NZ STANDARD STOCK CHAMPS - Finals
With 26 cars through to the final and the next 26 on points through into the summer slam, everyone was repairing damage from the previous night. A lot of cars didn’t make it to the 2nd night such as Steve Hampton, which I heard his car was not in good condition at all. The weather in Palmerston looked dodgy all day but held out with a few splats of showers throughout the meeting and then the downfall of it all at the end of the meeting meant the all in race couldn’t be done but at least the gods above let us complete the final event of the night.
The first heat of the night was quick but not much hitting, which was expected, each and every driver on that track had a chance to be 1NZ. Lance Aldridge (19R) and Clive Pritchard (16R) took the front of the pack with Rodney Smythe (91A) in third place. Behind these three the racing was aggressive with Ward pushing his way up the pack past Smythe which made the 91A car slam into the wall and causing damage. Then Ward managed to get past Pritchard and Aldridge and Ivan Smith (5B) who was trying hard to make sure no one got around him. Ward took the win for the night with Aldridge in second and Pritchard in third, Kuriger in 4th, Axtens in 5th and Smythe in 6th.
This was an action packed heat, all the cars were still trying to gather up the points and pass as many cars as possible. Keith Spanhake didn’t manage to start Heat Two and had problems with the 68R car. Once the flag dropped Karl McKay got the jump but had Richard Gaskin on his bumper the whole time. Lap two and into turn 3 the 94P car of Ross Barnaby had an unfortunate incident. One to many cars going into this turn and Barnaby spun right in the middle of the pack. Rees went over the top of Barnaby’s car which caused him to slam into the concrete. Barnaby was taken off the track to the ambulance…I will find an update on how he is. Regan O’Brien and Donald Kuriger were stuck together on the red light, O’Brien stuck Kruiger up the wall once the green light came on to cause another red light. About 5 cars were out of the running by this stage with too much damage to the machines. Karl McKay took the chequered with Gaskin behind him and Pritchard in 3rd.
Clive Pritchard had the top points going into Heat Three with Graeme Ward only 2 points behind him and Richard Gaskin one point behind Ward. Only 19 out of 26 cars started Heat Three. As soon as the green flag dropped Axtens zoomed to the lead while Richard Gaskin was spun out and Craig Humphries got taken to the wall. Axtens lost first place to Eddie Arnold after a few laps while Kuriger was stirring it up but was later taken out by Peter Rees who was protecting the Palmy cars. Unfortunately that event took out both Kruiger and Rees. Arnold was taken up the wall by Smythe who had a flat tyre and clearly stated who he was after….Graeme Ward. Axtens tried to get Ward but didn’t quite get him, very close though. Vazey was crusing in 2nd place until Ward got passed him to take the win. Then Axtens got past Pritchard putting Pritchard down in points. Graeme Ward took the chequered flag but just after going under it lost a wheel (I bet he is thanking someone who let it happen AFTER the race) he still got the chequered flag and drive around backwards with it as he had limited steering!
The final results were -
1NZ – Graeme Ward (97P)
2NZ – Clive Pritchard (16R)
3NZ – Steve Axtens (3NZ)
Summer Slam was won by Chris Gommans (62P), 2nd Allen Dunn (148M) and 3rd Tony Benetto (47K).
Overall it was a great weekend with lots of action. Congratulations to all those drivers who competed.