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McDonalds Kihikihi Speedway Club
Saturday 21 January 2012
After nearly two months since our last race day, the Kihikihi team was keen to alleviate the wrongs from the dusty derby day late November last year. This meeting proved to be a 'shakedown' to the NZ Saloons and with 141 competitors in the pits across eight classes; the club had to bring its 'A' game.
The main stay of the days racing was a 51 car, two heat one final, Ministock Stampede. Split into two groups, all youth competitors showed off their abilities by clean, hard and fast racing. Heat wins dominated by Hawkes Bay drivers, 89A Luke Brown and 4B Jarrod Lindsay in Group One, 98B Max Bayley and 34B Caleb Waerea in Group Two. The cream rose to the top and the Stampede final was fought out by 26 of the quickest kids in speedway today, the rest (or the unlucky) got to run a 12 lap final also.
The top 26 final stepped up first basically because the consolation group wasn't quite ready. With the highest on points from the heats off the front, one could have assumed one way traffic for those with the best advantage, this was not the case. By the second corner, some had lost their advantage while many took their opportunities and ran. Some who had started further back than expected were quietly picking off the placings.
Midway thru the race 56H Cameron Taylor who had been fast all day, suddenly lost power whilst leading a small group. The trailing cars had little room to avoid the failing car and Taylor was bunted a few times before the final blow punched him front first into the wall and onto his roof. Back under green, a final sprint to the line saw 6A Bryce Dibley chase 8M Marc Dunn, who had led the race from the get-go, in the closing laps.
Hard as Dibley tried, Dunn left no opening as both drove with pace and maturity beyond their years. With two corners to go, Dibley took the high line in a last ditch effort which paid off for the young Aucklander, pipping Dunn at the post by 0.09 of a second in a thrilling and eventful race. Third place and only 1.6 seconds back was 98B Max Bayley.
The Consolation final was shaping up as another good race but due to a couple of incidents and time restraints, the race was called early. First place going to 89R Shaun McHardy, 2nd 12B Sara Whittington and 3rd 58S Bayley Betts.
In the support classes, an unexpected 13 Superstocks fronted to blow the decibel readings out of the water. 859P Red Waka 2 peddler Jared Wade was quick but whilst hunting down eventual race winner 5K Brad Ridland in the first heat, had a minor electrical fault which meant he left early for more laps at Waikaraka Park. Rick Taylor drove the car he now shares with James Ford and as the laps passed by, the Hot Rod only got faster. Heat two race win went to 6H Kerry Remnant. Stockcars saw an aggressive 17K Jason Patrick come off second best as he stirred and entertained his way thru most of heat one. Heat wins to 8H Ryan Johnson (2) and 22M Les Holland.
The Saloons field totalled 13 and while some cars proved fast, others looked to have the set up all wrong. Race one and two were quick with wins going to 98M Bryan Fraser and 77K Rossco Cresswell chased hard by 18M Chris Taylor. Race three was abandoned midway after 277B Ian Mudgeway popped the right rear and rolled spectacularly handing another win to Cresswell. The
Production Saloon races were ruled by 23K Russel Hayes, 68K Mike Frost and 85H Doug Menzies who shared the wins and the podium places. Hard luck award would have to go to 46K Daniel Harvey who's Commodore looked a little worse for wear after a head-on with the concrete wall in the second race.
The open wheelers gave mixed results. A 10-car Minisprint field provided single file racing with the battles being fought further down the placings. Wins going to 1NZ Dayne Maxwell (2) and 14H Jason Bryant. Midgets showed a Jekyll and Hyde impersonation by way of super quick wheel to wheel racing and multiple spins and minor incidents. Once again, time restraints meant all three races finished early and race wins were awarded to 4A Dave Gick (2) and 73K Brian Edwards.
A 9-car Streetstock field lived up to its reputation as a no holds barred entertainment class. The third race for instance, a 6-car affair that faded to 3, should have been pointless but the closing laps provided some tricky block work by 61K Warren Whittaker on race one winner 12K Dan Curran that allowed 24K Aaron Smith to pass race leader Curran on the last lap and take the chequered.
A mammoth 26 races in four and a half hours was a little too much for some, but after the rain-outs in recent weeks (us included), I guess a few more competitors than usual were bound to turn up. The biggest positive to come from this meet was the condition of the track from start to finish. Multiple race lines all day and minimal dust, the minimum prerequisite expected to run a successful NZ Saloon Champs early in March. See you then!
29 April 2012 - Blackout's Day in the Dirt
15 April 2012 - Speed'n'Smash Fest
1 April 2012 - TWS Golden Helmet
18 March 2012 - King Country Superstocks
4 March 2012 - New Zealand Saloon Championship Finals
3 March 2012 - New Zealand Saloon Championship Qualifying
21 January 2012 - Ministock Stampede
27 November 2011 - Carters Demolition Derby
12 November 2011 - Celebrity Bash
28 October 2011 - Season Opener and Fireworks Display
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