Saturday, November 28, 2015

Huntly Opening Meeting / WP Practice

Here are a few photos from the opening at Huntly Speedway which was the fireworks meeting resulting in the gates being shut and a full house. Also a few shots from earlier in the day at the final practice for Waikaraka Park.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2015-16 Stockcar Teams Update 1

The first taste of Stockcar teams racing has come early with the Eve of Destruction event at Eastern States Speedway two weeks ago. Four teams took part and the final placings were Canterbury Crushers 350pts, Tasman Thunder 310, Eastern States Titans and KB Cowboys both tied on 255. The Mainland Teams event at Woodford Glen and the first defence of the Rees Shield at Oceanview took place last weekend with the Pumas taking the win and the home advantage for future challenges. KB Cowboys won at Woodford Glen defeating the Tasman Thunder in the final. The Southland Spartans made their first appearance representing Invercargill's Riverside Speedway. The Huntly Teams event this weekend is the next big event on the calendar, weather permitting...

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Photos courtesy of Mike Dixon

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Photos courtesy of Stockcarscene Wal Joines

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November 7th, Eve of Destruction Meeting
Eastern States Speedway, Blenheim
KB Cowboys def Eastern States Titans

Tasman Thunder def Canterbury Crushers
Canterbury Crushers def Eastern States Titans
Tasman Thunder def KB Cowboys
Canterbury Crushers def KB Cowboys
Eastern States Titans def Tasman Thunder

November 14th, Mainland Teams
Woodford Glen Speedway, Christchurch
Eastern States Titans def Canterbury Crushers

Tasman Thunder def Southland Spartans
KB Cowboys def Canterbury Crushers
Tasman Thunder def Eastern States Titans
KB Cowboys def Southland Spartans
Eastern States Titans def Canterbury Crushers (3rd and 4th)
KB Cowboys def Tasman Thunder (1st and 2nd)

November 14th, Rees Shield
Oceanview Speedway
Palmerston North Pumas def Wanganui Vulcans

Sunday, May 24, 2015

End of the season, end of an era

Another season bites the dust, and with it also, I have decided to quietly retire this website. June 2nd marks the 10th anniversary of my first posting and after a decade of telling people what I thought about each and every meeting I went to, I don’t think there is much more to say. To be honest, its been pretty tough to get much out there that hasn’t already been covered in depth on Facebook. Facebook is slowly but surely managing to destroy all that went before it! Whether or not that’s a good thing is down to personal opinion, but it is amazing how quickly the internet world moves on and it feels as though the traditional speedway websites are falling by the wayside. I guess it comes down to how long you want to spend working on a website and Facebook is certainly easier to upload to although most posts last little more than a day before they are lost in the ether. It is quite amazing to be watching updates, photos, live laps, video and whatever else you can imagine being uploaded before punters have even finished their first round of hotdogs.

Technology is moving at such a pace and the sport of Speedway has never been at the cutting edge of any trend, quite the opposite, a niche sport that holds on to its past and its traditions with a vice-like grip. I sense there will be a day of reckoning very soon when change will come, or when this open access we have enjoyed for years is addressed one way or another, there have already been a few speed bumps and threats made, and at some point I think someone is going to get burned. It all comes down to money of course and no tradition, good intention or hustle will ever go unpunished if there is a buck to be made. With my hand on my heart I can honestly say I doubt I have made a cent out of the sport but I have loved doing the website, taking photos and publishing five yearbooks… and I don’t regret it for a moment. There is a fine line though between fans photos and videos, and Speedway Clubs and Promoters rights and its a blurry line at the moment. Its funny how many times I've seen this argument come up on Macgors and Facebook over the years and I for one, don't have the answer. Is one robbing the other, does one promote the other? Is there a pot of gold to be made from Speedway?

I’ve certainly enjoyed sharing my thoughts and photos and have had a lot of good feedback over the years, culminating in an award for Best Website at the SNZ awards last season, and a nomination for the same again at this years awards. A nice note to go out on. I also won an award for a book I did two years ago which Im very proud of. I’ll still be going to as many meetings as I can in the future, some things never change. Also the camera will still be getting a good thrashing and I’m sure if there is a meeting that’s so good and I’m bursting to write about it then the ‘spectator’ webpage will get an update, never say never I believe is the saying. The actual website will still be there to read, there is 10 years of results if anyone is bored or needs to reference it, I certainly don't mind.

