After less than desirable weather throughout the week, Stratford Speedway organisers were pleased when Saturday dawned clear and sunny for the opening night of the 2019/20 Speedway Season.
Competitor counts were high with just short of 100 cars in attendance for the first night of racing.
Quality fields combined with trophies for three of the six classes promised a great night of racing and that is just what the spectators got, with a few thrills and spills thrown in.
A solid field of nineteen competitors raced for the Superstock City of New Plymouth Classic. Experienced racer Phil Ogle was in excellent form and nabbed the trophy after three decent races which saw him win race one, place third in race two and come home seventh in race three to lead by four points from Wayne Moss who had recorded a fifth, second and eighth.
Hamish Booker and Logan Sharpe were tied on points for third place and battled on the track in a four lap run off to determine who would take the last step on the podium.
After taking an early lead, Hamish was caught by Logan who launched an attack on Booker on the last lap, firing him up the concrete wall but Booker held on to take the win and the podium step by just 0.3 of a second.
Duane Hickman was in top form as per usual and beat home nine other competitors to win the Midget City of New Plymouth Classic.Duane won all three races to score maximum points and pipped his nearest rival, Christchurch racer, Mitch Hill by five points.
Mark Willans came home in third place, just one point behind Hill. Wanganui competitor Glen Huijs didn't have such a good night, managing to flip his car through turns three and four and land it on top of the concrete wall.
Adult Ministocks were the third class to race for their City of New Plymouth Classic. Bradley Korff won the event after recording a sixth place in race one and then following that up with two wins. Malissa Alexander was second and Nathan Nolly third.
Support classes on the night included Stockcars, Saloons and Minisprints. Dale Michielsen won the first Stockcar race of the season while Bevan Phillips won race two and New Zealand Champion Tyler Walker grabbed the chequered flag in race three.
Craig Korff won the first Saloon race of the night while Jarrod MacBeth won the next two and Minisprint wins went the way of Shaun Dickie, Donald Kuriger and Daniel Nickel.
The next race meeting at Stratford Speedway is Saturday November 2nd and will feature the King of the Mountain Superstock Champs along with the City of New Plymouth Classic for Stockcars, Saloons, Minisprints and Streetstocks. Racing starts at 7pm.