The hopes and dreams of winning the 2021 ENZED Superstock Teams Champs have been dashed for 9 teams, with an action packed qualifying night seeing the Palmerston North Panthers, Wellington Wildcats, Canterbury Glen Eagles and Rotorua Rebels progress to the major semi-finals.
The Robertson Holden International Speedway was packed to the rafters on Saturday February 6th. Once the pre-event autograph signings, grand parade and warmups were dispensed with, 13 teams races awaited the fans with accumulated points over two races determining the qualifiers.
1: Stratford Scrappers v Rotorua Rebels
14r AJ Axtens led early until 82s Hamish Booker caught and passed him. The chase was on from that point, and on the last lap 10r Alan McRobbie delivered the telling block with Axtens screaming past to take a narrow win on the finish straight.
Finishing Order: 14r AJ Axtens, 82s Hamish Booker, 77r Lance Elsworth, 28s Blair Uhlenberg, 32s Mark Duthie
Result: Rotorua 125, Stratford 70
2: Baypark Busters v Canterbury Glen Eagles
98m Mark Costello led the field away, with 971c Jayden Ward making short work of 19m Kerry Remnant with a well-timed walling. The ledger was evened when leader Costello eliminated blockman 991c Harley Robb, and from the restart he couldn’t be stopped with the Busters taking a close victory. Until the officials intervened that is, with Costello sensationally disqualified for seeking the sanctuary of the infield.
Finishing Order: 971c Jayden Ward, 557c Darrel Wallace, 33c Tyler Walker, 38m Ross Ashby
Result: Canterbury 165, Baypark 20
3: Kihikihi Kings v Palmerston North Panthers
After 85k Jared Wade spun out of the lead it was 94p William Humphries and then 52p Scott Joblin who assumed control for the Panthers. Despite 1nzk Asher Rees walling 581p Jordan Dare, the Kings didn’t lay a bumper on Joblin who strolled to the win with Humphries in second.
Finishing Order: 52p Scott Joblin, 94p William Humphries, 3nzk Mitch Vickery, 85k Jared Wade, 471k Benji Sneddon
Result: Palmerston North 140, Kihikihi 55
4: Waikato Wanderers v Wellington Wildcats
77h Scott Penn was a sensation for the Wanderers, but once he eliminated himself in a frightening hit it was all over for Waikato.
Finishing Order: 5w Keegan Levien, 89w Dale Robertson, 722h David Lowe, 46w Ethan Levien, 52w Paul Fairbrother
Result: Wellington 170, Waikato 25
5: Gisborne Giants v Wanganui Warriors
Warriors fans were delighted when 57v Dylan Marshall rolled 10g Peter Rees and then ecstatic when 87v Shane Kells tipped over 5g Josh Prentice, but that was the high point for Wanganui as they were unable to stop 144g Tim Ross and 127g Ethan Rees from rampaging to a 1-2 for the Gisborne Giants.
Finishing Order: 144g Tim Ross, 127g Ethan Rees, 53v Shaun Smith, 28v Elias Dykstra, 57v Dylan Marshall
Result: Gisborne 140, Wanganui 55
6: Manawatu Mustangs v Hawkes Bay Hawkeyes
The Mustangs tried hard but couldn’t lay a hand on the flying 166b Hayden Hart. 46b Quinn Ryan had a solid whack from 599p Ron Tye but remained in second place, and with 66b Randal Tarrant fifth the Hawkeyes had landed 150 valuable points.
Finishing Order: 166b Hayden Hart, 46b Quinn Ryan, 4p Chad Ace, 34p Rebecca Barr, 66b Randal Tarrant
Result: Hawkes Bay 150, Manawatu 45
7: Auckland Allstars v Stratford Scrappers
741a Craig Chatfield’s stunning rollover of 28s Blair Uhlenberg propelled Auckland to a comprehensive win over the Scrappers.
