The speedway season in Taranaki has come to a close after the final meeting of 2018/19 was held at Stratford Speedway on Saturday night, drawing to a close a successful season.
With the final meeting including the Uhlenberg Haulage Taranaki Sprintcar champs, Midget Heritage Shield, Superstock Team Race and the Fireworks Extravaganza, there was plenty of action both on and off the track to entertain the crowd.
The Taranaki Sprintcar champs offered up a field of 10 competitors, including usual Superstock racers Mitch Vickery and William Humphries.
Humphries' night ended abruptly after his lease car ploughed into the turn two wall in only his third ever lap in a Sprintcar after what looked to be a mechanical failure which left nine competitors to contest the title. Stuart Rose took out a convincing win in the first heat before Wellington speedster Stephen Taylor won heat two.
Greg Pickerill was consistent enough in the two heats to start on the front row for the 15 lap final which he led from start to finish on a slick track. Taylor made a late race pass on Kendall Savage to claim second spot while Savage came home third.
The Stratford Scrappers convincingly won their Superstock teams race against the Manawatu Mustangs. Carl Shearer grabbed the lead at the race start and thanks to superb blocking from his teammates, was relatively unchallenged except for a last lap spin which only allowed the Manawatū duo of Graeme and Rebecca Barr to unlap themselves while Shearer continued on to victory.
Duane Hickman won the Midget Heritage Shield for the ninth consecutive time. Hickman was in top form and won both races one and three and finished fifth in race two to win the shield by one point from Greg Jones. Jimmy Greenough filled the last step on the podium in third place.
As well as the teams race, the Superstock class also had three open races that included Gisborne contracted drivers Peter Rees, Ethan Rees and Gary Davis in the line-up along with Wanganui racers Shaun Smith and Max Holloway. Graeme Barr won the first race, Ethan Rees the second and Peter Rees showed his class and just why he is ranked 2nz when he won the third.
Support classes on the night included both Adult and Youth Ministocks. Races in the Adult division were won by Damian Hill, Zane Riddick (2) and Gemma Alexander while Youth races were won by Jayden Swan (2) and Liam Whelan.
The one-off addition of the Fireworks Extravaganza completed the evening and signalled the end to the season with yet another fantastic display by Michael Keats from TLL Events. The TSCC thanks everyone who supported the additional fireworks display and hope this caused no inconvenience to anyone.