You don't win two New Zealand titles in speedway by accident.

Two-time 1NZ Christian Hermansen turned on a clinic for spectators at Fast Lane Spares Oceanview Family Speedway, taking out the opening round of the Oval Superstocks Tour on Saturday night.

There were 21 Minisprints from tracks all over the North Island on hand to contest the Oval Open.

They were split into three groups for qualifying, on a group round robin format.


Lydia Dickinson (75S) took the opening heat ahead of Hermansen and 53V Dylan Smith, who shattered the lap record with a 13.34 second circuit.

The 3NZ Shane Dewar held off Hermansen in the second heat.

Dewar built up a big lead, only to see that evaporate when 98P Tyler Urwin-Hull rolled in spectacular style in Turn Two.

Dewar won the restart after the caution and held Hermansen out, with Smith again finishing third.

Ben Vaughan (57H) won the final heat from Bailey Betts (58S) and then Dewar.
Hermansen and Dewar started the Oval Open on the front row, and dictating the pace from the outside spot, it was Dewar who led the cars away.

On the second lap, however, Hermansen put a slide job on Dewar entering Turn One, taking a lead he would not relinquish.

Lydia Dickinson quickly dropped into third place, ahead of the hard-charging Smith, but his challenge ended on the sixth lap, and Dickinson held on for a well-earned third place.

Speaking afterwards, Hermansen was full of praise for the track surface, and vowed to return to regain his lap record.

The 1NZ Christian Hermansen is all concentration at the wheel of his Minisprint. Photos by PS3 Photography.
The 1NZ Christian Hermansen is all concentration at the wheel of his Minisprint. Photos by PS3 Photography.

A large entry list of Youth Ministocks competing for the West Coast title saw qualifying heats run before the meeting to determine the 26 drivers to race for the championship.

Ryan Marshall (15H) took out the first heat ahead of Regan Tyler (56K) and Seth Hodge (12P).

Rotorua driver Mitch Fabish drove a terrific race in Heat Two, taking the win ahead of defending champion Cody Hodge (21P), the defending champion, and 32S Liam Whelan.

After two heats, Fabish held a one point advantage over Marshall, with brothers Seth and Cody Hodge in third and fourth respectively.

Further back, the likes of Whelan, Roydon Crawford (11M) and Tyler would need strong races in the final heat to win.

Tyler did just that, leading Heat Three from start to finish, with Max Lowe (55P) in hot pursuit, while Karlin Painter-Dudley (88B) finished third.

Fabish's title hopes ended when he and Flynn Wild (35V) came together on the front straight.

As he pulled away from the tangle, he clipped the 24V car of Sarah Meyer, ending her race.

Marshall finished the final heat in fifth place, and his consistency over the three heats was enough to see him win the West Coast title by a solitary point from Tyler.

Ryan Marshall's trip from Waikato was rewarded with the West Coast Youth Ministocks title.
Ryan Marshall's trip from Waikato was rewarded with the West Coast Youth Ministocks title.

The Hodge twins were tied in third place, and in a four-lap run-off, it was Seth Hodge who took the final place on the podium.

Doing double duty driving his Uncle Shaun's Superstock, Dylan Smith (53V) took the first heat ahead of Max Holloway (81V) and the returning 99V of Richard Watkins.

The 9V of Sheridan O'Hara's race was over when he was clipped by Scott Duncan (23V), and made heavy head-on contact with the wall.

Wanganui Stockcar and Speedway Club president Daryl James took out the second Superstock race, his first win in the car he purchased earlier in the year.

Max Holloway took out the feature race, but again had mechanical issues on his lap of honour.

Dion Mooney (6V) and Callum Sturzaker (15V) took out two wins apiece in the Stockcar class, and two second places each.

Mooney won the opening heat and the feature race, while Sturzaker took out Heat Two and the Grand Slam.

Hailey James took out the first two Adult Ministock races, ahead of the 82V car of Shonn Black.

Black got his revenge in the feature race, beating James home by a comfortable margin.
David Meehan (22V) provided the highlight for the class with a rollover on the front straight after making contact with another car.

It was an entertaining night's racing, in near perfect conditions.

Racing at Oceanview continues on December 8 with the Charlie Berntsen Trophy for Stockcars, and the first Demolition Derby of the season.