Motorsport: Schoolgirl scores maiden win

By Shane Hurndell -
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Celebration time:  Kareena Annan completes her victory lap. Photo John Faulkner
Celebration time: Kareena Annan completes her victory lap. Photo John Faulkner

BY her own admission, Kareena Annan has never been good on two wheels.

"I did a few motocross races but I was more into trail rides. I feel safer in a ministock and I've got more confidence."

Not only was the Taradale High School year 11 student safe at Saturday night's Onekawa Forklift Hire Fireworks Spectacular Meeting at Meeanee, Annan, 15, was a winner in front of more than 5000 fans.

Racing the Datsun-powered car which clubmate Regan Penn won numerous club and provincial titles in before moving up to the stockcar ranks, Annan won the first heat for her 21-strong class off grid three.

She finished 11th off grid 12 in her second heat after turning herself around on lap three and 11th off grid 14 in heat three.

However, it was her victory in heat one which had tongues wagging. It was just her second meeting at Meeanee and third in the class.

"I've got one more season in the class after this and then I'm looking at moving into the superstock ranks," Annan added.

Fellow Hawke's Bay drivers Tristan Johnson and Courtney Hatton were the other heat winners in the class.

Penn and fellow first-season stockcar driver Cameron Swift both had an impressive night's racing in their 16-strong class.

Swift won the first heat and finished third in the second.

Penn finished second in the first heat and had a spectacular tussle with his uncle and national champion Jason Penn for the chequered flag in the third heat before experience prevailed.

The biggest hit in this class saw Michael Smith put his Hawke's Bay clubmate Callum Shotter up the wall in the third heat.

Hawke's Bay superstock driver Adam Groome won the driver of the night award which can only be won by a host track driver in any class. He won the third heat for his 15-strong class after finishing second in the second.

Palmerston North visitor Chad Ace won the first two heats and was forced out of the third on lap two with damage.

Hawke's Bay's Sam Warner, who won the use of Palmerston North-contracted 3NZ Graeme Barr's car through a fundraising raffle, finished second to Groome in the third heat and in heat one recorded an 18.89s lap time.

For the second consecutive meeting, the 12-strong streetstock class was the most entertaining. Dave 'The Sheriff' Brand nailed his clubmate Wayne Melling on the final turn before winning the first heat.

They had battled at the front of the field for most of the race.

Brent Redington won the second heat after Melling spun himself around on lap six when he was leading and he had to settle for second.

Luck was eventually on Melling's side when he won the third heat.

Whanganui-contracted two-time national sidecar champion John Hannan is back in action after a spell and he celebrated his first outing of the season at Meeanee with victory in the main final for the 11-strong class.

Hannan and swinger Bryce Rose had earlier recorded first and second placings in their heats.

The Hawke's Bay crew of Dan Satherley and Craig Hale won the consolation final.
Hawke's Bay drivers Brendon Zachan and Gregg Redington were the respective winners of the first two heats in a 14-strong production saloon class before Huntly visitor Peter Craddock won the third.

An entertaining 10-minute fireworks display ended the meeting.

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