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Rotorua - Friday 14 January 2005
World Invitation Stockcar Champs - Qualifying

Report and pictures by Mike Pollard

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Rotorua - Friday 14 January 2005
World Invitation Stockcar Champs - Qualifying

Report and pictures by Mike Pollard

Friday night qualifying for the Official World 240 Champs saw a slightly disappointing 41 Kiwis
turn out (defending champion #6P Gary Parkes deciding not to defend his title) all trying for one
of the 21 places available in the Finals, where they would join British drivers: Richard Baldwin,
Chris Brocksopp, Ivan Pritchard and Frankie Wainman Jnr, together with the Australian Dean Hawkins,
who had all been seeded through to the Saturday night Finals.

The format saw the drivers split into 3 qualifying groups (red, blue, green) with the top 6 from
each gaining qualification. Saturday would see a Last Chance Repercharge race with the top 3 going
through to make a 26 car Championship grid.

Heat 1
#271H Blair Neal was away like the proverbial but had trouble lapping the #6R car of Don Catchpole
which allowed the new #NZ1 Bryce Penn to close. Both cars raced side by side for the final laps,
crossing the finish line together in a photo finish, with the result going to Neal by a matter of
inches.

Heat 2
#52R Mike Herbert was the 1st to show, but was quickly caught and passed by #81H Geoff James who
went on to take the win.

Heat 3
Same story in ths one except it was #46P Kelvin Gray who led for a lap before being overtaken by #
337R Darcy Junter who charged home.

Heat 4
The best race of the night saw #6R Xatchpole lead for a lap before #59B Tony True led for 2 laps
before being caught and passed by #515R Stan Hickey who was spun by #1NZ Penn who was almost
immediately walled by #58P Peter Bengston. At this point the red lights came on for True who had
already found himself in the wall. On the restart it was #196N Keith McCabe who took the lead and
held on for a great win.

Heat 5
The Tab (Tote) favourite #62M Neville Stanaway simply showed why he was favourite by pulling away
at the start for a sizeable win.

Heat 6
#98P Craig Humphries showed good form but was then passed by the storming #337 Hunter who went on
to make it 2 wins from 2 starts.

Heat 7
#515R Stan Hickey found it easy from the front despite problems lapping the #6R Catchpole car and
even with a flat tyre, managed to win the race by some distance.

Heat 8
Fuel problems saw #4R Neil McCoard take the 3 minute bell, but was able to make the grid, and led
for 3 laps after catching early leader #28H Glenn Drabble. however, #77B Shane Penn showed his form
by overtaking him for the win.

Heat 9
#38M Ross Ashby led for a lap before #84N Dale Ewers drove past and eventually took the win. This
race saw the biggest hit of the night as the former NZ Champ #46 Kelvin Hray simply blasted #181M
Les Meszaros into the wall, who was left with only 2 wheels on the track while Penn held him there
until the white flag, which saw Penn release his hold and storm round for a point finish. Perhaps
he released meszaros a little too early as Meszaros drove off the wall and also managed to pass the
chequered for a points finish before the red lights came on.

Hot Laps
The overseas drivers had 3 opportunities to practice amongst themselves, with Wainman looking
extremely fast, Brocksopp looking very fast and Baldwin and Pritchard looking closely matched with
both drivers using the bumper on each other in an attempt to be the third ranked overseas driver.
The Australian Dean Hawkins looked totally outclassed.

Red Group

Heat 1
1.#271H Blair Neal 2.#1NZ Bryce Penn 3.#18H Bryce Steiner 4.#515R Stan Hickey 5.#196N Keith McCabe
6.#59B Tony True

Heat 2
1.#196N 2,#82S Dave Tennant 3.#58P Peter Bengston 4.#1NZ 5.#18H 6.#271H

Heat 3
1.#515R 2.#82S 3.#18H 4.#1NZ 5.#58P 6.#196N

Blue Group

Heat 1
1.#81H Geoff James 2.#77B Shane Penn 3.#4R Neil McCoard 4.#62M Neville Stanaway 5.#3NZ Brendon
Rowlands 6.#28H Glenn Drabble

Heat 2
1.#62M 2.#77B 3.#4R 4.#3NZ 5.#72S Simon Joblin 6.#81H

Heat 3
1.#77B 2.#4R 3.#72S 4.#62M 5.#81H 6.#28H

Green Group

Heat 1
1.#337R Darcy Hunter 2.#46P Kelvin Grey 3.#84N Dale Ewers 4.#135R Scott Hewson 5.#98P Craig
Humphries 6.#181M Les Meszaros

Heat 2
1.#337R 2.#98P 3.#31B Andy McCabe 4.#84N 5.#135R 6.#96H Scott Redfern

Heat 3
1.#84N 2.#337R 3.#96H 4.#98P 5.#135R 6.#87K Ryan Johnson

Cars racing:
Superstox 41+5 overseas
Ministox 24
Saloons 17
Street Stox 13



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