Hawke's Bay stockcar driver Cameron Swift was quick to praise his extended support crew after he received the Kuru Cup on Saturday night.
"Not just my regular support crew but a team of about 15 guys who worked on my car while I sat inside with my seatbelts on before the run-off," Swift explained.
Swift, 19, was having his first crack at the cup, one of the heaviest pieces of silverware on the national speedway scene, and was one of 24 starters in the 13th edition of the event. In his third heat his back brake rotor broke on the final corner and another car shoved him across the finish line in third place and this left him tied on points with Meeanee Maulers teammate Regan Penn.
"There weren't just issues with my diff. I had also blew a radiator hose off so the crew did a tremendous job to get everything fixed during the 10 minutes before the run-off. While I hope I'm not ... I will probably a marked man in the East Coast championships next weekend so I'm not going into that with any expectations," Swift said.
In the runoff Penn started on pole and turned right into Swift at the start. Swift got away and Penn waited to block in the strategic tussle but Swift got past him on lap four to secure the title.
"It was awesome to have our four Maulers in the top five ... our manager [Andrew Powell] was pretty happy," Swift added referring to the fact fellow Maulers Brandon Symes and Brett Loveridge finished third and fourth respectively.
Gisborne's national champion, Ethan Cook, won the 10-car East Coast saloon championship with consistent drives which saw him record two firsts and a third. There was carnage in the first heat which ended Hawke's Bay driver Shane Laking's championship.
Hawke's Bay's Steve Martin had to pull out of the run-off for second with clubmate Wayne Melling because of a cracked motor. This second placing gave Melling, a multiple title winner in the streetstock class, his first podium finish in the saloon class.
The Tony McIntosh Memorial Trophy was up for grabs in the 11-strong superstock class. Hawke's Bay clubmates Maddison Wise and Quinn Ryan were equal on points going into the final race.
The pair had an entertaining tussle during the last race and Wise got the trophy with a hit pass on Ryan on the final corner. They finished second and third respectively to the Bay's 1NZ Jason Long in the race after each recording first and second placings in the previous two heats.
Twelve streetstock drivers chased the Pam Gibson Memorial Trophy which was up for grabs in the first heat for their class. Hawke's Bay's Dave Brand took it home after pipping clubmate Tim Towler on the finish line.
The third heat for this class saw Ben Yeoman beat fellow Bay driver and 3NZ Brent Redington by 100th of a second. Redington was desperate for a win on his 50th birthday but had to settle for a second consecutive second placing.
An interesting twist to the Best Pairs event for ministocks was the fact the 15 pairs weren't drawn until after the night's racing. Trent McCann and Tylar Flynn were the winning pair while Cameron Houston and Karlin Painter-Dudley were second and Thomas McEwan and Jacob Buckrell third.
Hawke's Bay's Natasha Goodall won an entertaining 25-car demolition derby in which fellow Bay drivers Randal Tarrant and Jordan Auckram deserved their stirrer's prizes. An added bonus for the derby drivers was a streetcar race earlier on the programme and this was won by Hawke's Bay ministock driver Jack Lawson.