091120WCSupspeedway04.JPG 091120WCSupspeedway03.jpg 091120WCSupspeedway02.JPG 091120WCSupspeedway01.JPG By Tony Stuart
Inclement weekend weather forced a number of speedway cancellations over the weekend, but Fast Lane Spares Oceanview Family Speedway wasn't one of them.
Despite a cold southerly wind and the threat of rain, Wanganui Stockcar and Speedway Club organisers went ahead with their planned meeting on Sunday afternoon, competitors flocked to the track, and the result was some excellent speedway racing action.
The feature events were two championships held over from the abbreviated 2019-20 season.
Consistency over the three-heat format saw Grant Loveridge (7V) take out the 2019-20 West Coast Production Saloon title. Two second and a third place saw Loveridge win the title by two points.
Bailey Goldsack (72V), Brent Hackett (434V) and Shane Hughes (23V) each took out a heat win, and tied for second place.
A four-lap runoff was held to break the deadlock, which Hackett won to seal second place overall. Goldsack held Hughes out in the closing stages to take the final podium position.
Karl Barritt, a young competitor who was killed in a sidecar racing accident in 2005 was remembered with the running of the Karl Barritt Memorial.
Weekend cancellations saw a smaller-than-expected field, but that didn't in any way detract from some excellent racing.
Hawke's Bay pair Craig Boaler and Anne Plummer (27B) took out the first heat ahead of Palmerston North combination Kieran "Wingnut" Payne and Mikey O'Neill. Payne's machine is the one on which Barritt was swinger when he lost his life.
From there on, Rob Miller and Dean Harding (8P) were the riders to beat, winning the second and third heats, and carrying a significant points lead into the final race.
John Hannan and Nigel Sturgeon (19V) finally got Hannan's BMW-powered machine hooked up in heat 4, taking the race win.
Miller and Harding's fourth pacing in that heat was enough to give him the title by two points over Payne/O'Neill, with Hannan/Sturgeon in third place on a countback.
Former 1NZ William Humphries (94P) had an excellent night in the Superstock class, with two wins and a third placing, whilst Rebecca Barr drove superbly to win the second heat.
Wellington visitor Dale Robertson (89W) has two top three placings, and Jack Miers (88V) was also near the front of the field until he was stopped by Darryl Taylor (5V) in the final Superstock race, whilst promising newcomer Cody Hodge (21P) took an excellent second place in the final heat.
Elias Dykstra showed his potential with a third place in the opening heat, and Dan Matthews (14V) had a consistent night.
A big field of stockcars from Wellington, Palmerston North and Stratford joined the locals, and there was no shortage of action.
Cody Alabaster (16V) was the first victim, getting tipped over in the opening heat, to take the dubious honour of first rollover of the season.
Kaelin Mooney (26V) drove through the carnage to an accomplished win in the first heat, then young Palmerston North driver Kyle Rowe (79P) powered home to head the field in heat 2.
Luke Miers (15P) continued his excellent early season form with two second places, before leading the field home in the final stockcar heat ahead of Trazarn Ryland-Annabell (33V) and Hailey James (18V).
Wins in the Adult Ministock class were shared between Jemma Barnes (92V), Jack Lammas-Martin (157P) and Nathan Nolly (39S), whilst Youth Ministock victories went to Jesse Whelan (10S) and Max Lowe (55P).
In their penultimate appearance at Oceanview before the New Zealand Championship in January, a good field of Minisprints faced the starter.
Campbell Stewart (97S), Daniel Nickel (18S) and Cameron Hurley (82S) each recorded a race win, whilst Dylan Smith (53V) had a night to forget, collecting the wall in heat 1 and almost rolling, causing suspension and drivetrain damage.
Superstock Teams Racing returns to Oceanview at the next meeting on Sunday, November 22, with the Wanganui Warriors to race the Manawatu Mustangs. It will be the Warriors' first home race for many years.
The meeting will also feature a stockcar teams race between the Wanganui Vulcans and Palmerston North Pumas, the Ray Purdy Memorial Production Saloons and the West Coast Youth Ministocks.
With three meetings out of three completed to date, the Wanganui Stockcar and Speedway Club is delighted with the way the 2020-21 season has started, unlike some of our neighbours who have suffered cancellations.
All the signs are pointing to an outstanding season at the Oval by the Ocean!