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Track: Wanganui
Date: 13 February 2011
Event:
Vulcans vs Pumas

Reporting by Roger Morrison & pictures by Mike Pollard
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Waganui - 13 February 2011
Vulcans vs Pumas
Reporting  by Roger Morrison and pictures by Mike Pollard

Talented Palmerston North youngster Jordan Dare has done more than a few laps around Oceanview Speedway in his fledging career. Those circuits in a Ministock came back to pay dividends on Sunday when he headed home a dominant Palmerston North Pumas line-up to take the Roger Love Memorial Trophy. He then followed that up with a remarkable display to take the highly sort after George Podjursky Memorial for stockcars and Superstocks
Palmerston North Pumas v Wanganui Vulcans

After many years left gathering dust it was great to see the Roger Love Memorial Trophy re-emerge on a sun-baked Oceanview Speedway on Sunday. There is a commitment to ensuring the trophy will be competed for annually between the near neighbours in either the stockcar or Superstock class.

Kicked off by the stockcar class, it made for an impressive sight to see the two teams lined up on the grass in the middle of the arena. For the locals it was almost like a change of the guard with the team very much leaning on the experience of the likes of Hilton Parker and Justin Cunningham. The rest of the team had that raw feel about it with first year stockcar drivers in the shape of Dylan Brockway & Kyle Heibner supported by relative newcomers in Shane Joseph and Aaron Musgrove. No Dion Mooney. No Alan Levien. While the Pumas were sans-Peter Rees, there was still an ominous feel about them with the likes of Graeme Ward, Gary Davis, Ron Tye & Alec Wilson all experienced teamsters backed up by the talented Jordan Dare & Josh Prentice.

Ward started on pole with Cunningham alongside him. The usual mayhem erupted from flagfall with Cunningham standing on the anchors. Ward got the jump on Musgrove and set off at a frantic pace. Parker was the first to have a crack at Ward but the Pumas front-runner slipped the noose. As the laps wore down it seemed that the Vulcans would miss their man but on lap 7 young Heibner and Joseph succeeded in planting Ward high up the wall in turn 3. This left Musgrove in the lead with Dare chasing hard. Ominously for the locals Musgrove had been left alone on the pace with at least four Puma cars on his tail. The inevitable happened on the 10th lap (of 12) when Musgrove was delayed enough to allow Dare and Prentice through in to the lead, which they kept until the chequered flag. The final outcome looked dominant on paper with Musgrove (in 3rd) the only Vulcan amongst the top 5 place-getters with only 3 "V" cars crossing the line. All 6 Puma cars finished.

George Podjursky Memorial

Once the dust had settled and the sledgehammer had done its' work the surviving Pumas & Vulcans lined up on the grid for the George Podjursky Memorial Trophy. Originally carded as a 15 lap race, the influx of cars forced the powers-that-be to have a re-think with the result being a standard 3 heat points accumulation championship. With 37 cars logged for the grid, it was going to be a busy afternoon. And although a few cars did not make it that far, there were still 24 stockcars and 8 superstocks gridded for the first heat.

Heat One


It was a mad dash on the green with the stockcars to the fore swamping their big cousins by sheer weight of numbers. 71W Benji Sneddon has previously impressed at Wanganui in both his Ministock and now rapid stockcar and he was soon dicing for the lead with Jordan Dare. These two managed to avoid the carnage behind them, including 4W Josh Kahui impressively putting the tank of Palmerston North's Graeme Munn up the wall in turn 3. The Superstock contingent were struggling with only Palmerston North's Jamie Potts and Hawkes Bay's S J Cavell amongst the top 10. At the chequered flag, Sneddon was comfortably in front of Dare having passed a few Superstocks on his way to victory. But the referees held sway with a ruling that they made at the start of the meeting that if any car did not have a transponder then they would not be included in the results. And unfortunately for Sneddon that was the case. By the start of Heat Two he had sourced a transponder but the damage had already been done.

Heat Two


27 cars made it out for the second stanza. This was more of a flag race with Graeme Ward planting the foot to hold off the hard charging Antony Cooper who had picked up the drive of the Darryl Taylor Superstock. Dare had edged his way up to 5th placing to leave him in a strong position for the final push.

On the night the points were read out as per the printouts but it took an intervention from stand-in class rep Allan Buxton (Ramjam to Macgors users) to point out that the Superstocks had an issue. The points earned in the first heat were not carried forward in to their overall total so a mad re-hash of points had to be constructed. With the benefit of hindsight it saw the Stockcars in a dominant position with Dare on 70 points, Jay Knight on 67, Blair Lockett 65 and Gary Davis 64. S J Cavell was the best of the Superstocks on 62 & Antony Cooper on 61.

Heat Three

It took three starts to get this heat going. 4W Josh Kahui jumped the start on the first try, which relegated him to the rear of the field (although he chose to sit out proceedings in the middle). The second effort only lasted half a lap when a red light saw mass migration of cars under the red lights. With no completed lap stats to work off the unusual decision was made for another re-start. Third time lucky and Antony Cooper needed no further invitations to romp away for a comfortable win ahead of Wellington's Shane Davis and Ales Wilson. The race itself was a continual battle between anything with a "P" on the door and the rest. Dare rode his luck (and the walls) to force his way up to 6th place thanks to the black bodied Puma cars.

The quick manual count of the points had Dare on top with Cooper 4 points adrift. The Puma influence was evident with Wilson and Davis filling the next two placings. The likes of Dare, Prentice, Darrel Wallace and William Humphries points to the Palmerston North future being secure for many years to come with such a talented base of youngsters.

 



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