Date: 27 February 2011
West Coast Stox
Reporting by Roger Morrison & pictures by
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Waganui - 27
West Coast Stox
Reporting by Roger Morrison and pictures by Mike Pollard
Wanganui drivers managed to use their
numerical superiority (just) to claim the top podium at the West Coast
Stockcar Champs at Oceanview Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Alan Levien had
to survive a torrid third heat and then a run-off to pick up a hard-earned
title. Despite limping across the line in the third heat, Levien had enough
time to repair the damage and out-point his Vulcans team-mate Hilton Parker
in the run-off to collect the first place ribbon. West Coast Stockcar Champs
With the 27 cars in the pits it was a mouth-watering prospect as to how the
afternoon would pan out in front of the small crowd. Given the meager
line-up of Superstockswho turned up, Peter Rees would have cursed his luck
and regretted not putting the Stockcar in the bus. 15 Wanganui cars pitted
against 12 visitors (Palmerston North - 9, Stratford - 2, Wellington - 1)
and we had natural battle lines drawn. A couple of locals were making their
first appearance at Oceanview with Sam Doyle in the ex-Shonn Black car and
74V Don Mailman making his home debut.
There were some early casualties with both 89V Blair Lockett and 21V Dylan
Brockway coasting to a standstill. Wanganui cars were however prominent with
15V Kyle Heibner showing good pace to wear down 34P Rob Mason. Following
Heibner across the finish line eventually were 46V Alan Levien (who had made
up a lot of ground) and 321V Hilton Parker. 97P Graham Ward made up a ton of
ground in recording the fastest lap time at 17.8991 sec ahead of Levien and
Heibner (the only three cars to record a sub-18sec lap).
Blair Lockett made up for the disappointment in the first heat by recording
the easiest of wins. However behind him the battle lines were being drawn as
52V Francis Potaka and 63V Shane Joseph started paying attention to the
progress of the Palmerston North cars - particularly Ward and 258P Neville
Harrod. Heibner again impressed as he made up valuable places to finish
ahead of 99P Ron Tye and Levien.
The recipe was therefore set for the final push with the Wanganui trio of
Heibner, Levien and Parker on top with Ward, Tye & Mason still within
shouting distance. But the simple equation was that the Palmerston North
contingent would have to eliminate the Wanganui threat to change the
position at the top of the table.
Levien was the best placed on the final grid 4 rows back with Heibner in
behind him while Parker was off the back. The first corner had cars spearing
in all directions with Heibner coming in for plenty of attention - the young
tyro still in trouble four laps later and losing ground. As the laps
progressed it was hard to know where to look with the likes of 33P Brad
Powell and 669P Brendon Tye taking on the Wanganui front-runners whenever
they could. Now normally 99P Ron Tye would be the go to man to create havoc
but he found himself in the unusual position of racing for the title as the
green car negotiated the mayhem. Ward was also pushing hard and with 2 laps
to go he pounded Levien heavily in to the wall in turn one leaving the front
right of the 46V worse for wear. But half a lap later Ward tried to pass
229S Kylee Symes who seized the chance to launch the 97P car in to orbit in
turn 3. This slowed the Palmerston North flyer. Levien in the meantime was
having trouble getting to the finish while Heibner's title tilt ended as he
was held in turn one by Powell. The chequered flag fell on Tye as he
negotiated a blockade of cars at the finish to scrape in ahead of 24V Wayne
Wright. Only two other cars finished all 10 laps - Mason and Parker (who had
managed to avoid terminal interference). With Levien limping across the
line, it earned him enough points to draw level with Parker ahead of Tye who
was in the rare heady heights of gaining a 3rd placed podium in a
Levien was able to complete the repairs to make the run-off with Parker.
Drawing the inside marble Levien got the drop with Parker in pursuit. Parker
missed the chance to nail Levien at the end of the first lap then spun in
the 2nd. He waited for the Levien in the 3rd lap but the 46V pilot nudged
him aside and carried on for the toughest of victories.
Wellington Top 10 Holiday Park put up $1,000.00 for the last race in the
Superstocks with $50.00 per lap in front (10 laps) and another $500.00 to
the winner. One would have thought this would have attracted a few more
takers from the leftovers from the North Island Superstocks in Palmerston
North but obviously this wasn't the case as only 4 cars fronted - 3NZ Peter
Rees, 45S Stephen Guilford, 23V Scott Duncan and 6V Dion Mooney (in the
borrowed 6K Ryan Johnson car). As you would expect, Rees dominated although
Mooney slowed him enough to see him out of the winners circle in the 2nd
race. But in the final, it was one way traffic for Rees although Guilford
did have a crack at the maestro before drifting infield with gremlins under
Race One: 1. 3NZ Peter Rees. 2. 45S Stephen Guilford. 3. 6V Dion Mooney. 4.
23V Scott Duncan. Fastest lap 3NZ 17.2393 sec.
Race Two: 1. 45S. 2. 23V. 3. 3NZ. Fastest lap 3NZ 17.0882 sec.
Shootout: 1. 3NZ. 2. 6V. 3. 23V. Fastest lap 3NZ 17.8586 sec
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