Speedway gets started, at last

Monday, Nov 22 2021

Speedway gets started, at last

Jarrod MacBeth

After three previous attempts to get the speedway season underway were thwarted by weather and covid concerns, competitors were finally able to face the green light when racing at the MG Taranaki Stratford Speedway took place for the first time on Saturday night.

It was a different experience at the track with Covid regulations meaning there were no food trucks, scanning in was mandatory and masks required to be worn while walking around but a good number of people made the most of the warm weather and the chance to get out and do something, to come along and spectate at the Smith and Sons Renovations sponsored meeting, with some of those people also making the most of the pop up vaccination van that was on site to grab a Covid Vaccination at the same time.

Six classes were on the race card, with four of those racing for their City of New Plymouth Classics - Superstocks, Saloons, Minisprints and Adult Ministocks.

Carl Shearer, in his new ‘Rees’ built car was in fine form and recorded a seventh place in race one, followed by a first and a second in the next two to win the Superstock classic ahead of Gisborne contracted racer Bruce Williams who survived a ride around the wall in race three courtesy of Brad Uhlenberg and Zane Riddick who impressed to come home third overall. Tyler Walker debuted his new car and after suffering mechanical issues in the first two races, he won race three by a good margin and showed just what the new car (Roger) can do.

After tapping the wall in the first race, Thomas Korff gathered everything together to win the City of New Plymouth Classic for Saloons. His second place in race one, followed by two wins, the last after a daring drive around the outside of front runners Blake Hooper and Richard Dreaver ensured that he was unable to be caught on the points chart. Hooper was second while Craig Korff and Richard Dreaver tied for third.

Cameron Hurley was the most consistent driver of the fourteen Minisprint pilots on hand and won the Minisprint Classic after recording two third place finishes and a fifth. New Zealand ranked number three Bayley Betts was second while Mark Phipps was third. Newcomer to the class Ella Sharpe was looking good for a podium finish but had a little bad luck when a crank sensor wire fell off, causing her car to come to a stop on the last lap of the last race.

Fourteen Adult Ministocks faced the starter for their first race which was won by Gary Adamson but it was Roger Dettling who took overall honors after recording sixth, first and fourth to win the Classic by just one point from Palmertson North racer Jack Lammas-Martin. Malissa Alexander was third, just one further point behind Lammas-Martin.

Modifieds and Stockcars completed the race program with Shaun Bloeman dominating the racing in his new Modified and winning all three races, seemingly with ease while Stockcar race wins went the way of Bryce Jensen (two) and William Hughes.

The next race meeting at MG Taranaki Stratford Speedway is this coming Saturday, November 27th.