Call Tom Stanaway the lucky omen in the Hawke's Bay Hawkeyes superstock team and you would be bang on.

You can't argue with his record at New Zealand speedway's most prestigious event, the ENZED Teams Champs in Palmerston North: two appearances and two titles with the 2016 and '17 Hawkeyes.

Naturally, he hopes his run continues when this season's 13-team edition is staged this weekend, with qualifying tonight and finals tomorrow night.

"I didn't race last year [when the Hawkeyes finished third] because I had a brand new car and focused on individual racing. It was hard to watch and I'm keen to get back there," Stanaway said after the team's launch at Meeanee on Thursday night.


A forestry earthmoving contractor for his father Brian Stanaway, Stanaway, 28, is impressed with how this season's Hawkeyes team, which also includes 1NZ Jason Long, Quinn Ryan, Randal Tarrant and Mike McLachlan, is gelling. The veteran of 11 years in the superstock class has also heard how the TAB has ranked the Hawkeyes among the four fancied teams all week.

"That's good but we still have to pull it together on the track. You've got to do the business on the night and you always need a bit of luck. You can never take any team lightly," Stanaway stressed.

The Hawkeyes take on Whanganui Warriors and the Waikato Wanderers tonight. While on paper they don't have as many fancied names as the Hawkeyes, Stanaway said every race must be treated the same.

"Any of the teams can beat one another ... it only takes a couple of mistakes. There have been a lot of upsets over the years."

While Stanaway thrives in the running role, he is happy to do what he is told and will drop into another driver's role if required.

Last season's New Zealand Grand Prix champion received a confidence boost with his second place at Rotorua's World 240s meeting a fortnight ago.

"While the run-off for the title didn't go to plan [Stanaway spun himself out while attempting to spin out eventual winner Benji Sneddon of Palmerston North], I was stoked. To make the top two out of 104 cars is pretty good and it's always a hard meeting. I couldn't have got second without the help of Jason [Long], Quinn [Ryan] and Quintin [Butcher, the Hawkeyes sixth man for this weekend]," Stanaway said.

"Going to these meetings and gelling usually follows into teams. It's been a good few weeks."


He heaped kudos on all of the team's sponsors and the fans who turned out on Thursday night.

"The Hawkeyes have always had a good fan base. Hopefully we can all keep it flowing this weekend."

Hawkeyes manager-driver McLachlan echoed Stanaway's comments on the need to respect each of their opponents and the importance of focusing on one race at a time and one lap at a time.

McLachlan, 38, who is in his eighth consecutive year with the Hawkeyes, agreed the fact one of last year's Hawkeyes, Maddie Wise, will race against them for Whanganui will add some extra spice to this weekend's campaign.

"Maddie is a young up and comer. I'm sure he will give it full noise like he did for us last year. We will treat him just the same as any other opponent ... we all respect each other and we all have to go to work on Monday."

"Maddie may have been a bit disillusioned at missing out on our team but I'm sure he will come back better and stronger," McLachlan said.

"It's no different to when Jason [Long] raced against us for Gisborne last year," he said referring to Long's efforts for the Giants who beat the Hawkeyes in the semifinals before going on to finish second.

He agreed there was enough depth in the Hawke's Bay superstock ranks to send two teams this year but they were only allowed one.

McLachlan pointed ot the Warriors and Wanderers boast some experienced campaigners and will want to win the title as much as his troops.

"We've all got our game plans and while everything could change on the first lap it's crucial we stick to our plans. If you stuff up in the first race and don't come out with enough points it can make for a tough couple of nights. But the boys are pumping and it should be a good weekend."

Tonight's draw:
Round one: Baypark Busters v Rotorua Rebels, Stratford Scrappers v Canterbury Glen Eagles, Waikato Wanderers v Great Britain Lions, Whanganui Warriors v Hawke's Bay Hawkeyes, Gisborne Giants v Wellington Wildcats, Auckland Allstars v Manawatu Mustangs, Rotorua Rebels v Palmerston North Panthers.
Round two: Canterbury Glen Eagles v Baypark Busters, Great Britain Lions v Stratford Scrappers, Hawkes Bay Hawkeyes v Waikato Wanderers, Wellington Wildcats v Whanganui Warriors, Manawatu Mustangs v Gisborne Giants, Palmerston North Panthers v Auckland Allstars.

Teams for the weekend:
Hawke's Bay Hawkeyes: Jason Long, Quinn Ryan, Randal Tarrant, Mike McLachlan, Tom Stanaway.
Auckland Allstars: Robbie Mabey, Bryce Marx, Jamie Fergusson, Ron Tye, Gary Lonergan.
Bay Park Busters: Kerry Remnant, Scott McEwen, Bruce Williams, David Elsworth, Mark Costello.
Canterbury Glen Eagles: Malcolm Ngatai, Lloyd Jennings, Asher Rees, Jayden Ward, Harley Robb.
Gisborne Giants: Peter Rees, Gary Davis, Nick Vallance, Ethan Rees, James Kirk.
Great Britain Lions: Bobby Griffin, Lee Fairhurst, Ben Riley, Frankie Wainman Jnr, Frankie Wainman Jnr.
Manawatu Mustangs: Justin Cunninghame, Ricky Dykstra, Rebecca Barr, Brendon Sharland, David Lowe.
Palmerston North Panthers: Scott Joblin, Peter Bengston, William Humphries, Jordan Dare, Wayne Hemi.
Rotorua Rebels: Alan McRobbie, AJ Axtens, Darcy Meurant, Gary Hunter, Bryce Steiner.
Stratford Scrappers: Mitch Vickery, Gary Johnson, Paul Johnson, Carl Shearer, Hamish Booker.
Waikato Wanderers: Dave Moore, Aidan Eustace, Aaron Alderton, Blair Ashton, Tyson Wootton.
Whanganui Warriors: Chad Ace, Dion Mooney, Scott Duncan, Shaun Smith, Maddie Wise.
Wellington Wildcats: Keegan Levien, Shane Davis, Ethan Levien, Paul Fairbrother, Dale Robertson.