Palmerston North - 31
World War 3: Tanks Teams Race
Pictures and reporting by Mike Pollard
I've never really understood when someone says
that they suddenly felt all alone. that was until i found myself wandering through the
Palmerston pits, and suddenly realising that it was like the Marie Celeste, even the cars
on the dummy grid had been abandoned! Hello and welcome to Palmerston for World War 3:
Tank Teams race.
The brainchild of Superstock personality #13b "Mad" Marty Brandt sees the first
ever team of tanks take on New Zealand's finest team racers in the "Tank
Commanders" v "Team New Zealand"
Tank Teams Race
12 months in planning as the Tank Commander team picked itself, but a national public vote
was required to see who would represent team NZ. The votes were in and it was a truly
exceptional side that took to the track in this long anticipated event. #2nz Peter Rees,
#6p Wayne Hemi, #9p Shane Penn and #14n Dale Ewers led by #13b Marty Brandt lined out for
Team NZ, whilst the Tanks were piloted by the real hard men of the sport; #8p Scott Miers,
#38r Ross Ashby, #56v Kerry Podjursky and 'Wainman Slayer' #85h Jared Wade.
The dream of #13b Marty Brandt turned into a personal nightmare as he was denied a place
on the grid as his car started billowing smoke and had to retire on the warm up lap. On
the green it looked like it was going to be a walkover for team NZ, as #6p Hemi led team
mates #14n Ewers and #9p Penn out of the opening turns and immediately started to open a
gap over the Tanks. #6p Hemi circulated smoothly and put a couple of laps on the board
before being well nailed by #38r Ashby. However, the huge hit seemed to affect #38r Ashby
worse, as the Tank become immobile for a few laps before setting off again as if nothing
had happened. In any event, it was still very much advantage to team NZ, as #14n Ewers
took over at the front, until he punctured, handing the lead back to the recovered #6p
Hemi. After 10 x laps of 15, the reds came out for a wheel gate that was lying on the
track. A quick dna test showed it to belong to #56v Podjursky, who was sent to the
infield, at which point it looked like the Tank challenge was over. However, Messrs #8p
Miers, #38r Ashby and #85h Wade had other ideas, and conspired to thwart the efforts of
team NZ. The remaining Tank Commanders were holding their own, but still had to contend
with leader #6p Hemi who was laps ahead and about to take the white flag. A hit from #8p
Miers sent #6p Hemi careering up the wall, but failed to stop the leaders progress. Last
lap, and one last chance for the Tanks, as #8p Miers connects again with #6p Hemi, this
time doing it properly, sending #6p Hemi rolling down the back straight and landing on his
roof. Amazingly the Tanks were back in it, and it was left to #85h Jared Wade to run the
last few laps whilst in the lead position. Last lap for #85h Wade, but #14n Ewers was
parked up in waiting just before the finish line, and #2nz Rees was on the #85h Wade back
bumper albeit many laps down. A last shove from #2nz Rees, saw the #85h Wade Tank
catapalted into the #14n Ewers car, but the #85h Wade machine rebounded and crossed the
line backwards, expiring just beyond the finish line. a truly remarkable finish to a truly
remarkable race. "Novelty" events such as this, rarely live up to the hype, but
this one exceeded all expectations and is surely set to become an annual classic.
1.#85h Jared Wade - Tank Commanders
#9p Brett Hyslop was first to show ahead of #31p Andy McCabe, as #7p Peter Bengston was
turning round #98p Craig Humphries, who managed a quick 360 without losing too much time.
At the front the leaders were joined by #5p Bruce Ward and #24p Russel Harrop, who were
scything a way through the pack. A terrific scrap developed at the front between #5p Ward
and #24p Harrop after they managed to drop #31p McCabe, with the lead changing hands a
couple of times before #24p Harrop seemingly found an extra gear.
1.#24p Russel Harrop 2.#5p Bruce Ward 3.#31p Andy McCabe 4.#24b Gary Foley 5.#7p Peter
Bengston 6.#9p Brett Hyslop
#7p Peter Bengston was the early leader, and opened a small gap ahead of #9p Shane Penn
and #5p Bruce Ward. #5p Ward was running hot again, as he first overcame #9p Penn and then
reeled in and passed #7p Bengston for the lead. The inadequacies of the so-called national
numbering system showed itself as #5p Ward led from #7p (normally #58p) Bengston, #9p
(normally #7p) Penn, #9p Brett Hyslop, #59b Tony True (the 6th driver to my knowledge to
race as #59b this season) and #6p (normally #591p) Wayne Hemi. One of the #9p's in the
race; #9p Hyslop (not #9p Penn) losing ground late on after being spun.
1.#5p 2.#7p 3.#9p Shane Penn 4.#818s Chris Hill 5.#24p 6.#43p Darryl Hammond
All in (all-in)
#6p Wayne Hemi led after lap 1, just a short distance ahead of #5p Bruce Ward. #31p Andy
McCabe had a wild wide down the back straight amid a gaggle of cars jostling for position,
and ended up sideways on half way down the straight. next lap, and the leading snake of
cars exits turn 2, with the "belly" of the snake getting closer to the stricken
#31p McCabe car, until the inevitable happens, and it's #98p Craig Humphries who finds
himself at the widest point of the snake and with nowhere to go, except crashing into the
#31p McCabe car with a sickening thud, sending both cars flying, with the rolling car of
#98p Humphies being hit mid-roll by #88p Dean Watts who had no time at all to avoid the
melee. The red lights came on to find all three drivers relatively unscathed after a truly
On the green a battle royale developed between the lead three, with #24p Harrop getting up
for 2nd at the death, but all x 3 seperated by less than a second at the chequered.
1.#6p Wayne Hemi 2.#24p 3.#5p 4.#7p (Bengston) 5.#7p (Penn) 6.#9p (Hyslop)
A special mention goes to #43v Shane Beech of Wanganui who, despite being outnumbered by
22-1 by Palmerston cars, took on the guise of a WW2 kamikaze pilot (presumably to earn
himself a drive in WW4!), simply became a one man demolition job, as he drove at full pace
into anything that came near. Despite being "seen to" a number of times, the guy
just came back for more and at one point had 'em queueing up behind ..... a la #8p Miers.
A standing ovation from those near the pit-gate as #43v Beech waited to exit the track,
being testament to the guys performance.
Jnr Ministocks 28
Snr Ministocks 24