Speedway: Paradise Valley a challenge for many

The Burger King Pro Dirt Series which features a New Zealand number one is coming to Rotorua's Paradise Valley Raceway, giving local speedway fans an early Christmas present.

The series takes in seven venues around New Zealand and features many of the country's leading drivers in the super saloon ranks.

The visit to Rotorua tomorrow night, starting at 7pm, is unique as it is the only venue that does not feature the race class as part of its regular speedway line up.

This provides a challenge for the drivers, many of who have never raced in Rotorua before.

Drivers will be allowed a short practice session at 6.25pm to give them the opportunity to set up their cars before the four qualifying races.

After the qualifying races, a 20-lap feature will be raced with the top point scorers near the end of the programme.

New Zealand champion Steve Flynn, from Hawke's Bay, will lead the group of about 16 drivers expected to take part in some tough racing.

Flynn had his first taste of racing in Rotorua 12 months ago and struggled to make an impression, but will be more prepared for this year's run.

In the opening round of this season's series in Wellington he finished second behind local racer Donald Gregory.

Gregory will also line up this weekend, alongside popular speedway identity Steve Williams.

As well as the feature event, the Rotorua-based House Of Travel Series will continue in the superstocks and stockcar classes.

Former New Zealand champion Keith Spanhake holds a one-point lead over Mark Costello in the stockcars.

Meanwhile, there is a three-way tie for the lead in the superstocks between Pat Westbury, David Elsworth and Waikato's Glen Drabble.

The action in both these contact classes has been fierce this season, with organisers expecting more of the same this weekend.

Minisprints, production saloons and youth ministocks will also race. The official race start time at Paradise Valley Raceway is 7pm, with practice sessions and extra youth races starting from 6.20pm.

The venue will be open to the public from 5pm.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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