All the ingredients were there – the pits full to overflowing, a glorious spring day, and a great opening day crowd.
And the drivers who came from all over the North Island to Fast Lane Spares Oceanview Family Speedway delivered, with some excellent racing and plenty of action yesterday evening.
The 2019-20 speedway season is up and running, as there were 34 Superstocks on hand at Oceanview, with visiting drivers taking the opportunity to dial their cars into the local rack ahead of the Elite Mechanical New Zealand Superstock Championship in January 2020.
Ethan Rees (127G) was the standout driver, winning both his heats, and the Top 26 Final, claiming early season bragging rights.
Rees is already a former New Zealand champion in the Stockcar class, but on Sunday night showed that he will be right in the mix in his Superstock.
For a young man, he already has a wealth of experience, and seems to thrive on the tight Oceanview track.
Former 1NZ's Jared Wade (85K) and Peter Rees (2NZ), Ethan's father, took out a heat victory each, and a Rees family 1-2 looked a possibility in the Top 26 race, until the 2NZ car was turned around midway through by another competitor.
After a rollover at Palmerston North the night before, Rebecca Barr (34P) showed terrific pace, getting two runnerup placings in the heat races.
Young Gisborne driver James Mallia (99G) was the surprise package of the night, finishing second in the Top 26 race, chasing Ethan Rees hard all the way.
Wade finished in third place, with Barr's father Graeme (32P) coming home next, followed by Stratford driver Phil Ogle (282S).
Carl Burns (25V) was the best of the locals, finishing 11th in the final, after a couple of top ten placings in his heat race.
The new season started as the last season ended in the Stockcar division – with Dion Mooney (6V) showing his class.
Fresh off a win in the Robin Pratt Memorial at Palmerston North the night before, Mooney won the opening two heats and the Grand Slam, while looking set to take all four races until his car slowed while leading the feature.
The Robin Pratt Memorial victory was significant, as it is trophy that Palmerston North drivers try their absolute best to keep from leaving town.
Mooney's son Kaelin (26V) debuted his new Stockcar, and after a couple of mechanical issues in the first two races, chased his father home in the Grand Slam for a well-deserved second placing.
Callum Sturzaker (15V) took out the feature race, while Kyle Lampp (772P) was consistent all night and former 1NZ Gerry Linklater (98V) showed glimpses of form.
With a rapidly growing local field, the Stockcars will provide plenty of action at Oceanview this season.
Shane Dewar (2NZ) and Ben Vaughan (3NZ) dominated the Minisprint class, with Vaughan taking the first race, and Dewar the next two.
Elliot Heron (72P) was fast all night, and after a big rollover at Stratford the night before, Dylan Smith (53V) drove well for a third placing in Heat Two behind Dewar and Heron.
A big entry list saw the Youth Ministocks split into two groups, and it proved a night for yellow cars.
Heat wins were shared between Cody Ogle (13S), Cody Hodge (21P) and his twin brother Seth (12P).
In the Top 20 final it was Seth Hodge who took the victory from Liam Whelan (14P), with the two Codys – Hodge and Ogle – came third and fourth respectively, all of them in yellow-painted cars.
The young drivers turned on some terrific clean racing, with minimal contact and lots of passing.
In the Adult Ministocks, Brynn Glockling (26V) claimed the dubious honour of first rollover of the season.
Getting sideways at the southern end, Glockling was T-boned by Nathan Nolly (39S), and gently tipped onto his side.
Stratford drivers Craig Mason (77S) and Bradley Korff (86S) shared the wins, with Jemma Barnes (92V) picking up a second and a third placing.