Stock cars: Brutal racing at Stratford Speedway

By Jarrod Macbeth

Auckland driver Gary Lonergan launches Lawrence Barr up the wall during teams racing at Stratford Speedway.
Auckland driver Gary Lonergan launches Lawrence Barr up the wall during teams racing at Stratford Speedway.

Some brutal racing featured at the Michielsens Transport West Coast Stockcar Teams Challenge at Stratford Speedway on Saturday night.

Four teams competed in the challenge — current holders of the New Zealand Teams Championship Trophy the Stratford Stormers, a second Stormers team, Stratford Stormers Yellow, former New Zealand Champions Auckland Alleycats, and Kihikihi Crusaders.

The six races provided plenty of on-track action, but it was the final between the Auckland Alleycats and Stratford Stormers that provided the best racing of the night.

The action started from the drop of the green flag with Haydin Barker rolling Auckland driver Corey Baker before the teams even got through the first turn. Even though the Alleycats were down to three cars, they led the race for almost all of the first 10 laps.

Stormers' Bevan Phillips momentarily slipped into the lead on lap nine before fully settling into position at the front of the field for the last two laps of the 12-lap race — taking the win and the overall victory for Stratford Stormers.

A field of nine competitors fronted to compete in the Uhlenberg Haulage Taranaki Sprintcar champs, including USA racer Jonathan Allard. Alllard, who broke the lap record in race one and then again in race three started on pole for the one race final and led from start to finish to win the Taranaki Champs.

Wellington competitor Stephen Taylor made a late race pass on Kendall Savage to come home in second place with Savage third. The class raced a final Ultimate Glory race which was reverse grid of the finishing order of the Taranaki champs.

The Adult Ministock class also raced for their Taranaki Champs , with 24 competitors contesting the event. Craig Mason won the first race, Bradley Korff the second and Kyle Wilson the third but Korff came out on top.

He won the Taranaki champs by two points from Zane Riddick second and Ella Sharpe third.

Blair Uhlenberg picked up two wins and a second while Paul Johnson won the other race.
Track announcer Roger Tonkin was kidnapped from his announcer's box and taken on a lap of honour around the track. Roger has been announcing at the track for 40.A more formal presentation was made to celebrate his years of service.

Speedway takes a break for a couple of weeks. The next meeting on February 17 features the New Zealand Minisprints Championship, Taranaki Saloon champs and Stockcar Soccer.

This coming weekend, Stratford Scrappers Superstock team — Paul Johnson, Gary Johnson, Blair Johnson, Mitch Vickery and Carl Shearer head to Palmerston North to compete in the Superstock Teams Champs.

- Stratford Press

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