #71p Kim Lace, with all three close at the line, with #58p Bengston just ahead of the nights top points scorer #71p Kim Lace.

1.#58p 2.#71p 3.#112p 4.#96b 5.#4p 6.#98p

Sprint Cars
#66p Skinny Colson showed his class by winning heat 1 before becoming the fastest ever at Palmerston with a lap time below 14 seconds, recording a 13.9987* despite finishing in only 6th spot in heat 2.
In the feature, #66p Colson was electric. He simply blasted off the front, and by lap 4, had set a time of 13.8341* almost half a second quicker than Colin Entwistle two seasons previous, and could no doubt have gone quicker if not hampered by the rest of the field!

* to be ratified

Cars Racing

Snr Ministocks 34
Stockcars 27
Jnr Ministocks 26
Superstocks 14
Sprintcars 9
Mini-Sprints 8



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