West Coast Superstock Champs
10 November 2012
Reporting by Roger Morrison and pictures by Mike Pollard
Speedway played host to the 2012-13 version of the West Coast Superstock &
Sidecar Champs on Saturday 10th November. Taking advantage of a rare gap in
the Palmerston North calendar, the Club opted for a Saturday evening
meeting, which spared the preparation crew the headache of keeping moisture
in the track that is normally associated with Sunday afternoon gatherings.
They got a bit excited though as the stockcars in the first race just about
ran out of fuel as they endured 12 laps of slipping and sliding in the muddy
goo. Once 15 min had been spent packing down the wet spots the surface
flattened out superbly, which was reflected in some of the lap times posted
during the evening. The fair-sized crowd in attendance had to hunker down as
a cold wind buffeted Landguard Bluff but those that endured saw some quality
West Coast Superstocks
The local ranks received a boost when Bob Smith signed on to drive the
recently purchased 51V Doyle car. Smith has legendary status in Wanganui
(and nationally for that matter) and he will need all that experience to
preserve his 60 years plus frame. 5V Darryl Taylor, 99V Richard Watkins, 25V
Carl Burns and 23V Scott Duncan rounded out the local contingent. Duncan was
making his first appearance following the installation of a new motor.
Palmerston North were able to supply 2NZ Kerry Humphrey, 32P Graeme Barr, 4P
Chad Ace and 28P Ricky Dykstra while 29B Paul Demanser made the journey over
from Meeanee. So while the numbers were not stellar there was a fair bit of
quality about the line-up.
Barr drew first blood when he jumped away in the first heat to never be
headed. As the 12 laps wound down it was obvious that Humphrey was well &
truly dialed in as he lowered his lap times down to a rapid 16.7 sec, which
was less than 0.5 sec outside the record. It was daylight back to Taylor in
3rd with only Watkins and Burns on the same lap as the leader.
Heat two was more of the same as it became and out and out drag race between
Humphrey and Barr with the 2NZ eventually being triumphant. Smith had made
his way through from the back row to sit in 3rd but 10 sec down on the
leaders. So after two heats it was Humphrey & Barr tied on points with
Watkins a distant 3rd.
Although with only a 10 car grid, Humphrey did have an advantage going in to
the 3rd heat with a 3 marble against Barr off 10. This was erased in the
first 50m as Humphrey got a slow start. Duncan had jumped off the front and
was holding his own well. Barr knew he had to strike early and he threw the
car sideways at Humphrey exiting turn 4 but the 2NZ car escaped to set off
in pursuit of Duncan. The Wanganui man was having trouble getting through
the turns smoothly and eventually got it wrong in lap 8 handing the lead to
Humphrey. Barr tried as hard as he could to bridge the gap including
throwing in a 16.4 sec lap but Humphrey kept it smooth and fast to cross
first for the West Coast title. His 29 points being one ahead of Barr with
Watkins back in 3rd on 19.