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Track: Palmerston North
Date: Sunday 28 January 2007
Event: 248 Global Challenge for Superstocks
Pictures & reporting by Mike Pollard


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Palmerston North - 28 January 2007
248 Global Challenge for Superstocks
Pictures & reporting by Mike Pollard

An extremely unusual Sunday evening fixture had me wondering what kind of line up would be contesting the 248 Global Challenge. I needn't have worried, as an excellent crowd turned out to watch a grid of first rate drivers who had come from all over the place in an attempt to win the title away from current holder, #5v Darryl Taylor from Wanganui. Two heats and a repercharge for the Kiwis, to decide who joins the overseas drivers in a massive 36 x car, 3 x legged final. The crowd standing in a minutes silence, paying respect to the families of uk#53 John Lund and 53p Kevan Roberts, following thier recent family bereavements.

Heat 1
#53p Kevan Roberts made the initial break, but closely followed by #14n Dale Ewers, #58p Peter Bengston and Brendon Rowlands in the #7b machine. #14n Ewers was quickly up past #53p Roberts for the lead, before he in turn succumbed to the flying #58p Peter Bengston. With qualification upmost, the only hit of note was applied by #14n Ewers on #7b Rowlands, while #61p Gary Trotter eased his way through the field for a second place finish.

1.#58p Peter Bengston 2.#61p Gary Trotter 3.#14n Dale Ewers 4.#5p Bruce Ward 5.#17n Carey Harwood 6.#53p Kevan Roberts

Heat 2
#7r Dayne Wright and Paul Demanser in the #37b car headed the field until #7r Wright eased ahead of #37b Demanser who was left to fight for second with #98p Craig Humphries and #3nz Shane Penn. #6p Wayne Hemi pulled onto the centre after 5 x laps, and as is becoming the norm, took no further part in the meeting. #2nz Peter Rees had a race long battle with his bonnet, which kept flying open before finally becoming detached late on. #3nz Penn looked electric as he carved his way to the front, and managed to open a gap on the rest before race end.

1.#3nz Shane Penn 2.#7r Dayne Wright 3.#37b Paul Demanser 4.#41h Lionel Penn 5.#98p Craig Humphries 6.#19c Malcolm Ngatai

Overseas practice
I arrived too late for the first session, and although not a race, the "results" of the second session show the relative performance of the drivers. World of Outlaw driver and lap record holder, #43usa Ricky Logan surprised once again by being visibly quicker than the Brits, with #231uk Mark Peters still looking particularly ill at ease.

1.#43usa Ricky Logan 2.#33gb Peter Falding 3.#391gb Andy Smith 4.#64gb Kev Smith 5.#231uk Mark Peters

Repercharge
#99v Richard Watkins led only briefly before being passed by #31p Andy McCabe. Last chance qualification saw no heroics, with #31p McCabe being untroubled on his way to the chequered. #45v Stephen Guilford finishing with a badly smoking engine.

1.#31p Andy McCabe 2.#2nz Peter Rees 3.#33p Craig Rolsten 4.#112p Sean Pearson 5.#24p Russell Harrop 6.#66p Tony Whittaker

Final 1
#31p McCabe was first to lead before #64gb Smith charged past, and led for a lap before the reds came out for #98p Humphries. On the restart leader #64gb Smith was painfuly slow to get up to speed, and had dropped down to 5th before getting on the pace. #31p McCabe was still forging a lead out front and being followed by #2nz Rees who was having a great battle with #19c Ngatai ahead of #8p Scott Miers and #33gb Falding who was making great strides as #64gb Smith started to fall backwards through the pack. #2nz Rees lost a place after fencing #391gb Smith when putting a lap on him, and #8p Miers had the speed to move up to second as #33gb Falding mimmicked #64gb Smith and started to go backwards. Another highlight of the race was the drive by the astonishing #43usa Logan, who had a strong finish after recording the second fastest lap of the race. BriSCA ...if you need a yank for the F1 World Final, then Ricky Logan is the man!

1.#31p 2.#8p 3.#2nz 4.#19c 5.#41h 6.#29c .. 11.#33gb ..24.#391gb ..26.#64gb ..28.#231uk

Final 2
#41h Penn and #19c Ngatai raced side by side for the lead for a couple of laps ahead of #14n Ewers.
#41h Penn started to pull out a slight lead from #14n Ewers, leaving #19c Ngatai to fight with #391gb Smith over third. The reds came out on lap 5 to move #86n Jared Gray who was parked on the edge of the turn 1 infield, and to remove debris from the track. #391gb Smith was slow away on the green, and lost a couple of places before being spun by #58p Bengston. Despite doing a quick360, another couple of places were lost. 4 x laps to go, when the reds were out as #7b Rowlands managed to park #14n Ewers on top of the wall. On the green #19c Ngatai shot past #41h Penn for the lead, with the number 1 spot changing hands a couple of times over the final few laps. The lead was decided when #19c Ngatai got it all wrong lapping #33p Rolsten, rolling himself in spectacular fashion. It still was'nt all over, as #58p Bengston switched to overdrive, catching and passing #41h Penn on the last lap.
Some solace in this one for #231uk peters, who at last looked to have his car dialled in.

1.#58p 2.#41h 3.#112p 4.#19c 5.#7r 6.#24b ..8.#391gb ..12.#231uk ..18.#64gb ..dnf.#33gb

Final 3
Going into the last, #41h Penn has a 1pt lead over both #19c Ngatai and #58p Bengston, but #41h Penn and #19c Ngatai start this one from the back, whilst #58p Bengston must have a great chance off the front. Action from the off, as #818s Hill rolled #66p Whittaker, ending the race for both before half the cars had past the green flag. #8p Miers took up the lead ahead of #58p Bengston and #5p Ward as #2nz Rees rolled #7r Wright ending both their nights also, and bringing out the reds for the second time after just 2 x laps. #8p Miers charged ahead again on the green, with #58p Bengston content just to sit behind and grab the trophy. Reds again, as #53 Roberts ends #19c Ngatai's hopes in spectacular fashion by blasting him into the wall at speed. The track crew deciding to use the stoppage to remove the #43usa Logan car from the wall, which had been perched aloft since #56v Podjursky started on the rampage a few laps earlier. #8p Miers realised that if he won the race he would lose the 248 Global Challenge, as he needed to put #58p Bengston out. So on the green #8p Miers waited, but perhaps stood still just a little too long, as both #58p Bengston and #5v Taylor came flying past. #56v Podjursky was hitting anything within striking distance, and put #391gb Smith, amongst others into the wall. #8p Miers failed in his bid to win the 248, as #58p Bengston inched out #5v Taylor in a dramatic finish.

1.#58p 2.#5v 3.#8p 4.#112p 5.#118r 6.#45v ..11.#391gb 12.#64gb ..14.#231uk ..dns.#33gb

An absolute fantastic night's racing from the Superstocks, with #58p Bengston showing great form all night and proving a worthy winnwer, with the best overseas finish coming from #391gb Smith.

Overall
1.#58p 2.#8p 3.#41h 4.#5v 5.#31p 6.#112p ..11.#391gb ..14.#231uk ..16.#64gb ..25.#33gb

Cars racing

Superstocks 41
Jnr Ministocks 32
Snr Ministoks 25
Stockcars 18
Minisprints 11
Derby Cars 10



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