There are a few people Id like to thank also who have helped along the way, Gordon MacDougall the man behind Macgors and a pioneer of the online presence of Speedway and one of the people who has inspired me to write. A recent Facebook mob attack of his website was bizarre and lasted over a week. I watched in amazement as people not only demanded his website be shut down but also made accusations that were baseless and untrue and then as various moderators names were dragged through the mud, even to the extent of seeing one of them have their workplace posted (what, so you can attack him at work too, not just on Facebook) I just thought it was a embarrassment and turned into exactly what they had criticised Macgors for! How ironic. Anyway, I thought it was unfair and I don't know how he kept his composure because I wouldn't have. He is an incredible Speedway fan, sponsor and champion of the sport.  His website has been the major source of readers for mine, I have unashamedly used it to source hits and views and 'likes' which is what we all measure ourselves by in this new computer age. In fact many people "who never read or visit that site" have used it to promote, sell and gain exposure.

There are a few photographers who have helped me from day one with my books and photos I've needed for the website updates, people like Brendon Learmonth, Jason Prussing, Graham Hughes, Andrew Hamblyn, Craig Baker, Go Slideways, Yas Dolbel, Mikey Burgess, Philip Scott, Wal Joines and I'm sure many more over the years. I've always admired the people that go out there and do something that helps the sport usually for little reward. Catching up with people at various meetings is one of my favourite parts of the sport, my Palmy Teams pilgrimage each year is one of the best, trading programmes and cussing each others teams all part of the fun. Wal Joines, Glen Tamatea, Markus Makea, Ricky Rewiri, Angela 'Panthers' Dougherty, Troy Adamson, Dan Neville, Barry Brown, Mathew Percival, Ivan Smeats, Dave Shaw, and many more. Also to the drivers that take the time out to say hi and talk speedway.

If this was the Oscars, the music would be playing now and the hook would be coming from the side of the stage, so I better finish off. If you a have passion for this sport, whether its as a driver, promoter, crew, fan or just a punter that just goes for the hot chips, you have every right to an opinion, but you also need to remember that pointless attacks, bitter comments and baseless 'facts' hurt the sport. Maybe a few moments thinking before hitting that enter button on your keyboard might make a world of difference. I've tried to make this website an interesting read but at the same time a good reflection of what I thought of the meetings I went to. Its not surprising, but a negative review ALWAYS got a massive amount of views over a positive write up about a decent nights racing. What does that say about us? Perhaps thats why bad news always gets an airing before anything positive - this is not an attack on Speedway folk, its just the society we live in sadly.

Finally and most importantly, go the Allstars!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Final Stockcar Teams Update for 2015

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Two more races to finish the season with Tasman Thunder losing at home to the Canterbury Crushers and then a win away at Westport over the Sunset Slayers. The Wanganui Vulcans top the table and take out the overall win by 2 points from the Stormers from Stratty.

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November 8
Greenstone Park Speedway, Greymouth
Tasman Thunder def Greymouth Grizzlies

Eastern States Speedway, Blenheim
KB Cowboys def Eastern States Titans
Canterbury Crushers def KB Cowboys
Canterbury Crushers def Eastern States Titans

Paradise Valley Speedway, Rotorua
Rees Shield : Wanganui Vulcans def Rotorua Rascals

Woodford Glen Speedway, Nov 15
North vs South
KB Cowboys def Canterbury Crushers
Canterbury Crushers def Wanganui Select
KB Cowboys def Canterbury Invitation
Canterbury Invitation def Wanganui Select

Palmerston North, Nov 15
Palmerston Probables def Manawatu Steelers

Huntly Teams Meeting Night 1
Stratford Stormers def Wanganui Vulcans
Rotorua Rascals def North Island Select
Meeanee Maulers def Auckland Alleycats
Waikato Raiders def Huntly Hawks
Rotorua Rascals def Wanganui Vulcans
Stratford Stormers def North Island Select
Auckland Alleycats def Huntly Hawks
Meeanee Maulers def Waikato Raiders

