Robertson Holden International Speedway turned on another night of thrilling high speed battles with a total of 141 competitors putting on a show for the enjoyment of fans young and old. All the top guns were in attendance, with three local championships up for grabs it was no wonder the skill, calibre and reputations of competitors who took part.
The AFC Manawatu Sidecar Champs is one of the most fiercely competed regional title anywhere in New Zealand.
Maximum fields were the norm of the night with 20 Sidecars, 21 Saloons, 29 Stockcars, 35 Youth Ministocks, and in a late addition to the program 36 Superstocks raced all together with 88p Jack Miers winning an opening race and dominating the feature, cruising the pole line ready to pounce on anybody and everybody at will. 58p Peter Bengston came under fire on several occasions, unable to pull of a clean pass on the country's best Superstock blocker many times. Miers car appeared to be magnetized to the track and at the times he did get punted in the back his car would just bore down and hug the track even tighter, certainly a master of set up as well as take down. Jack's army of fans are eagerly awaiting the next meeting at Palmerston North - the ENZED Superstock Teams Champs on 6th and 7th of February. 94p William Humphries also won a Superstock race.
Midgets completed the program with Karl McGill winning the feature in blistering fashion.
The AFC Motorcycles Manawatu Sidecar Champs was a star-studded line up of 20 speed machines split into 4 groups to qualify over 3 races, with the top 5 points scorers going on to the 3 race final.
The rider of the 5p Kawasaki ZX10 powered bike Kieran Payne has raced Sidecars for a continuous 33 years, and after winning a qualifying heat with a leg in the air it seemed like the popular racer known as "Wingnut" and his swinger Mikey O'Neill were in hot contention to take the title, but none of the cream of the Sidecar crop were giving an inch.
Some of the qualifying wins went to the Gisborne combination of 99g Toby Lardelli and Dylan Lardelli whose distinct-sounding crossplane Yamaha R1 powered machine bought delight to the ears of fans in attendance. The exotic BMW S 1000 RR rig of 19v John Hannan and Nigel Sturgeon also scored a qualifying race victory.
Popular racer 17p Tony Hislop was among a few who succumbed with mechanical issues and blew the radiator early in the night.
But in the final races it was the Auckland pairing of 14a Jamie Moohan and Patrick Larsen who came away with the title ahead of 97p Mike Zachan and Ben Franklin, with 6a Peter Fairless and Jason Hira from Auckland coming home in third spot. All these racers are multi-achieving NZ Champs podium achievers and reflected the skill level of those competing on what is fair to say had become a challenging track surface. In fact all of the 5 riders who raced in the final had stood on the New Zealand Championship podium numerous times.
Former Hawkes Bay double champ 27p Josh Smith drove the outside line, up by the wall similar to that which 1NZ Craig Korff used last week with much success and came away with the Manawatu Saloon title after coming from deep in the pack during qualifying and putting on a sensational display of car control in the final. Stratford racer 829s Jarrod MacBeth, who won an opening heat, and local 242p Ashleigh Halcrow completed the podium.
It was a Smith family occasion with 72b Bailey Smith coming home first to take the Manawatu Youth Ministock Champs title after some great battles all night with 99b Jacob Buckrell who grabbed second and 11b Liam Danielsen in third - all three of these competitors being from Hawkes Bay.
Stockcars were entertaining with a few big hits, 4p Tony Wealleans coming off second best in front of the grandstand as a result of one of them. Many competitors seemed to be fine tuning their cars for the big NZ Stockcar Champs at Meeanee this coming weekend and good luck to all of them.
Midgets are high calibre bullets on wheels and produced some great action, a large field is anticipated to be complementing the programme at the upcoming ENZED Superstock Teams Champs weekend which really is not to be missed. Bring it on.