Finishing Order: 72a Cody McKee, 72s Bevan Phillips, 95a Gary Lonergan, 82s Hamish Booker, 96a Jamie Fergusson
Result: Auckland 135, Manawatu 60
8: Rotorua Rebels v Baypark Busters
A disjointed Busters were blown off the park by the Rebels, who qualified for the Tier 1 semi-finals for the first time in a decade. 9r Brent Stewart took the win on debut.
Finishing Order: 9r Brent Stewart, 77r Lance Elsworth, 19m Kerry Remnant, 13m David Elsworth, 14r AJ Axtens
Result: Rotorua 150, Baypark 45
9: Canterbury Glen Eagles v Kihikihi Kings
The Glen Eagles comprehensively dismantled the hapless Kings with a second 1-2-3 result in two races to top the scoresheet and return to the Tier 1 semi-finals after a year away. 41c Malcolm Read was later excluded from the results.
Finishing Order: 557c Darrel Wallace, 971c Jayden Ward
Result: Canterbury 140, Kihikihi 0
10: Palmerston North Panthers v Waikato Wanderers
An early 1, 2, 3 placing for the 3-car Waikato team was bought to a halt when 88p Jack Miers rolled 99h Todd Hemingway. Once leader 85h Justin Roberts pulled infield, 722h David Lowe was on his own and 94p William Humphries took the win from 52p Scott Joblin and 15p Luke Miers.
Finishing Order: 94p William Humphries, 52p Scott Joblin, 15p Luke Miers, 722h David Lowe, 88p Jack Miers
Result: Palmerston North 175, Waikato 20
11: Wellington Wildcats v Gisborne Giants
Both teams needed big points from this one and it was the Wildcats who proved too good. 127g Ethan Rees’ self inflicted damage was a major, then 89w Dale Robertson’s last lap walling of 9g Jamie Hamilton ensured 5w Keegan Levien's victory.
Finishing Order: 5w Keegan Levien, 89w Dale Robertson, 10g Peter Rees, 5g Josh Prentice, 46w Ethan Levien
Result: Wellington 150, Gisborne 45
12: Wanganui Warriors v Manawatu Mustangs
An entertaining race between two teams that had lost earlier went the way of the Warriors, who recorded their first win since 2015. 57v Dylan Marshall was particularly impressive, with 34p Rebecca Barr the best in a beaten side.
Finishing Order: 57v Dylan Marshall, 23p Sheridan O'Hara, 34p Rebecca Barr, 28v Elias Dykstra
Result: Wanganui 120, Manawatu 65
13: Hawkes Bay Hawkeyes v Auckland Allstars
A messy race saw cars in all directions from the green flag including plenty of poleline action. The Allstars put up a stern resistance but 46b Quinn Ryan emerged victorious, only to be relegated two spots handing the win to debutant 72a Cody McGee. The defending champions were out and Auckland had come agonisingly close to a Tier 1 semi-final berth.
Finishing Order: 72a Cody McKee, 98b Quintin Butcher, 46b Quinn Ryan, 33a Robbie Mabey, 95a Gary Lonergan
Result: Auckland 130, Hawkes Bay 65
Wellington Wildcats 320
Palmerston North Panthers 315
Canterbury Glen Eagles 305
Rotorua Rebels 275
Auckland Allstars 265
Hawkes Bay Hawkeyes 215
Gisborne Giants 185
Wanganui Warriors 175
Stratford Scrappers 130
Manawatu Mustangs 110
Baypark Busters 65
Kihikihi Kings 55
Waikato Wanderers 45
Tonight's racing will see the Wellington Wildcats face the Rotorua Rebels in the Tier 1 semi-finals, with the Palmerston North Panthers up against the Canterbury Glen Eagles to find the other finalist.
Tier 2 semi-finals will take place between the Auckland Allstars and Wanganui Warriors, along with the Hawkes Bay Haweyes versus the Gisborne Giants for a chance at third place overall.
Pre-meeting entertainment kicks off at 5:45pm with a freestyle motocross show featuring Levi Sherwood, Nick Franklin and Carlos Hanlon. Support classes are the Bryce Townsend Memorial Midget Series and consolation Superstock races.