Huntly Teams Meeting Night 2
Wanganui Vulcans def North Island Select
Auckland Alleycats def Huntly Hawks
Stratford Stormers def Waikato Raiders
Rotorua Rascals def Meeanee Maulers
Stratford Stormers def Rotorua Rascals
Meeanee Maulers def Waikato Raiders

At Woodford Glen, Nov 29
Tasman Thunder def Canterbury Crushers

At Greenstone Park Speedway, Greymouth
Greymouth Grizzlies def Sunset Slayers

At Waikaraka Park
Auckland City Sinnerz def Huntly Hawks

At Paradise Valley Rotorua
Rotorua Rascals def Huntly Hawks

At Meeanee Speedway, Hawkes Bay
Peter Barry Memorial
Wellington Young Guns def Meeanee Maulers 165-20
Bay Park Bulldogs def Stratford Stormers 110-85
Orange Roughies def Palmerston North Pumas 135-60
Wanganui Vulcans def Waikato Raiders 165-20
Meeanee Maulers def Stratford Stormers 100-40
Wellington Young Guns def Bay Park Bulldogs 135-60
Wanganui Vulcans def Orange Roughies 125-70
Palmerston North Pumas def Waikato Raiders 185-10
For 3rd: Palmerston North Pumas def Bay Park Bulldogs
Final: Wanganui Vulcans def Wellington Young Guns

At Top of the South Speedway, Nelson
Sunset Slayers def Tasman Thunder

At Huntly Speedway, Waikato
Huntly Hawks def Auckland City Sinnerz

NZ Stockcar Teams, Paradise Valley Rotorua
Night 1
Wellington Young Guns def Greymouth Grizzlies
Wanganui Vulcans def Baypark Bulldogs
Palmerston North Pumas def Eastern States Titans
Gisborne Gladiators def Tasman Thunder
Canterbury Crushers def Auckland Alleycats
Rotorua Rascals def Meeanee Maulers
Waikato Raiders def Stratford Stormers
Wellington Young Guns def Wanganui Vulcans
Eastern States Titans def Greymouth Grizzlies
Baypark Bulldogs def Tasman Thunder
Canterbury Crushers def Palmerston North Pumas
Gisborne Gladiators def Meeanee Maulers
Stratford Stormers def Auckland Alleycats
Rotorua Rascals def Waikato Raiders
Night 2
Gisborne Gladiators def Palmerston North Pumas
Rotorua Rascals def Stratford Stormers
Wellington Young Guns def Wanganui Vulcans
Canterbury Crushers def Waikato Raiders
Gisborne Gladiators def Rotorua Rascals
Wellington Young Guns def Canterbury Crushers
Stratford Stormers def Wanganui Vulcans
Palmerston North Pumas def Waikato Raiders
Canterbury Crushers def Rotorua Rascals
Gisborne Gladiators def Wellington Young Guns

Palmerston North Stockcar Teams Nationals
March 14th Palmerston North Showgrounds
Wanganui Vulcans def KB Cowboys
Manawatu Mullets def Wellington Young Guns
Palmerston North Pumas def Manawatu Steelers
Manawatu Steelers def Wellington Young Guns
Manawatu Mullets def Wanganui Vulcans
Palmerston North Pumas def KB Cowboys
Wanganui Vulcans def KB Cowboys
Palmerston North Pumas def Manawatu Mullets

Kihikihi Teams Invitation
Stratford Stormers def Huntly Hawks
North Island Select def Waikato Raiders
Waikato Raiders def Huntly Hawks
Stratford Stormers def North Island Select

At Nelson
Canterbury Crushers def Tasman Thunder

At Westport
Tasman Thunder def Sunset Slayers

Friday, April 10, 2015

Invercargill Stockcars on the rise again

I had noticed on Facebook recently the rise of Stockcars again in the deep south at Riverside Speedway which featured the South Island Stockcar Title a few weeks ago when Crowell were unable to run the event. I spoke to Daryl Shuttleworth who has been reviewing meetings and providing reports from the track if he had any info on why the class has suddenly come back to life? He sent me this info and put me in contact with Debra Race who kindly sent me some photos from a recent meeting and a list of current competitors.

