A large crowd enjoyed sensational racing as a massive field of 54 Superstocks, 57 Stockcars supported by two groups of Sidecars and Youth Ministocks as well as Minisprints and Super Saloons roared into action at the opening meeting of Robertson Holden International Speedway. In fact in total 197 competitors turned out to race which is a record for opening night at the Palmerston North track.
With the new pit area still under construction cars were parked in two separate area’s adjacent to Waldergrave Street and behind the grandstand on the Oakley Street end. Any concerns about the temporary arrangement were soon put to rest as the meeting flowed faultlessly.
The evening may have been overcast but it was a night full of stars including the likes of Tarrant, Rees, Joblin, Bengston and Steiner to name just a few. Many Superstock competitors came from as far afield as Auckland, Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Stratford and all parts in between.
The track crew were put to the test all night with fence poles being bent as old scores were settled and new ones begun. The experience of the infield staff meant delays were minimal and gaps between the action were short.
After a thrilling battle with local favourite Jordan Dare it was Kihikihi competitor Benji Sneddon who snared victory in the winner take all final of the opening round of the Lucas Oil Superstock Series with Gisborne driver Jamie Hamilton completing the podium.
There were plenty of crashes all night long with new comer to the Superstock ranks Seth Hodge being put into turn one in spectacular fashion by William Humphries who was menacing all night. Another new comer to Superstock racing Stu Sowry showed his Sidecar and Stockcar experience and performed well in his first hit out.
The Quin Buildings Super Saloon Showdown Series round one was taken out by Hawkes Bay driver Steve Flynn ahead of Mick Quin and Joe Ingram from Stratford. Mick Quin had his radical USA made car dialled in and drove away from the rest to win the feature by half a lap, but it was Flynn who was rewarded with his consistency in amassing enough points over the lead up races to secure the overall win.
The Sidecars provided close racing with the radical BMW S 1000 RR powered machine of Handbag and Sturge showing glimpses of its true potential. Such was the power of the rig that a clutch was shredded in the first race will holding a commanding lead. Many racers looked like they’d never had an off season as the throttle found the stopper from the first flag.
There was plenty of biff in the Stockcars with Hamish McLeod and David Lowe, who also raced his Superstock impressing.
Max Lowe had a great start to the season in his self-built Youth Ministock as did Marshall Zachan and Kurtis Tinetti
Minisprints provided the first roll over of the season in the opening race with another large field of racers coming from all parts of the North Island.
Group One – Heat One: 581p Jordan Dare, 44p Brendan Sharland, 127g Ethan Rees, 471k Benji Sneddon, 591p Wayne Hemi, 136v Maddie Wise – Fastest Lap: 127g – 17.9729
Group Two – Heat One: 126k Asher Rees, 10g Peter Rees, 3nzp Scott Joblin, 9g Jamie Hamilton, 166b Hayden Hart, 1nzb Randal Tarrant – Fastest Lap: 9g – 17.7892
Group One – Heat Two: 127g, 34p Rebecca Barr, 581p, 21p Cody Hodge, 58p Peter Bengston, 471k – Fastest Lap: 58p – 18.3272
Group Two – Heat Two: 9g, 10g, 3nzp, 126k, 351r Paul Vazey, 28s Blair Uhlenberg – Fastest Lap: 126k – 18.1622
Feature: 471k, 581p, 9g, 46b Quinn Ryan, 28s, 58p – Fastest Lap: 471k – 18.1498
Heat One: 5b Steve Flynn, 27s Joe Ingram, 23p Mick Quin, 2nzb Grant Flynn, 8s Craig Korff, 95b Grahame Strong
Heat Two: 2nzb, 5b, 95b, 33b Chace Rodda, 23p, 27s – Fastest Lap: 23p – 16.3994
Heat Three: 23p, 5b, 8s, 33b, 27s – Fastest Lap: 23p – 16.3483
Group One – Race One: 9w Bryce Jensen, 172p Daniel Burmeister, 79p Kyle Rowe, 29g James Clarke, 75p Katie Prescott, 212v Blair Reeves-Smith – Fastest Lap: 79p – 19.5227
Group Two – Race One: 82p Roydon Winstanley, 667p Hamish McLeod, 26v Kaelin Mooney, 72p Tony Norman, 722p David Lowe, 278p Kyle Taylor – Fastest Lap: 722p – 19.4198
Group One – Race Two: 29g, 96b Brandon Symes, 5b Regan Penn, 669p Brendon Tye, 11k Ben Ellis, 75p – Fastest Lap: 75p – 20.5290
Group Two – Race Two: 76p Cameron Renwick, 278p, 72p, 667p, 722p, 34p Rob Mason – Fastest Lap: 76p – 19.5447
Race One: 18s Daniel Nickel, 72h Elliot Heron, 97s Campbell Stewart, 53v Dylan Smith, 97p Jordan McLeod, 82s Cameron Hurley – Fastest Lap: 97s – 15.5540
Race Two: 38s Donald Kuriger, 85s Brad Uhlenberg, 8p Nathan Jefferies, 1nzp Shane Dewar, 28s Karl Uhlenberg, 82s
Group One – Race One: 5p Kieran Payne & Mikey O'Neill, 96p Mark Whye & Jacob Cooper, 8p Rob Miller & James Gerrard
Group Two – Race One: 21p Glen Murray & Ann Plummer, 7p Matt Stewart & Dean Harding, 17p Tony Hislop & Aidan Foothead, 84p Jimmy Hotton & Nick Dunne, 11p David Miller & Jade Winter
Group One – Race Two: 19v John Hannan & Nigel Sturgeon, 11p, 17p, 84p
Group Two – Race Two: 5p, 21p, 7p, 8p, 96p
Group One – Race One: 72b Bailey Smith, 212r Terrence Dorrell, 55b Asha Penn, 77p Kurtis Tinetti, 99b Jacob Buckrell, 81b Keegan Bunce – Fastest Lap: 72b – 20.3265
Group Two – Race One: 78b Blake Barraclough, 68p Wade Bengston, 16w Levi Pou, 25k Jake Belk, 454r Jessie Henderson, 55p Max Lowe – Fastest Lap: 16w – 20.2787
Group One – Race Two: 4b Zach Hatton, 56v Trent James, 94w Ethan Donohue, 48p Josh Mulcahy, 99b, 72b – Fastest Lap: 72b – 19.9632
Group Two – Race Two: 16w, 98b Deegan Butcher, 94b Cameron Houston, 18b Jeremy Brown, 78b, 454r – Fastest Lap: 16w – 20.2577