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Track: Rotorua
Date: Saturday 20 January 2007
Event: 21st Annual World Invitation Superstock Champs - Finals
Pictures & reporting by Mike Pollard


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Rotorua - 20 January 2007
21st Annual World Invitation Superstock Champs - Finals

Pictures & reporting by Mike Pollard

21st Annual World Invitation Superstock Champs - Finals

The marching girls were back to provide the pre-race entertainment, but pretty soon they were given their marching orders and making way for the racing!

Practice
#231uk Mark Peters was given a few laps on his own, to get the car something like. With no one else on track it was difficult to be certain, but #231uk Peters looked to be moving quicker than he had in yesterday's practice sessions.

Repecharge
Non-qualifiers, lined up in points scoring order (fastest at the front), with the first two home to qualify for the World 240.
The loser in last night's run-off; #28h Glen Drabble was on the front, but there was no sign of NZ's #1 ranked driver .... #515r Stan Hickey, who's shunting from the previous night causing too much damage to the car for it to contest a World Champs, leaving Stan to drive the water truck.
On the off, #16c Mark Osborne shot into the space vacated by #515r Hickey, and together with #28h Drabble started to eke out a lead over #45v Steve Guilford and #99r Mark Decke, who in turn were begining to put distance on #19c Malcolm Ngatai and #33h Callum McLeod. In a fast race with the fastest at the front the field slowly became strung out with most cars holding position. The big exception was #19c Ngatai who stormed through the grid finishing second to clubmate #16c Osborne.

1.#16c Mark Osborne 2.#19c Malcolm Ngatai

Finals

Heat 1
18 x qualifiers from Fridays proceedings, 5 x Brits, 2 x from the Repecharge, and yet 26 x cars rumbled out to do battle. I was looking for defending World 240 champ and newly installed #1nz Simon Joblin, who had missed qualifying due to injury, but there was no sign of him. I may have missed an announcemount, but either way somebody managed to "sneak" onto the world grid.

The drivers were paraded to the crowd, and with the minimum of fuss the 2007 World 240 was underway. #391uk Andy Smith had drawn ouside front row for the first and shot off hard into turn 1 going wide through turn 2 and allowing heaps of cars to shoot past up the inside. As #391uk Smith (and others) joined the back straight, the funnelling effect caused a huge pile-up, claiming #8p Scott Miers and the Brits #218uk Derek Fairhurst and #138r Dave Willis. On the restart #14n Dale Ewers, #3nz Shane Penn and #55r Frankie Wainman Jnr headed the field. In a furiously fast race, positions remained largely unchanged except for #94r Roydon Collingwood who stormed through the field for a place on the leaderboard.

1.#14n Dale Ewers 2.#3nz Shane Penn 3.#55r Frankie Wainman Jnr 4.#96h Scott Redfern 5.#391uk Andy Smith 6.#94p Roydon Collingwood ....18.#231uk Mark Peters

Heat 2
Brit Dave Willis driving the #138r car was missing from the grid and reported to be on his way to hospital with leg lacerations. What a trip! .. you travel half way round the world to do less than half a lap and end up in hospital .... get well soon Dave. #218uk Fairhurst struggled to make the grid, and needed the two minute bell to finish repairs to the front end. #55r Wainman was soon into the lead after the green and putting distance over #19c Ngatai and #7r Dayne Wright who were battling over second. #391uk Smith was getting loads of traction exiting the turns, and making up good ground on the field by nipping up the inside. #55r Wainmans progress was impeded slightly by #8p Miers, who was forced onto the grass, and then caused a few Pom's to have their hearts in their mouths when he decided to rejoin right in front of #55r Wainman a lap later. #55r Wainman shrugging off the challenge and storming round to the win.

1.#55r 2.#19c Malcolm Ngatai 3.#337r Darcy Hunter 4.#7r Dayne Wright 5.#3nz 6.#192r Kyle Fraser 7.#391uk ....20.#231uk

Heat 3
A quick tally of the points reveal #55r Wainman leading by 3 x points over #3nz Penn and then a gap of another 5 x points back to #14n Ewers and #391uk Smith, with Rotorua drivers absent from the leader board. As #16c Osborne took the 2 minute bell, the field formed with the top four drivers occupying the last five spots on the grid. #5v Darryl Taylor led at the off, fighting off the attentions of #96h Redfern and #58p pPeter Bengston. 2 x laps in, and the carnage started as #2nz Peter Rees ended the hopes of #391uk Smith by blasting him into the wall, with bits of car dropping off all over the place. #55r Wainman was always going to feel the heat in this one, with seemingly half the field having a pop at sometime or other. First up was Wainman slayer #85h Jared Wade who was now piloting a tank and managed to turn #55r Wainman round. The hits were going in all over the place, and the race was begining to take on legendary status. #16a Aaron Headington got it all wrong entering turn three and ended up on his roof, but the action was such that the officials once again made their mark on this event by failing to spot the upturned car and even had the commentator blasting those responsible (more of him later), calling it the worst piece of officiating he had seen as cars swerved to avoid the upturned #16a Headington. On the restart #192r Fraser failed to move and the cars were once again brought to a halt. #55r Wainman was being targeted by heaps of cars, but #218uk Fairhurst knew what was required and baulked and harried #3nz Penn whenever he could, before he himself slammed into the wall. The commentator (who was excellent) was informing the crowd who would be the winner "if it were to end now" and constantly kept the crowd updated as to who was leading the race as well as the championship. As the cars set off again, we were informed that #58p Bengston was leading the race and #3nz Penn was leading the points for the title. #55r Wainman was circulating with a flat and front end damage following all the attacks he had encountered and was looking beaten until #3nz received a huge hit slowing him considerably. With 3/4 of a lap to go the commentator announced that "if it ended now" #55r Wainman would be the 240 World Champion! No sooner had the words come over the tannoy, than #62r Neville Stanaway slammed leader #58p Bengston into the wall, ending his race. Unfortunately, #55r Wainman got caught up in the manoeuvre, and with considerable damage was unable to limp home, while #3nz Penn did exactly that, finishing down in 8th, but enough to give him the 240 crown.

1.#16c Mark Osborne 2.#94p 3.#5v Darryl Taylor 4.#66r Steve Hampton 5.#14n 6.#7r

Overall
1.#3nz 2.#14n =3.#55r =3.#94p

Run-off
#94p Collingwood's car was unfit to take part handing the final podium spot to #55r Wainman

A series of consolation races for the non-qualifiers produced the following results:

Race 1
1.#5r 2.#52r 3.#75r 4.#8r 5.#33h 6.#29c

Race 2
1.#75a 2.#52r 3.#9p 4.#45v 5.#23h 6.#29c

Race 3
1.#5r 2.#99r 3.#9p 4.#52r 5.#24h 6.#23h

Cars racing
Superstocks 43
Ministocks 36
Stockcars 32
Saloons 13
Modifieds 2



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