Daryl wrote " I spoke to Steve Clements who was the first down here to buy one, he was having his house rewired by former Riverside Speedway President Baron Kelman who mentioned he was building one (it hasn't hit the track yet). Steve said he would love one so he went out and bought a car. The next to buy one was Daniel Harper who works for Steve Clements, he is also a former sidecar rider, then Rob Mitchell and Shannan Knight who were in Streetstocks also purchased cars so they started the season with four cars. They have since had a few new cars pop up throughout the year and there were 10 at the Southland Champs although two of these were from Eastern States. They are expecting numbers to be in the mid teens next season, so about 14-15 cars minimum. They have already had approaches from other clubs in the South Island wanting them to do a teams deal, some sort of South Island teams event, but nothing confirmed yet. They are keen to have a crack at teams eventually."

When I was at the NZ Stockcar title in Nelson this season I noticed Rob Mitchell in the 91i Rees chassis and was impressed with his speed and aggression. Sidecar competitor Erwin Tree is the latest to join the ranks in the 95i machine and the ex-Hadleigh Smith tank from Greymouth is now in the hands of Kelvin Lawson. Here is a list of the drivers that Debra could think of and its a great roster to get the class really pumping for next season. I believe the Stockcar rep is Glen Fraser if you are keen to join this growing class. If you have anymore info on Invercargill Stockcars, have one in your shed or plan to race next season let me know and I'll add it to this posting with photos, thanks.

  8i Aaron Borthwick
14i AJ Lapsley
22i Daniel Harper
25i Steve Clements
29i Shannan Knight
36i Dylan Mountney
38i Daryl Crack
84e Mark Taylor
91i Rob Mitchell
95i Erwin Tree
96i Kelvin Lawson

Thanks to Debra Race for the use of her photos, her Facebook page is HERE, and to Daryl Shuttleworth for the information about the class, his Facebook page is HERE. The Rock Riverside Speedway Facebook page is HERE.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Osborne and Remnant Win

Supersaloon GP and Waikato Superstocks
Huntly Speedway, 24th January 2015

A couple of visitors boosted the meagre field for the once mighty Waikato Superstock title including Mike Mac and Regan O'Brien from Hawkes Bay, along with a sprinkling of Auckland, Rotorua and Mount cars. Four locals including Aaron Alderton in his stockcar brought the field up to 13 cars. 19m Kerry Remnant took the first heat moving from up from a rear of field starting grid leading home 84b Mike MacLachlan and 45r Nick Vallance, fresh from his awesome showing at the NZ Superstock title. 5a Brad Ridland had the tank flying in heat two and lead for most of it before puncturing the right rear tyre with 2 laps to go, Remnant capitalising on Ridland's bad luck for a second win and a 3 pt lead over Vallance going into the final heat. Kris Allen driving the 24h was sitting in third place overall. Heat 3 provided some much needed action and a first turn pile up left Remnant with a flat left front tyre and brought on the reds for 84a Brent Crookes. 63a Bryce Marx lead the field and would eventually take the win. Both O'Brien and MacLachlan both retired mid race and locals Allen and Alderton would come home second and third. Remnant managed fourth place and took the overall win ahead of 45r Nick Vallance and 63a Bryce Marx.

A 20 lap winner takes all Grand Prix for the Supersaloons was the feature event of the meeting. 15 cars took the grid for the final with 16m Mark Osborne and 41b Graham Strong on the front row. Strong lead for the first lap before Osborne made his inevitable pass and then lead from that moment on. By lap 4 he had opened a gap on the field and by mid race was leading by half a lap and had already reached the back markers. So like most of the crowd I imagine, we were looking at 1nz Steve Flynn who had made a couple of passes on 63a Nige Mouat and 7m Brent Emerson. Further back 77s Blondie Chamberlain was providing the most entertainment having passed a number of cars from his grid 15 rof start and when he managed to pass 2nz Mark Grocott the crowd erupted! Unfortunately his charmed run ended soon after with a touch of the wall in turn 3 dropping him well back. 16m Osborne took the chequered flag with a massive lead for a convincing win and third NZ Grand Prix title.

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