Huge field forces venue to rethink
Palmerston North Speedway track manager Bryan Puklowski has been forced to go outside the confines of Arena Manawatu to accommodate the huge field for the New Zealand stockcar champs which begin on Saturday.
With 180 entrants already signed for what must be the biggest single motorsport event in the country, Puklowski admits it has been difficult to find just where to put all the competitors.
"It's definitely the most pressure we've been put under to find room for everyone."
This year there won't be any public car parking outside the Barber Hall on Waldegrave St with the entire carpark now fenced off for an extra pit area for the stockcars.
"With seven groups and 21 races on qualifying night, we need to keep the meeting running smoothly," he said.
"Having two groups together in the new Waldegrave pit area will definitely help us."
Puklowski said they had hoped to get all seven groups on the sealed areas of the Robertson Holden Speedway, but it was unmanageable.
"Because cars have to come through our usual pit area on Waldegrave St, it cut out a bit of room. But we're pleased we've only had to put the one group onto grass."
Puklowski said losing the public parking area in Waldegrave St wasn't a problem as the public can use the parking area on Cuba St, while the Arena Manawatu back rugby grounds will be open with access off Oakley St.
In an effort to keep both the New Zealand individual championships, beginning on Saturday, and Teams' champs starting on New Year's Day finishing as close as possible to 10pm, racing will begin on each of the four nights at 6pm.