Rotorua - Friday 14 January
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
turn out (defending champion #6P Gary Parkes deciding not to defend his title) all trying
of the 21 places available in the Finals, where they would join British drivers: Richard
Chris Brocksopp, Ivan Pritchard and Frankie Wainman Jnr, together with the Australian Dean
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
each gaining qualification. Saturday would see a Last Chance Repercharge race with the top
through to make a 26 car Championship grid.
#271H Blair Neal was away like the proverbial but had trouble lapping the #6R car of Don
which allowed the new #NZ1 Bryce Penn to close. Both cars raced side by side for the final
crossing the finish line together in a photo finish, with the result going to Neal by a
#52R Mike Herbert was the 1st to show, but was quickly caught and passed by #81H Geoff
went on to take the win.
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.
The best race of the night saw #6R Xatchpole lead for a lap before #59B Tony True led for
before being caught and passed by #515R Stan Hickey who was spun by #1NZ Penn who was
immediately walled by #58P Peter Bengston. At this point the red lights came on for True
already found himself in the wall. On the restart it was #196N Keith McCabe who took the
held on for a great win.
The Tab (Tote) favourite #62M Neville Stanaway simply showed why he was favourite by
at the start for a sizeable win.
#98P Craig Humphries showed good form but was then passed by the storming #337 Hunter who
to make it 2 wins from 2 starts.
#515R Stan Hickey found it easy from the front despite problems lapping the #6R Catchpole
even with a flat tyre, managed to win the race by some distance.
Fuel problems saw #4R Neil McCoard take the 3 minute bell, but was able to make the grid,
for 3 laps after catching early leader #28H Glenn Drabble. however, #77B Shane Penn showed
by overtaking him for the win.
#38M Ross Ashby led for a lap before #84N Dale Ewers drove past and eventually took the
race saw the biggest hit of the night as the former NZ Champ #46 Kelvin Hray simply
Les Meszaros into the wall, who was left with only 2 wheels on the track while Penn held
until the white flag, which saw Penn release his hold and storm round for a point finish.
he released meszaros a little too early as Meszaros drove off the wall and also managed to
chequered for a points finish before the red lights came on.
The overseas drivers had 3 opportunities to practice amongst themselves, with Wainman
extremely fast, Brocksopp looking very fast and Baldwin and Pritchard looking closely
both drivers using the bumper on each other in an attempt to be the third ranked overseas
The Australian Dean Hawkins looked totally outclassed.
1.#271H Blair Neal 2.#1NZ Bryce Penn 3.#18H Bryce Steiner 4.#515R Stan Hickey 5.#196N
6.#59B Tony True
1.#196N 2,#82S Dave Tennant 3.#58P Peter Bengston 4.#1NZ 5.#18H 6.#271H
1.#515R 2.#82S 3.#18H 4.#1NZ 5.#58P 6.#196N
1.#81H Geoff James 2.#77B Shane Penn 3.#4R Neil McCoard 4.#62M Neville Stanaway 5.#3NZ
Rowlands 6.#28H Glenn Drabble
1.#62M 2.#77B 3.#4R 4.#3NZ 5.#72S Simon Joblin 6.#81H
1.#77B 2.#4R 3.#72S 4.#62M 5.#81H 6.#28H
1.#337R Darcy Hunter 2.#46P Kelvin Grey 3.#84N Dale Ewers 4.#135R Scott Hewson 5.#98P
Humphries 6.#181M Les Meszaros
1.#337R 2.#98P 3.#31B Andy McCabe 4.#84N 5.#135R 6.#96H Scott Redfern
1.#84N 2.#337R 3.#96H 4.#98P 5.#135R 6.#87K Ryan Johnson
Superstox 41+5 overseas
Street Stox 13