Melling defies the odds to nab title

By SHANE HURNDELL


With one race remaining in the Hawke's Bay streetstock championship on Saturday night, Wayne Melling thought his title hopes were gone.

"I had taken a few hits in the first two races and had a bit of damage including a diff arm ... and I was off grid 10 in the last race," Melling said.

The Hawke's Bay driver not only won the 12-lap third heat in the 10-car championship at ZM Meeanee Speedway, but went on to win the four-lap run-off with clubmate Dave "The Sheriff" Brand to capture the title.

"I've got the North Island championship in Wanganui coming up so this success will give me confidence for that," Melling said.

His brother, Daniel, finished third in the championship and fellow Bay drivers Ewen Powell and Richard Houston fourth and fifth respectively.

Another Bay driver, Margot Fairless, provided a memorable moment when she rolled 2 times in the final heat.

The evening's other feature attraction, a stockcar teams race between the Meeanee Maulers and Gisborne Gladiators, was won by the visitors. Gisborne's Sam Hughes beat first-season Mauler Brett Loveridge across the finish line and experienced Gladiator Ian Barron was third.

While the Maulers were disappointed with the loss, Bay drivers made sure they won the remaining races for the 21-strong class. Jason Penn won two heats and Tony Palmer took out the Grand Slam.

Equally as spectacular as the Fairless roll was Hawke's Bay ministock driver Benjamin Prebble's flip in his second heat.

Once again his class was the biggest with 27 starters and his clubmates - Brandon Warner, Caleb Waerea and Max Bayley - were the respective heat winners.

Hawke's Bay's 1NZ superstock driver Joe Faram celebrated his first meeting on his home track since winning the title in Huntly last month with three wins from as many starts in a seven-strong class.

The rapidly improving Tony Meechan was second in all three.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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