Event Calendar
<May 2006>
Speedway Spectacular
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A fine night greeted a good field of racers, even with
so much happening all over the country. A cheerful
crowd in good numbers settled down for some high
revving action including a unique format from the
solos called an olympiad made up of 5 closely placed
races with the first race being a scratch race. The
winner was then placed at the rear of the front
straight, second just in front and so on, with the
last placed rider starting on pole. A very fair and
exciting promotion which livened up even the most anti
solo fan.
The solos were back with their regular sponsor
Ssangyong motor vehicles,although ELF oils had put up
the funds to run the olympiad and it went down to the
wire. Including two new riders on the night, Steve
(Grandad) Etches and Barry (the bomber) Free, a field
of 6 made for some very fast races. One advantage of
the 2nd-5th race format, was the lack of spills in the
first corner although the odd fall was always
After 4 of the 5 races, Filip Siteraz from the Czech
Republic and the pom the Kiwis have adopted Jason (Bad
boy) Bunyan were tied for points (15) with Daniele
Tessari from Italy one point further back on 14. This
clearly meant,whoever won the last race,was pretty
much assured the winner of the olympiad and that is
just what happened with Jason Bunyan taking the last
race in a very polished performance. He was awarded a
handsome trophy, and was interviewed whilst receiving
a generous ovation from all around the ground on
parade in the back of the Ssangyong 4x4 ute.

On 4 wheels, and with more cylinders, the other
classes also had their ups and downs

The Saloons were the first of the 4 wheel brigrade
onto the clay and started with a field of 9 cars.
Three races ended with 3 different winners, no sign of
single domination here, but those 3 were in a class of
their own. First victory went to Veteran Peter Kuhn in
the Croydon Wholesalers Corvette, then Gavin Hinsley
stamped his authority on the fast drying track, then
Ray Walker in a very good display of determination and
consistency. These three all shared the podium on all
three occasions. Sadly the one near disaster on the
night for the Saloons, was a wild ride for Aaron Tonks
(43a) out of turn 4 when the car appeared to brake a
main rear bar dropping the suspension and giving him
no front end grip at all. What followed was a ride
along the wall that would have done a stock car teams
race proud. His night was over, hopefully he can
secure required parts and funds to fix the car in the
short term, good to see a smile still on his face.

The modifieds were short and sweet, no reflection of
the drivers that turned up, rather the low numbers
with many away at Baypark, it was good to have any
wings arrive at all. 19r Scott Lane and 36a Phil
Crumpe went out and took part in some 2x2 races to
make it interesting, Lane handicapping himself on the
last race, extended to 6 laps and storming past the
fast improving Crumpe to record a clean sweep of wins,
smashing the modified lap record in the process. 59a
Alan Haigh's record of 15.04 secs recorded in Feb
2005, now slaughtered to a 14.46 in obviously
favourable track conditions.

The Ministox arrived in a 14 car group, and all in
excellent condition as usual, a credit to the teams.
What is exciting to see here, is the level of
sponsorship being awarded to the young up and comers,
reflecting the faith, corporates are putting in this
still newish class and speedway in general to get a
business return for the money spent. Like any form of
advertising, all sponsors love to know their money is
getting them a return. Results in this class belonged
to a large pool of talent, again, three races and
three different winners shared out between Shane Allen
(8a), Steve Fox (64a) and the feature race going to
the foreigner, Rotorua's David Rumney (72r) in a
display of very fast lines and controlled driving.
Bruce Petherick needs a sympathy mention after a soft
roll onto the side in turn 2 during the second race.
He showed his grit by staying in the car, starting it
in a cloud of smoke, and after a very quick inspection
on track, was cleared to continue racing, well done.

Super Saloons were out in pleasing numbers. We were
given quality and reasonable quantity in the field,
Graeme Andrews (98a) all fired up by his performance
in the Red Dragon, Doug Torrey (6a) spurred on by all
the bogans in the Westie Bogan Racing team, a classic
bunch of hard cases this lot, and Shane McInteer in
his slime painted (99a) meaning business. There was a
tongue twister here, with (26a) Shane McIntyre doing
well, names got partly confused. Might need some
nick-names here.
The very sweet sounding super's had their elbows out
but some very good races including the Saloons
(formerly called Limited Saloons) included in the
feature race for some top pace racing. Mcinteer (99a)
won the first two races, Torrey (6a) won the feature
and two 2nd's with Shane McIntyre (26a) two 3rd's and
a 2nd in the feature.

23 Super Stocks fronted a week out from the Mad
Butcher New Zealand Super Stock Championship next week
here at Waikaraka Park to contest the second round of
the $15,000 super stock series. It was hard to get
much info from the drivers regarding strategy on the
night, most keeping their cards to their chest and
saying very little. South Islanders Mark Osborne (16c)
and Dale Ewers (14n) out for a little R and D prior to
the Nationals. Very serious competitors obviously,
also Rotorua, Huntly and Wanganui represented.
Suprisingly not too much damage over the course of the
night, although it is touch and go whether (36r) Kevin
Free re-numbered (38r) for the night will survive
suspected engine problems from the first race in his
3.8 litre 4 CYL grunta. A 460 ford V8 engine cut in
half and built as a marine engine. Race one went to
Huntly's Lionel Penn (41h), Graham Goldsmith (8a) led
from start to finish in race 2 with Penn finishing 5th
for some good points. Series leader from December Stan
Hickey (515r) still recording top 10 results to keeps
the points rolling in, driving conservatively by his
standards, his maturity showing. Clearly many drivers
getting some track time in and using the night as a
set up night, all aiming to finish. That said, race 3
was frantic, a brilliant pace, (75a) Dave Tennant
tried everything to catch eventual feature winner
Christchurch's Mark Osborne (16c), the mainlander
making the Auckland Veteran and ex- National champ
drive the wheels off his machine to even stay within
sight of the flying super stock. All seemed to get
what they were after from the night's racing which
finished early by Waikaraka standards (9.50pm)
although the crowd seemed in good spirits, lots of
visitors in the pits once finished.

That was a taste of things to come for next weekend,
well over 70 Super Stocks expected for the Nats with
qualifying on Saturday night along with the Ssangyong
International Motorcycle speedway series round 15 and
the Huapai Tavern Sidecar Invitation expected to mix
up the action on the track.

Sunday will have the Mad Butcher New Zealand Super
Stock Championship and also the second round of the
3n5 Mini Sprint series should prove some top
excitement. Either way, much paint will be swapped,
and a few steel bits guarantee to be bent, see you
next there !!

A big thanks to Mike Howe for the review.
Photos by Ian Abrahams.

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