1st April and 2nd April Report
Written by Cindy   
Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A sizzling end to the Oceanview season 

By Tony Stuart

  

 The speedway season is over. The lights at Supercheap Auto Oceanview Family Speedway were switched off on Sunday night for the last time until October after a bruising weekend of  racing action.

 On Saturday night Kerry Podjursky won his second consecutive West Coast Superstocks title.

 With two wins and a second placing from the three heats, Podjursky was the standout driver in a field of 13 cars. He also won the Noel Kensington and Craig Heibner Memorial races.

 The third memorial though, to Podjursky’s late father George remains elusive. That race was won by Bevan Humphrey, with Podjursky close behind in second.

 Humphrey, making his first appearance of the season in the final meeting, finished second overall. Stratford driver Mitch Vickery was the best of the visitors, finishing in third place.

 The Superstock competitors loved the smooth, drivey track. Palmerston North driver Jacob Baker described it as one of the best he had run on all season.

 Dion Mooney was a hot favourite to retain his West Coast Stockcar title, and went straight to the lead in the opening heat. That was as good as it got for the 2NZ pilot however and an  electrical problem  stopped the car in its tracks, ending Mooney’s night.

 Mark Johnston took the opening heat, but then he too fell victim to mechanical gremlins allowing Darryl Taylor through for the race win.

 Taylor was dominant in the final heat, taking a second race win and the West Coast title.

 Nathan Black finished second overall, with Francis Potaka taking third after a run-off with Vulcans team-mate Scott McIntosh.

 John Caird has dominated the Production Saloon class for a number of seasons, and took out the Ray Purdy Memorial title from Grant Loveridge. Grant Little beat Darren McKay in a run-  off for third.

 Immediately after the race it was announced that Caird’s car had been sold to a Gisborne competitor, and at the prize giving after the meeting, he announced his retirement from the class.

 Sunday afternoon was cloudy and humid, and another good crowd was on hand to watch the final hurrah for the season.

 Popular Wanganui Vulcans driver Francis Potaka proved his third place in the West Coast Stockcars was no fluke by winning the Charlie Berntsen Trophy.

  It was deja-vu for Mooney however, with the 2NZ car losing oil pressure while leading the opening heat. Mooney’s day was done.

 Mark Johnston won the first two heats to lead the points, but everything changed in an action-packed final race.

 A number of drivers cruised the pole line, looking for victims. Berntsen’s son Brendon ucas fired Trevor Greig into the wall at the town end, getting revenge for a hit by Greig the race  before.

 Johnston was looking comfortable until he came under attack from Jason Wright, dropping him down the field.

 As Johnston faltered, McIntosh took the race win with Potaka close behind in second. That was enough to win the Charlie Berntsen Trophy. Johnston finished second, with Sandy Flett in  third place  overall.

 Potaka was over the moon. He told those in the Charlie Berntsen Clubrooms at the post-meeting presentations that Berntsen had been his mentor when he started racing over 20 years  ago.

 “This is the one I’ve always wanted to win” he said.

 The last title to be decided was the Zodiac Signs West Coast Minisprints, which was taken out by 1NZ Christian Hermansen.

 The superb track conditions saw almost half a second carved off the Minisprint lap record, first by Karl McGill, and then by Hermansen with a sizzling 13.95 second lap.

 The Minisprints have become a popular class for Oceanview spectators. The Wanganui Stockcar and Speedway Club was recognised by the organisers of the Oval Superstars Tour  winning the Best  Event of the 2016-17 OST season, an award voted by the series competitors. 

 All that was left was the annual Demolition Derby, and that delivered lots of entertainment for the crowd as the season wound down. Joshua Annabell drove the last car moving after he  and Best Stirrer  Aaron Rose battered one another’s cars into submission.

 It was a fitting, metal-crushing end to an entertaining season of speedway at Oceanview.

 For photo's of the race meeting please head over to the Oceanview Speedway facebook page 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 April 2017 )