Although there hasn't been any local racing for several weeks, Whanganui speedway competitors have been busy around the country.

Callum Sturzaker made an immediate impact on the Stockcar class last year when he finished second in the West Coast Stockcars in his first meeting in the class.

Over the weekend he gave another glimpse of his potential, finishing in second place in the North Island Stockcar Championship at Meeanee Speedway in Napier.

Callum Sturzaker took the 15V Whanganui Stockcar to second place in the North Island championships.
Callum Sturzaker took the 15V Whanganui Stockcar to second place in the North Island championships.

Sturzaker was one of five Whanganui cars in the 100-plus car field, and along with Blair Lockett qualified directly for Saturday night's 30-car finals field.


After two of the three finals races, both Lockett and Sturzaker sat just outside the top three on points, but within striking distance of the leaders.

It wasn't to be for Lockett however; the crew discovered a problem with the car's water pump, and he was unable to contest the final race.

Sturzaker started the final race from grid 17, and drove a heady race, avoiding the carnage and progressing through the field to finish third.

That was enough to place the young Whanganui driver in second place overall, eight points behind winner Josh Prentice from Wellington, and three points ahead of third place-getter, Michael Rumney from Rotorua.

This is far and away the best result of Sturzaker's career to date, and sets him up for two important Stockcar meetings at Fast Lane Spares Oceanview Family Speedway.

The West Coast Stockcars will be contested on Saturday, January 12, with the big-money Elite Mechanical Stockcar Cup on the line the following weekend.

Streetstock driver Simon Bland contracts to Whanganui every season, although he lives and works in the Mid-Canterbury region.

But his long trip to Rotorua was made worthwhile by a top ten finish in the class's premier event.

Close, even racing saw the top ten cars separated by just ten points.

And there's an exodus of race cars heading south for the New Zealand Superstock Championships at Woodford Glen near Christchurch this weekend.

Whanganui will be well represented by the quartet of Mason James, Shaun Smith, Kerry Podjursky and Max Holloway among the field of almost 100 cars entered for the event.

Mason James is a late substitution for father Daryl James, who is nursing an injury.

The 52V car looked an unlikely starter when a blown head gasket was discovered on Tuesday afternoon. However the crew and top engine builder Chad Ace burned the midnight oil to repair the car in readiness for the trip.

Smith has been impressive in his new car this season, improving with every outing.
Holloway was the surprise package at last season's NZ Superstocks in Auckland, and with another season's experience under his belt is tipped to perform well.

The veteran Podjursky is a seasoned campaigner, and a lack of recent racing should not hamper his chances.

He controversially missed qualifying for the finals last year, after being passed by several cars while the red lights were on.

And whilst the Great Superstock Migration is to the south this year, it will be a different story on the first weekend of 2020.

The event will take place at Oceanview Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th January 2020, attracting competitors and spectators from all over the country.

It will be the first time the Wanganui Stockcar and Speedway Club has hosted this premier event since the 2207-08 season, and work is already underway to make it a meeting to remember.