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Mad Butcher Demolition Derby & 3n5 Wallboards Minisprint Series
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Waikaraka Park, December 3rd 2005: 3n5 Wallboards MiniSprint Series Rd 1 & Mad Butcher Demolition Derby #1.

A reasonable crowd turned out on a balmy night to witness quite a good night's racing. The fans went home happy, particular one, Seth Bakewell from Glenfield, he came as a spectator and ended up winning the Mad Butcher Demolition Derby.3Dec_12

Waikaraka Speedway's Demolition Derbies are proving to be very popular with drivers. An initiative a couple of years ago allowed participants to prepare their cars with extra driver safety and have a couple of runs during the meeting in non-contact 'races'. The chance to do some 'dirt-trackin' on the cheap has become very popular and now cars are being specifically prepared for the Jalopy races rather than Demolition Derby. 3Dec_13Also a trend is developing for team cars to be entered. For the latest Demolition Derby the concept of 'team' racing was taken to a new level of professionalism and preparation.

The radio station Rock FM and Hell Pizza sponsored a group of twelve cars. Three of the cars were driven by listeners of Rock FM, one of the cars had a celebrity driver, 3Dec_14Jono, who was doing a TV spot for broadcast on the C4 channel. Another of the cars was prepped as a two-seater.

As fans came into the stadium they could enter their name in a draw, free, to sit in a Volvo two-seater, with the vastly experienced Jason 'Joe 90' Williams in the left-hand seat. The winner of the free draw was Seth Bakewell, who was kitted out in overalls, provided with a crash helmet and belted in for the ride of his life. And what a ride he got! Seth was over the moon just being in the center of the action, but his night ended with an even bigger thrill, 3Dec_15the Mad Butcher Derby came down to just two surviving runners, and Seth and Joe 90 in their two-seater Volvo were battling to be the last mobile runner. A couple of big hits including a head-on with the throttle wide open had the Volvo numbered 90.2 battered both front and rear, but one ramming caused their opponent to burst into flames! Seth Blakewell and Joe 90 had won the Derby, outlasting 80 other cars that had also passed scrutineering on the night.

The 81 field for the Derby was twenty more than the meeting organizers had calculated, and with good numbers in the support classes on the night meant that the pits were near to bursting, only three parking spaces for race cars were left vacant when the pits were closed an hour before the meeting. A Streetstock, a field of 11 Mini Sprints rather than the expected 16 and a Modified field down by four cars on the expected count saved the promotion embarrassment.

The ATV class fronted with 18 competitors (fitted into the pit-space normally occupied by six cars) and provided fast racing that was well received by the crowd. 'Grumbles' Giles got the wins in every race with 3Dec_10Mark Keily getting two seconds and a third on his Honda 450. Mark's father Ross had a second, third and fourth on the night and was the only rider to take a tumble, at the start of the second race he got a blinder and went for a narrow gap next to the wall. In front of him the bikes were stacked across the track four abreast for the standing start, although the bikes on the row in front of Ross Keily on the #51 Yamaha Banchee were a little tardy in getting traction, they were still jostling for track space and the gap by the  wall quickly closed  3Dec_9and Keily Snr was up and over, causing the race to be red lighted and restarted. Top Junior was Daniel Hickman (#97 Honda 300ex) and top woman over the three races Annelise Keily (#19 Honda 300ex). ATV's race all together, off handicaps, Seniors, Juniors and Women and do so without mishaps.

With 175 vehicles in the pits, the expected congestion when the Streetstock and Stockcar classes were programmed to follow each other onto the track did not happen, thanks to the competitors co-operation and both those sections provided some very entertaining racing for the crowd. The Streetstocks had plenty of numbers and revelled in the track conditions provided, even though the SNZ officials took a dim view of the action in the first heat, on a surface that was best described as challengingly slippery, but the fans in the stand thought to be thrill a minute. Through all the contact Bill Peat #45a emerged as the winner. Peat's Valiant then finished second in the next heat, to Shane Walden's Mercedes (# 89a), then third in the feature behind the 12a Holden of Mark McNabb and the #15a Torana of Rock Muscian Dave McIvor. The only casualty of all the action in the Streetstock class was the only visitor, from Rotorua, Micheal Halligan, who needed medical assistance, and a ride to the pits in an ambulance, after belting his arm in the feature.

