17 March review
Written by Cindy   
Wednesday, 07 March 2018

In a class of their own 

By Tony Stuart

 

Title sponsor Steve Heibner Distributors summed things up perfectly. 

Presenting the Stevo’s Distributors North Island Sidecars trophies to winners Russell Stuart and Andrew Parker, Heibner commented that the 1NZ rider and swinger were in a class of their own. 

No one was at Supercheap Auto Oceanview Family Speedway on Saturday night would agree with the former New Zealand and North Island champion’s assessment. 

Stuart and Parker are veterans of the New Zealand Sidecar community.  They won their first New Zealand title in 2010-11, but until last night their best effort at the North Island event had been a third placing in the 2007-08 season.

Stuart, aged 59, had planned to retire from racing at the end of the season, until he won the New Zealand title at Napier in January. 

Winning two of the three Speedway NZ titles in the class though will see the pair race again next season. 

After two of the five rounds of heats Stuart and Parker and the local 3NZ team of John Hannan and Bryce Rose were the only unbeaten teams. 

In Round 3 however Hannan could only manage one point in his heat, and the 3NZ team’s misery was compounded when the bike lost power on the last lap whilst leading their fourth race. Their night was over. 

Going into the final round of heats, three teams could have won, and remarkably, they were all drawn together in the very last race of the night. 

Mark Whye/Jason Cooper (96P) and Dylan Moohan/Tyler Berger (27A) were tied on 15 points, one behind Stuart/Parker. 

Once again though, 1NZ got the jump from the start, and held on for an emphatic win. 

Whye and Cooper came home in second, with the Auckland-based Moohan/Berger combination just behind in third place.

 Local teams Aaron Rose/Bailee Ross (34V) and Craig Scott/Kristi Wackildene (62V) shared fourth place with Andrew McNamara/George Olsen (21B). 

Stuart was warm in his praise of the host club for a well-run event, and had some special words for Aaron Rose and Amelia Stanley, who had done a huge amount of work to run the event, including creating the unique trophies. 

Wellington driver Tyler Lampp (992W) took out the Trev’s Concrete Stockcar Shootout. Lampp was the top qualifier, and came up against former 1NZ Gerry Linklater (98V) in the final. 

Linklater, who qualified fourth, had earlier eliminated Francis Potaka (52V), Damon Baxter (7V) and Mark Johnston (driving Greig’s 81V car) to make the final, and was given the prize for the best challenge. 

It was a cool night at Oceanview Speedway, but for the good crowd the racing action was anything but. Spectators were treated to a clinical display of riding by the new North Island champions. 

The final meeting of the season will take place on Saturday 7th April at 7pm. 

That meeting will feature the Noel Kensington, George Podjursky and Craig Heibner Memorial races for Superstocks, along with a Stockcar teams race. 

Also on the card is the Wanganui Stockcar and Speedway Club’s annual Demolition Derby, and the season will be brought to a close with fireworks. 

In a season when there have been plenty of fireworks on the track, that will be a fitting conclusion!

Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 March 2018 )