A brave call by officials of the Rotorua Stockcar Club ensured over 6000 fans went home with a new World Champion crowned on Saturday night despite the threatening, and then eventual heavy rain that hit the city.
The two-night TWS 2017 World Superstock Championships concluded with an abandoned race meeting due to the weather, but not before the officials heavily altered the race programme to ensure the three major final races happened in quick succession before the rain arrived, which it did with just minutes after the new champion was found.
Twenty-six finalists took to the track including four Rotorua-based drivers, and four invited overseas competitors.
And for much of the night, it looked like Englishman Frankie Wainman Junior was the man to beat, with convincing drives in the first two final heats, before starting the last race on pole position.
The regular visitor to New Zealand, and three-time winner of the event was to come agonisingly close to claiming a fourth title, but his dominant early showing meant he came under heavy attack in the important third heat being slowed and taken to the concrete wall on numerous occasions, eventually finishing the last race in 17th position, earning 6th overall for the championship.
His loss was a gain for Palmerston North's Simon Joblin, whose stunning summer of success continued, driving from the back of the field in the last heat, to earn the most points overall and claim his second major title in just over a week.
Joblin, who won the New Zealand Championship last weekend for the second time, now has a second World 240s title to his name, thanks to the blocking help from his Palmerston North club mates, a fact acknowledged by Joblin during prize giving.
It was a strong performance across the night from the large Manawatu contingent, claiming all the podium positions, with Jayden Ward and Peter Bengston in the minor positions.
Rotorua's Bryce Steiner won the last race of the night to be the top overall local driver in 8th place, but it was Scott Hewson who was in contention for the championship after two heat. Hewson also came under attack in the final heat, eventually failing to finish the important race.
Also among the hectic race programme on Saturday night, the support races saw the Rotorua Rascals stockcar team continue their preparations for the national Teams Championships later in the season with a convincing win over Kihikihi, while the Bay of Plenty Modified Championship was won by regular visitor from Auckland and current 3NZ, Jamie Fox.
The busy Summer Of Speedway in Rotorua continues this coming Anniversary Weekend, with the New Zealand Streetstock Grand Prix taking place on Friday and Saturday nights at Paradise Valley Raceway.