Hawke's Bay's Steve Flynn bounced back from a second round mishap to win the third round in the national Super Saloon Car Series in style at Meeanee last night.
"It was good to come back in that manner. It will give me a little bit of confidence going into next week's nationals," Flynn said referring to the January 13 and 14 nationals in Nelson.
"I've been struggling here over the years so it was good to get a win on the home track," Flynn, who smashed his car up in the recent second round in Rotorua, said.
Last night's meeting was only his second in his new 355 Chev-powered car at ZM Meeanee Speedway. But his form in the 13-car round suggested he had been driving it for at least a couple of seasons.
With a second in heat one and a fourth in heat two, Flynn was the top qualifier for the top six pole shuffle which he won to secure pole for the 20-lap final. Flynn recorded a pole to flag victory in the final which saw his brother and clubmate, 2NZ, Grant Flynn, finish second and Wellingtonian Martin Halcrow third.
Grant Flynn retained his overall lead in the seven round series.
Hawke's Bay's Grahame Strong, who is driving Wellingtonian Brian McPhee's car until his new one is ready, provided a spectacular start to the round when the car caught fire with four laps remaining in the first heat and he was forced to make a quick exit before the fire crew sprang into action. Strong said his main oil line blew.
He missed the second heat and returned for the final and finished 10th.
Grant Flynn's son, Jakob, was lucky to escape serious injury when he flipped with three laps remaining in the final of the 42-car Ministock Invasion. His car was hit three times while he was inside and upside down and officials were slow to put the red light on.
The race was called after this incident which gave the title to Hawke's Bay's Max Bayley who was leading at the time. Fellow Bay driver Jarrod Lindsay was second and Nick Davey from Palmerston North who started off pole was third.
Bayley was thrilled to win the title his sister, Alice, won two years ago but pointed out the podium order could have been different had the race carried on.
Lindsay won his first heat with a 20.6s lap time and Palmerston North visitor David Marshall won the first heat for the second group. Bayley won the second heat for his group and Wanganui visitor Cody Brockway took out the second heat for the second group.
There was no shortage of action in the stockcar class. Host club driver Matt Gautrey was rolled on the first lap of the first heat which saw Jason Penn spun around by his Bay clubmate Paul Demanser and Demanser taken out by fellow Bay driver Jeff Hart.
There was plenty of stirring in a three-man stockcar teams race which ended the night's racing. Mike Smith secured the chequered flag for his team which also included Randal Tarrant and Joshua Smith. The losing team was Hart, Gautrey and Mike McLachlan.
This race was staged as a shakedown for the Meeanee Maulers in the build-up to their national teams championship which will be staged in Palmerston North on Friday and Saturday nights.