MAULERS BEATEN AND MELLING TRIUMPHS
Unusally flat to be fair … this was the best summation of last night’s meeting at ZM Meeanee Speedway.
The Meeanee Maulers were beaten by the Gisborne Gladiators in their stockcar teams race and just 10 drivers, none from out of town, contested the Hawke’s Bay Streetstock Championship. Hopes earlier in the week some Gisborne drivers would travel south for this championship were dashed when they opted to race in Rotorua.
Sam Hughes secured the teams race win for the Gladiators after beating the Maulers Brett Loveridge across the line. Experienced Gladiator Ian Barron was third. The Bay drivers more than made up for this disappointment with the in-form Jason Penn winning the next two heats for the 21-strong class and Tony Palmer taking out the Grand Slam which ended the night’s racing.
Heat one in the streetstock championship saw Ben Yeoman grab the win and Wayne Melling and Ewen Powell finish second and third respectively. Yeoman was dealt to early in the second heat which saw Dave Brand take Darren Melling out of contention.
Daniel Melling pipped Brand for line honours and Powell remained in contention for the title with a third placing. Going into the third heat three drivers, Brand, Powell and Daniel Melling were equal on points in first place and Yeoman and Wayne Melling were a point behind them.
Margo Fairless rolled two-and-a-half times in the final heat which was won by Wayne Melling. Brand and Daniel Melling were second and third respectively.
These placings forced a four-lap run off for the title between “The Sheriff” (Brand) and Wayne Melling. Brand took the early lead but Melling chased him down and spun him around on lap two and then came out on top in an inside-outside passing move on lap three before going on to take the victory.
Daniel Melling finished third, Powell fourth and Richard Houston fifth.
Superstocks, ministocks and saloons provided the support class action. Hawke’s Bay’s 1NZ Joe Faram won all three heats in the superstocks from clubmate Tony Meechan.
Host club drivers Brandon Warner, Caleb Waerea and Max Bayley all had turns with the chequered flag in the 27-strong ministock class. Their clubmate Benjamin Prebble had a spectacular flip in the second heat.
The nine-strong saloon class included Super Saloon drivers and used a handicap start format. Hawke’s Bay saloon champion Steven Martin won the first and second heats and his clubmate and 1NZ for Supers took out the third.
Remember folks our next meeting is a doubleheader – March 2 and 3. Ten teams will battle in the annual Peter Barry Memorial Teams Championship for stockcars and we’re hosting the New Zealand Alexander Electric TQ Championship.
Can Hawke’s Bay cousins Craig and Duane Todd finish with 1NZ and 2NZ respectively for the second consecutive year in this championship and continue the Bay’s remarkable run in national events this summer?
One thing is for certain there will be nothing flat about the next two nights of racing here at ZM Meeanee Speedway, Catch ya then.