3Dec_3The Stockcars also needed medical intervention when Peter Hawkins (#63a) got slam dunked against the wall and the safety staff refused to take chances when he mentioned a sore back. Ross Walden walked away from his overturned #108a racer (which carries a 'For Sale' sign) 3Dec_8unaided after being turned turtle by #96a Nick Krisnic. Krisnic was having his return to Stockcars after several years away overseas and joined fellow youthful stirrer CJ Chesnutt as crowd pleasers who thought naught about the chequered flag just in having a 'Stockin' good time' during the races. were plenty of carswilling to 'play' with the stirrers but through it all 'Grunter' Grant Littlewood pushed through the traffic to win the first two heats (he also got the #99a)3Dec_5 through to third in the feature. His first heat win came from grid 19
(27 Stockcars took the green) and his next from Grid Six which proved to be a lucky starting spot all night.

All three Modified races were won from the outside of row three (grid six). Twice Allan Haigh took the chequered and #11a Jamie Fox won the second heat. The #59a had a great set-up and was chasing down the leading Blue Fox car before a right rear went flat and Haigh 3Dec_1was parked on the infield. The Modified section was a little short of numbers as two locals still have blown engines and there were no visitors thanks to the BOP Champs being raced at Rotorua on the same night. The clash, an unfortunate result of two promotion teams not being able to communicate, meant that not 3Dec_7only was the Modified field a few cars short of expected but the Mini Sprints who were having their first round of the 3n5 series had neither of the expected Rotorua based cars in attendance.

The Modifieds went clean and fast on a track that provided two distinct racing lines. Even the cars being lapped looked fast and smooth and there was no contact as the cars raced wheel to wheel and asses were made both on the straights and through the corner. The only crash was when Chris Drube, having his first meeting at Waikaraka of the season. 3Dec_2All by himself got into the wall and went up and over. A replacement wing was mounted on the car and the #33a was back out for the feature. #8a Craig McLeish also went into the wall, but landed back on all four and was able to finish the race.

The 3n5 Wallboards Mini Sprint series was a great show-case for the section in front of a crowd that was more bash-orientated than dilettanti of the skills open wheel racing. The first heat was raced on a smooth but slippery track that favoured the drivers who took the high line, as 3Dec_11did race winner 31a Neville McNabb who held off a last lap challenge from 71k Mark Edwards. The two had started from grids nine and ten in that first race in the nine heat series. Edwards won the third heat and another Kihikihi visitor Adam Cobb took victory in the second heat. There was no damage to race cars caused by crashes over the whole night in the 3n5 Wallboards Series.

Saloons also were programmed on the night. There was a little panel bashing but all survived the incidents to take the chequered flag. The driver who suffered the damage to his car's body was Mustang driver Ross Cresswell (#77k) a visitor who was tee-boned  by a spinning Nevano Cowan. 3Dec_4Wins were shared, victory laps being taken by Aaron Tonks (#43a), Doug Torrey (#48a) and the green cars with blue shining hi-lites in the wheels #58a Gavin Hinsley. Hinsley had come from Grid eight in the Indain File start that was the feature to take his win and add another miniature Chequered flag to his collection. A keeper of a chequered flag is provided at most meetings at Waikaraka Speedway to all who get a victory, some keep the flags, some give it to young fans but Jamie Fox gave his to a thrilled youngster on the back straight after his heat win.

Waikaraka Speedway can be very good, and when the weather Gods co-operate the track is very fair to all and plenty wide enough for good racing in the classes that shouldn't make contact. The contact classes also appreciate a track that doesn't rut up and at the December 3rd meeting all the competitors provided great entertainment for a crowd that went home happy.

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