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Track: Palmerston North
Date: 26 January 2008
Event: Superstock Global Challenge (248's)
Pictures & reporting by Mike Pollard 

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Palmerston North - 26 January 2008
Superstock Global Challenge (248's)
Pictures & reporting by Mike Pollard 

At times the crowd seemed to be half British........Poms were everywhere. In fact the whole evening had a very English feel to it........even down to the pork scratchings.

The event started with a very English; 2 x heats and a consolation, and with little bumperwork; mirrored racing in the UK!

Ht1 (Qualifiers)
1.#7p Shane Penn 2.#19o Malcolm Ngatai 3.#77p Wayne Norris 4.#96b Murray Long 5.#61p Gary Trotter 6.#5p Bruce Ward 7.#15v Morris Doyle 8.#18n Shane Harwood 9.#43p Darryl Hammond 10.#71p Kim Lace

Ht2 (qualifiers)
1.#25v Darryl Taylor 2.#66p Kelvin Gray 3.#114r Bryce Steiner 4.#2nzp Peter Rees 5.#94p Royden Collingwood 6.#16b Steve Jade 7.#24p Russel Harrop 8.#21b Gary Foley 9.#85h Jared Wade 10.#591p Wayne Hemi

Consolation
The remaining chaffe was sorted from the wheat in the consolation; with results going as expected except for the non-qualification of #53p Kevan Roberts.
1.#54w Mike Pye 2.#9p Brett Hyslop 3.#19p Paul Harris 4.#135r Scott Hewson 5.#31p Andy McCabe 6.#98p Craig Humphries 7.#4p Joel Pitcher 8.#45v Steve Guilford

The 28 x qualifiers were joined by the same Overseas entrants from Rotorua; except that #53gb John Lund was in for Neil Scothern and the line up was added to by the inclusion of track record holder and last years' sensation; American Outlaw Ricky Logan driving #46r. The eighth seeded driver being defending champion #58p Peter Bengston, who was hoping to hold on to both World 240 and Global 248 titles for longer than a week!

Global1
#46r Ricky Logan may be one of the best Sprint Car drivers in the world, but he was bloody hopeless at starting a Superstock. Try as he might, the #46r car failed to fire up resulting in #46r Logan watching from the sidelines.
#19o Malcolm Ngatai and #21b Gary Foley shot off the front, but within seconds the UK drivers were in trouble. #425uk Richard Baldwin spun on the first bend, as #53gb John Lund rubbed wheels with #390uk Stu Smith and immediately retired to the infield along with #591p Wayne Hemi. #58p Bengston's hopes were dashed with a spin, as #55r Wainman drew level and then overtook leader #19o Ngatai. Half way through, the reds came out for #77p Wayne Norris who was stranded in the fence, but also for #2nzp Peter Rees who was sent barrel rolling down the straight by #425uk Baldwin, who was hitting everyone and everything in sight, including his fellow Brits.

1.#55r Frankie Wainman 2.#19o 3.#21b 4.#31p 5.#66p 6.#5p ..... 13#390uk Stu Smith 14#h29 Dirk Greidanus ..16#33gb Peter Falding .. 25.#425uk Richard Baldwin.

Global2
#114r Bryce Steiner required the 3 x minute bell, as did #2nxp Rees, following the attack from Baldwin.
On the green, #53gb Lund shot off the front, chased by #46r Logan. the reds were out within 1/2 lap, as #31p Andy McCabe was sent on a wild roll, courtesy of #21b Gary Foley. Out front #53gb Lund was being chased hard by #66p Gray and #2nzp Rees, until #2nzp Rees got a flat, leaving #9p Brett Hyslop and #390uk Stu Smith to argue for third. #66p Gray and #9p Hyslop moved ahead of #53gb Lund before the reds came out for a huge tangle of cars involving; #85h Jared Wade, #58p Bengston and #7p Shane Penn. #66p Gray still led, but #53gb Lund was back up to 2nd just ahead of #390uk Smith in 3rd. In the dying laps, #66p Gray hesitated when he came accross a lap down #h29 Greidanus and #425uk Baldwin, and slowed enough for #53gb Lund to nip through for another UK win.

1.#53gb 2.#66p 3.#390uk 4.#55r 5.#25v 6.#19o ....12.#33gb ...18#425uk

Global3
Going into the last #55r Wainman had had a 2pt lead over #66p Gray, with #19o Ngatai a point back in 3rd.
The early 1-2-3 read; #96b Murray Long, #33gb Falding and #24p Harrop, but things soon changed, as #96b Long was sent crashing into the wall, and #24p Harrop was turned around by #114r Steiner. up front it now read; #71p Kim Lace from #33gb Falding and #114r Steiner until the reds came on to retreive the #96b Long car. On the green #19o Ngatai got a flyer as #33gb Falding was spun by #114r Steiner. The usual chaos of heat3 had started to develop, and tracking the leaders became impossible as cars were parking up on the turns, waiting to take someone out, as the bumpers started flying, and hits going in anywhere and everywhere. #85h Jared Wade slowed to a crawl, and waited for #55r Wainman. #425uk Baldwin stuck to #85h Wades bumper, and effectively blocked from behind! #85h Wade was waving #425uk Baldwin through like bad, but #425uk Baldwin was having none of it. #2nzp Rees was aiming to take out #66p Gray, and got in a couple of hits but failed to immobilise, before turning his attentions to #135r Hewson. #58p Bengston was blocking #19o Ngatai, before #66p Gray delivered a huge hit to #390uk Stu Smith. #85h Wade was looking for #55r Wainman again, #55r Wainman saw it coming, and hesitated just long enough for #85h Wade to deliver the hit and pin #55r Wainman to the wall. #390uk Stu Smith took another solid hit, this time from #21b Foley, as #425uk Baldwin saw #55r Wainman's predicament, and drove down the track, delivering a massive "head on" to #85h Wade and releasing #55r Wainman from the wall. #55r Wainman blasted round for the last few laps, with bumpers still going in everywhere. the results announced as:

1.#71p 2.#591p 3.#94p 4.#390uk 5.#66p 6.#114r ...9.#55r .. 11.#46r ..14.#33gb 15.#53gb

Overall
1.#66p 2.#55r 3.#390uk 4.#19o 5.#71p 6.#114r ..12.#33gb ..14.#53gb ..22.#425uk 24.#46r 25.#h29

A superb win for the enigmatic Kelvin Gray, who seems to make a habit of coming out of retirement and winning big meetings (last raced 12 months ago, when he won the Manawatu title). But also a fabulous night for the Brits; with Wainman just missing out on the title, and joined on the podium by Stu Smith on his first trip down under. Lund taking a race win, and Falding finishing all 3 x races. However, for entertainment value, it was hard to look past Baldwin who despite being Scottish (according to the Promotion!) dedicated his performance to Rochdale .....personally I think he was just after my scratchings!

Cars racing

49 Superstocks
39 Snr Ministocks
33 Jnr Ministocks
8 Sprintcars



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