Demolition derby proves a drawcard

Jarrod MacBeth Stratford Speedway





With three Taranaki titles on the line, two superstock teams races and a demolition derby, there was plenty on offer to entertain the large crowd that arrived at MG Taranaki Stratford Speedway for the Dairymaster-sponsored Boxing Night race meeting. Nine modifieds were on hand to contest the FieldTorque Taranaki champs and the Gigne Hayward Memorial, including Huntly visitor Syd Ferguson and Auckland racer Daniel Crumpe. After three fast-paced races where Jason Kalin recorded a win and two third places, and Carl Hinton recorded a second, fourth and first, the pair were tied on points for the FieldTorque Taranaki Modified Championship. A four-lap run-off was required to determine the winner and after an initial false start, Carl Hinton kept his foot firmly pressed down on the accelerator pedal on the restart to run deep through turns one and two and drive around Kalin, before staying in front for the four laps to win the championship. Ferguson drove the wheels off his car all night to come home in third place. The Ginge Hayward Memorial was a onerace affair, with a reverse grid start of the finishing order of the Taranaki champs. Shaun Bloeman kept his nose clean to win this race ahead of Ferguson and Kalin. Sixteen minisprints from Stratford, Whanganui and Palmerston North contested the Zodiac Signs Taranaki Champs. Close and even racing in the class saw race wins shared between Daniel Nickel, Cory Ward and Karl Uhlenberg, but it was Uhlenberg who was the most consistent driver and won the championship by a one-point margin from Ward. Cameron Hurley made a vast improvement forward and came home third. Racing for the second time this season, the midgets, too, were racing for their Taranaki champs. A decent grid of 12 cars was present with a format different to that of the modifieds and minisprints. Rather than three heats, the drivers raced twice, with their points accrued then determining their starting position in the one race final. Duane Hickman and Greg Jones were quick around the oval with a win apiece in the qualifying heats. The final had Hickman start from grid two and Jones from grid one. The first attempt to start the race saw Jones tuck his car down low while Hickman ran wide, with Jones taking command of the lead. But a caution for a racing incident saw a restart, from which Hickman grabbed the lead before the end of the first lap. He stayed at the front to win the championship ahead of Jones and Whanganui racer Ben Huijs who was third. The Stratford Scrappers superstock team lined up against the Manawatu Mustangs for two teams races with some huge hits. Tyler Walker was protected on track by his teammates to win the first race for the hometown team and the Scrappers looked like they were going to win race two as well when Blayke Adamson had a commanding lead. But steering failure saw Adamson stuck on the infield and the Mustangs were able to race two. Youth ministocks and stockcars also raced on the night, with the youth races being won by Bronson Pierce, Cory Symes and Corban Swan. A demolition derby completed the night’s activities and after nearly 15 minutes of crashing and bashing, Henry Tongariro was a clear winner and the only car left mobile. Myles Hughes was awarded the Best Presented prize, Andrew Hook and Joshua Tongariro were judged to be the best stirrers while Steve Reed won the Hard Luck prize. Demolition derby competitors had a non-contact race earlier in the night also and this was won by Regan Jordan. The next race meeting is on Saturday and will feature the Hinton Contracting Fireworks Spectacular.