3 March 2018
Written by Cindy   
Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Hermansen, Mooney shine at Oceanview

 By Tony Stuart  

All the elements were there.

The pits were full to overflowing two hours before the start of the meeting, the weather was fantastic, and a good crowd was on hand.

And the action at Supercheap Auto Oceanview Family Speedway lived up to the expectations, despite the two feature events being dominated by two drivers.

1NZ Christian Hermansen proved his second New Zealand Minisprint title was no fluke. “The Hermanator” was in outstanding form, winning a third consecutive New Zealand Minisprint Grand Prix.

 A win and a second place in his heats put Hermansen on pole position for the 20-lap final. Alongside him was the impressive Lydia Dickinson (75S).

93P Karl McGill lowered his own lap record to 13.78 en route to the second row of the grid, which he shared with 44P Glen McCutcheon.

Hermansen blasted away from the start, and was quickly up to pace. His 3rd and 4th laps both shattered the lap record, now 13.66 seconds, as he showed blistering speed whilst the track held some moisture.

As the laps counted down there was a series of incidents. McGill got caught up trying to lap Cameron Hurley (82V) and almost rolled. His race was over.

McCutcheon then fell by the wayside, and Ben Vaughn (57H) had to go to the back of the field while challenging for a podium position.

After several restarts, Hermansen took the win from Dickinson, with 8P Nathan Jeffries in third place.

Hermansen had a number of issues with his new car early in the season, but has put those behind them. At prizegiving, he paid tribute to his crew chief father Mike, engines builders Bryan and Nelson Hartley and Mike Robins from Terminator Race Cars.

A massive field of 29 Stockcars started the first heat of the Charlie Berntsen Trophy, and predictably, it didn’t take long for carnage to break out. 33V Trazarn Ryland-Annabell fired 61V Dion Black into the wall on the back straight rolling Black’s car.

Defending Charlie Berntsen Trophy-holder Francis Potaka was an early casualty, along with other good prospects including 15V Callum Sturzaker, 9V Chet Swan and 882P Brandon Jurgeleit. Less than half the field finished the first heat which was won by Dion Mooney (6V) from 78V Mark Johnston and 22V Scooter McIntosh.

The second heat was a more orderly affair with Darryl Taylor taking the win in Trevor Greig’s 81V car from 53V Mason James and the ever-present Mooney.

After two heats Mooney had a one point lead over Taylor. McIntosh was another two points further back, closely followed by James and Johnston.

The third heat was another torrid affair. 19P Aidan Pond was left stranded against the wall at the southern end on the first lap, and as the leaders came round again, 772P Kyle Lampp ran wide and slammed into Pond’s car.

That set off a chain reaction which caught out Johnston. Clipping a car as he tried to avoid the mayhem, Johnston finished on his side, and out of the running. It was the second time in two meetings that Johnston had been rolled at that spot!

In the meantime Mooney drove a stealth mission to reach the front. Lampp killed James’s chances by blocking him for a lap and a half, and as the laps counted down Jurgeleit put in a massive hit on Taylor, slowing the 81V car.

Mooney took the race win, from McIntosh in second place and 7V Damon Baxter in third. Taylor limped home in fifth place.

When the points were tallied Mooney had won The Charlie with 85 points. McIntosh finished second on 81 points and Taylor had done enough to finish third, a point further back.

Receiving the trophy from Berntsen’s widow Ann, Mooney told the crowd in the clubrooms it was his second time winning the event. He regards this one as more special however, given that Big Bad Charlie is no longer around.

In the Superstocks, 29V Clint Hill, 4V Chad Ace and 471P Daniel Hole shared the victories. 86S Bradley Korff was dominant in the Adult Ministocks, with three wins from three.

North Island Champion Grant Loveridge (7V) won the opening Production Saloon race, but had to bow to 71V Jason Pointon in the next two races.

And in the Youth Ministocks, another Mooney starred. After coming a close second to 7P Louis Redshaw in the opening race, 26V Kaelin Mooney took the second race by a mere 0.02 seconds from 21P Cody Hodge, and added the feature race as well.

Given the hot weather conditions, the track was in superb condition, a credit to the track crew led by Mike Annabell. That allowed some fantastic racing in all classes, with the crowd going home happy.

Racing at Oceanview Family Speedway resumes on Sunday 11th March at 3pm with the running of the West Coast Sidecars, and the Heiby Memorial Youth Ministocks. 

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 March 2018 )