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Track: Palmerston North
Date: 04 February 2011
Event:
Qualifying Night of the ENZED / Dewtec Superstock Teams Champs 2011

Reporting by Alan Skayman & pictures by Mike Pollard
You can obtain copies of pictures by Mike Pollard at race meetings and by CLICKING HERE


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Palmerston North - 04 February 2011
Qualifying night of the ENZED / Dewtec Superstock Teams Champs 2011
Reporting by Alan Skayman and pictures by Mike Pollard

A wet day greeted Palmerston North for the 30th running of what is probably the greatest Stockcar Championship in the World. In New Zealand they do not run a meeting in the rain and it was almost a miracle and a great deal of hard work by the promoter and his team to get the qualifying night away. After a delay to the start trying to get the track workable it was eventually all go.

The British Lions were back again to have another crack at lifting the title after coming so close last year and so there were great expectations amongst the team and their supporters. The team consisted of Mick Harris 00GB, Frankie Wainman Jnr 01GB, Tom Harris 02GB, Mark Taylor 03GB and Craig Finnikin 04GB, with Chris Brocksopp as reserve driver and Tony Maclanachan back in charge as manager. They were all in borrowed cars apart from Frankie with the loanees being Graeme Barr, Palmerston North speedway, Rob Lintern and Dion Ansty and a big thank you must go to all of them.

Race 1 for the Lions was against the Canterbury Gleaneagles consisting of former 1NZ Malcolm Ngatai, Trevor Mason, Murray Greig, Dennis Andreassend and Matt Ngatai so they were up against some quick cars and a several years experience. For this race Tom had swapped into Micks 00 car andMick was to be the one sitting out. So with the eight cars lined up in position with Canterbury on the inside and it was away with the green flags. From the start Mark Taylor was slowed by the Tank of Andreassend and Craig was through and into the lead. Tom spun the danger car of Malcolm Ngatai which was collected by the 71C car of Trevor Mason. The 01 car of Frankie Wainman was still stationary at the start line due to battery problems so Team GB were now 3 against 4, but Craig was into a commanding lead asCanterbury seemed to be putting all of their efforts into blocking the red, white and blue cars. By half way Craig was still leading despite being half spun by one of the Canterbury cars, with Mark in second. Tom was having a great blocking race holding the Murray Greig car for some time. On the final lap Mark took the 74c Tank of Andreassend who was trying his hardest to block but overall Team GB were just too good and outclassed the opposition on a greasy track. Craig won with Mark second, Malcolm Ngatai third, Tom 4th and Murray Greig 5th. The result was then subsequently changed when Craig was relegated to third for overtaking on the grass. This meant Team GB won by 145 points to 50 and were well in contention to make the top tier on the Finals night.

Race 2 for the Lions was against the Stratford Scrappers and was in complete contrast to the first race. The Stratford Team consisted of 41s Paul Johnson, 42s Phil Ogle, 43s Steve Guilford, 44s Ricky Boulton, 45s Chris Flett. On paper the Lions would have been considered favourites for this one. Mick was again the man sitting this one out. As the eight cars set off Craig was again into the lead followed by the 42 and 41s cars. Craig seemed to slow at one point and both Stratford cars were able to get past and from there very little seemed to happen, with Mark and Frankie chasing Craigs car. Tom was fighting a losing battle trying to stop the 2 flying Stratford cars on his own and Craig couldn’t catch them. On the final lap Tom did manage to slow both of the Stratford lead cars up as he was across the track being pushed sideways down the straight and across the line for a Stratford one two. Final result being Ogle, Johnson, Finnikin, Taylor, Wainman. Meaning Stratford had a 140 points with the Lions getting 55. Everyone was very disappointed, the drivers were absolutely gutted as this had cost them their place in the top tier and meant the best they could now achieve was 3rd place so all was not lost.



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