The best sidecar racers in the North Island will descend on Supercheap Auto Oceanview Family Speedway tonight.

Riders and swingers will be competing for the Stevo's Distributors North Island Sidecar Championship, the final Speedway New Zealand title for the class this season.

Oceanview is primarily known as a Stockcar track, but Sidecars have been part of the programme for many years.

Whanganui competitors have won numerous New Zealand, North Island and Grand Prix titles.


Oceanview Speedway first hosted the North Island Sidecars in the 1978-79 season, and tonight marks the tenth time the event has been staged in the River City.

Local competitors have a proud record at the North Island Sidecars, having won the title 13 times in the last 39 runnings of the championship.

Don Cosford and Phil Robertson were our first North Island winners in 1980-81, while Robert and Scott Hood won in 1983-84.

Wanganui was the dominant North Island club in the 1990's.

Nigel Belsham and Steve Anderson won back-to-back titles in 1990-91 and 1991-92, while Murray Hackett and Steve Heibner won three in a row between 1996-97 and 1998-99.

Nick and Matt Edmonds rounded out the decade, winning the 1999-2000 North Island title.

The early 2000's were dominated by John Hannan and Jason Walls.

They won the event in 2002-03, then four years in a row from 2004-05 to 2007-08.

Since then it has been leaner pickings, since Craig Scott and Aaron Rose placed third in 2011-12.

A quality field will face the starter tonight, headed by 1NZ Russell Stuart and Andrew Parker.

The evergreen competitors are having a stellar season and won the West Coast Sidecars at Oceanview last Sunday. They will start as favourites.

Wayne Lett and Chris Chadfield, 2NZ and John Hannan and Bryce Rose, 3NZ, will be right in the mix.

The Hannan/Rose combination was almost invincible until they took 3NZ at the New Zealand Sidecars at Meeanee in January.

Since then they have been plagued with mechanical issues.

Aaron Rose (34V) now has his own machine with swinger Bailee Ross and these young locals have had an excellent season to date, including a podium finish at the NZ Sidecar Grand Prix in Gisborne.

Craig Scott (62V) has Kristi Wackildene swinging, and if the pair can find consistency tonight, then they too could threaten the podium.

With 25 bikes entered, a 25-heat format will be used.

Each team will race five times, and over the course of the night, will race every other competitor at least once.

Points accrued over the heats will determine the final results.

Also on the programme for tonight is the Trev's Concrete Stockcar Shootout, always a popular event with drivers and spectators alike.

The top ten drivers after a qualifying heat will race in a series of two-car, two-lap eliminations, starting with the ninth and tenth qualifiers.

The winner moves on to the next round, and the loser is eliminated.

Anything goes in these races, and contact is not only allowed, but it is strongly encouraged.

At a similar event in January, Luke Miers (15P) and local driver Damon Baxter (7V) had a battle that will be long remembered.

On that occasion, Miers was the victor.

Youth Ministocks, Production Saloons and Classic Sidecars are also on the full programme for tonight's meeting.

Sidecar competitors will have an opportunity to practice on the track between 4pm and 4.30pm before the meeting proper gets underway at 7pm.

With a Speedway New Zealand title on the line, it promises to be a night of full throttle action under the lights at Oceanview.

Luke Miers (15P) and Damon Baxter (7P) had an epic battle in the last Shootout.
Luke Miers (15P) and Damon Baxter (7P) had an epic battle in the last Shootout.