A large crowd was on hand to witness a hometown victory for Jamie Larsen in the New Zealand Sprintcar Champs on Saturday night at the Robertson Holden International Speedway. A pair of Superstock teams races, in anticipation of the upcoming ENZED Teams Champs, topped off the programme.
PN PartsWorld New Zealand Sprintcar Champs
Jamie Larsen was a cut above the rest of the field, capturing his second national Sprintcar title to add to that won in Ruapuna three years ago. Larsen did not have it all his own way in a classy field of the country’s best, pushed all the way by Michael Pickens and Rodney Wood in particular.
The suggestion of smashfest on a one-lane track did not eventuate, with a surface that offered plenty out wide all night. Larsen took full advantage of this right from his first heat, when he drove to an impressive victory through utilising a wide line, at times bumping the concrete wall.
After an early roll by 59c Caleb Baughan, the 30-lap final went without further stoppage as Larsen got the perfect start and expertly picked his way through the backmarkers to a thrilling victory ahead of Pickens and Wood.
Superstock Teams Races
Both home teams lost a car early in their races, which saw victories for the Stratford Scrappers over the Manawatu Mustangs, and the Wanganui Warriors over the Palmerston North Panthers.
An inexperienced Mustangs side lost 38p Zane Dykstra early, caught up in the wire ropes in turn one. The Scrappers were too organised from there, outclassing the Mustangs despite the best efforts of 71p Shane Mellsop.
The Panthers suffered a similar fate against the Warriors. 599p Ron Tye pulled off early with mechanical issues, and without the cool head of 58p Peter Bengston who was reserve for the race, the Panthers were outmuscled by an aggressive Wanganui team. 23v Scott Duncan and 4v Chad Ace were particularly destructive in a pleasing display for Warriors fans.
Local selectors have plenty to ponder ahead of the big show in early February. 94p William Humphries didn’t diminish his reputation, but others will need to show more in the next few weeks to lock down their places.
Group One - Heat One: 84p Dean Cooper, 19c Jamie Duff, 22a Dean Brindle, 95c Ray Baughan, 16t Mathew Anderson, 3nza Michael Pickens - Fastest Lap: 19c - 13.9639
Group Two - Heat One: 2nzp Jamie Larsen, 59c Caleb Baughan, 5a Daniel Rogers, 88m Keaton Dahm, 51m Rodney Wood, 8p Paul Donovan - Fastest Lap: 2nzp - 13.7051
Group One - Heat Two: 3nza, 7usa Craig Dollansky, 46e Paddy North, 28p Tony Uhlenberg, 21w Stephen Taylor, 57n Connor Rangi - Fastest Lap: 7usa - 13.8158
Group Two - Heat Two: 51m, 78a Daniel Eggerton, 18p Greg Pickerill, 88m, 2nzp, 35a Rob Vazey - Fastest Lap: 51m - 14.3170
Final: 2nzp, 3nza, 51m, 19c, 22a, 88m - Fastest Lap: 3nza - 13.9852
Scrappers v Mustangs: 37s Shane Denham, 84s Hayden Barker, 71p Shane Mellsop, 28s Blair Uhlenberg, 33s Logan Sharpe, 28p Ricky Dykstra
Warriors v Panthers: 81v Max Holloway, 136v Maddie Wise, 34p Rebecca Barr, 4v Chad Ace, 23v Scott Duncan, 591p Wayne Hemi
Race One: 471k Benji Sneddon, 599p Ron Tye, 28s Blair Uhlenberg, 136v Maddie Wise, 41s Scott Williams, 81v Max Holloway - Fastest Lap: 471k - 18.3424
Race Two: 58p Peter Bengston, 591p Wayne Hemi, 581p Jordan Dare, 471k, 661p Bryn Liddell, 4v Chad Ace - Fastest Lap: 58p - 18.2644
Race One: 278p Kyle Taylor, 18p Luke Healey, 84p Matt Webb, 72p Tony Norman, 135p Jaden Hall, 882p Brandon Jurgeleit - Fastest Lap: 7s - 19.7115
Race Two: 79p Kyle Rowe, 76p Cameron Renwick, 135p, 33v Trazarn Ryland-Annabell, 18p, 55p Andrew Carroll - Fastest Lap: 138s - 19.7037
Feature: 34p Rob Mason, 76p, 18p, 72p, 138s Anthony Lewis, 45p Aaron Watson - Fastest Lap: 97p - 20.1932
Race One: 77p Kurtis Tinetti, 68p Wade Bengston, 56v Trent James, 21p Cody Hodge, 12p Seth Hodge, 6b Tylar Flynn
Race Two: 21p, 56n Cambell McManaway, 12p, 6b, 32s Liam Whelan, 25k Jake Belk - Fastest Lap: 21p - 20.1158