Rotorua speedway drivers have claimed three top honours over recent days during a successful journey to the South Island.
Father and son team Steve and Trevor De Malmanche have finished first and third respectively at the New Zealand Streetstock Championships in Dunedin, while Damian Orr has finished second overall at the 2013 New Zealand Stockcar Championships in Christchurch.
The win by Steve De Malmanche has been a popular one around the country, with the long-time racer one of the most travelled drivers in the speedway class of streetstocks. Over the years he has been runner-up on three occasions, and third overall twice. The win is only the second time that a North Islander has won when the title was raced at a South Island track.
In Christchurch at the stockcar event, Orr looked in a strong position early in a rugged third race. After moving quickly from his grid 19 start to be circulating in sixth place, he had one hand on the trophy. However, just five laps from the end the local drivers ended Orr's title hopes.
"They can hit hard when they want to," said Orr. He came under attack on a number of occasions dropping his third heat finish to mid-pack. But the finish was still enough for him to maintain a spot on the podium, and despite missing out on the sought after title, Orr was philosophical.
"I just wanted to take something home, and I've done that," he said.
The championship was won by Palmerston North's Peter Rees who successfully defended the title he won in Rotorua 12 months ago. The win was the fifth time Rees has won the coveted national championship. Palmerston North's William Humphries finished third.
Tonight, 13 Rotorua racers will compete in Nelson at arguably the biggest individual speedway meeting of the year, the NZ Superstock Champs.