Heat One: 829s Jarrod MacBeth, 27p Josh Smith, 23p William Vanderwal, 29p Rachel Bradbury, 7b Shane Laking, 57p Ben Honore - Fastest Lap: 829s - 17.1406
Heat Two: 27p, 92b Kevin Martin, 242p Ashleigh Halcrow, 9p Jabin Clapperton, 11w Scott Jones, 227b Wayne Melling - Fastest Lap: 27p - 18.1131
Final: 27p, 829s, 242p, 92b, 29p, 11w - Fastest Lap: 27p - 17.4425
Group One - Heat One: 5p Kieran Payne & Mikey O'Neill, 17p Tony Hislop & Aidan Foothead, 84p Jimmy Hotton & Nick Dunne, 7p Matt Stewart & Dean Harding, 32p Sam Carter & Haydn Combs
Group Two - Heat One: 1nz Dylan Moohan & Sean Mason, 21p Glen Murray & Emma Murray, 96p Mark Whye & Jacob Cooper, 26b Justin Lincoln & George Olsen
Group Three - Heat One: 99g Toby Lardelli & Dylan Lardelli, 97p Mike Zachan & Ben Franklin, 22g Jason Rees & Callum Innes, 8p Rob Miller & James Gerrard
Group Four - Heat One: 6a Peter Fairless & Jason Hira, 14a Jamie Moohan & Patrick Larsen, 19v John Hannan & Nigel Sturgeon, 56g Clive Ireland & Chris Simon
Group One - Heat Two: 97p, 14a, 19v, 5p, 11p David Miller & Jade Winter
Group Two - Heat Two: 56g, 7p
Group One - Heat Three: 5p, 21p, 99g, 56g, 13p Willy Jensen & Scott Sowry
Group Two - Heat Three: 14a, 26b
Group Three - Heat Three: 19v, 22g, 96p, 11p
Group Four - Heat Three: 97p, 1nz, 6a, 7p
Final One: 1nz, 6a, 97p, 14a, 5p
Final Two: 14a, 97p, 6a, 5p
Final Three: 14a, 97p, 6a, 1nz, 5p
Heat One: 61b Henry Steel, 72b Bailey Smith, 78b Blake Barraclough, 77p Kurtis Tinetti, 11b Liam Danielsen, 55s Caleb Coxhead – Fastest Lap: 72b – 20.4662
Heat Two: 72b, 55p Max Lowe, 81b Keegan Bunce, 99b Jacob Buckrell, 94b Cam Houston, 11b – Fastest Lap: 72b – 20.1114
Final: 72b, 99b, 11b, 77p, 57p Daniel Adie, 68p Wade Bengston – Fastest Lap: 72b – 20.1267
Race One: 94p William Humphries, 669p Brendon Tye, 557c Darrel Wallace, 56p Kerry Podjursky, 21p Cody Hodge, 26p Nic Davey - Fastest Lap: 557c - 18.2443
Race Two: 88p Jack Miers, 94p, 557c, 21p, 24p Stu Sowry, 69p Todd O'Donnell
Feature: 94p, 26p, 947p Luke Miers, 12p Seth Hodge, 24p, 72s Bevan Phillips - Fastest Lap: 94p - 18.7376
Race One: 96b Brandon Symes, 35p Matt Phippen, 29p Harley Robb, 43p Quentin Hammond, 34p Rob Mason, 45p Aaron Watson - Fastest Lap: 76p - 19.3865
Race Two: 29p, 13p Lucas Hey, 45p, 173p Greg Eden, 35p, 76p Cameron Renwick - Fastest Lap: 13p - 19.6395
Feature: 992p Taylor Lampp, 667p Hamish McLeod, 29p, 96b, 35p, 173p - Fastest Lap: 992p - 19.5504
Race One: 17p Angus McLeod, 97p Neville McNabb, 4v Peter Huijs, 93p Karl McGill, 12v Brent Huijs, 68p Chris Bagrie - Fastest Lap: 17p - 16.8419
Race Two: 68p, 93p, 12v, 4v, 97p, 17p - Fastest Lap: 93p - 16.6438
Feature: 93p, 68p, 97p, 17p, 12v, 4v - Fastest Lap: 97p - 16.5770