There will no changing of surnames only first names, with Asher Rees last night named to replace his father, Peter, in the Palmerston North Panthers for the Teams' Champs beginning on Friday night at Arena Manawatu.
With Peter Rees' stand down confirmed after he was knocked out at Meeanee, Napier, last Friday, there had been plenty of conjecture on who manager Gary Parkes would name in the team. It appeared a straight decision between Asher Rees and Jack Miers, two rising stars of superstock racing.
"It's been a difficult call but I haven't been swayed into picking one driver or the other," Parkes said. "I've made the call on form and reliability of their gear."
"There will be some disappointment but that's what happens when these youngsters desperately want to be in the Panthers. I've made Jack [Miers] captain of the [Manawatu] Mustangs and that's a step up."
Parkes said that over the past few years he had been left to pick the team he had selected the drivers on form and car reliability, something Asher Rees was on the receiving end of when not picked for the Palmerston North Pumas stockcar team at Christmas.
"I think Asher took being dropped on board and has matured," Parkes said. "He's still got a few things to learn but is coming along nicely."
Parkes said one area he wanted to work on with the young Rees was his flare that often saw him trying too often to go around the outside of opponents, something often fatal in teams racing.
Parkes said even though Asher Rees had been brought into the lineup there was the potential he could sit on the bench as reserve for each race.
"That's always a possibility and has occasionally happened in the past," he said. "But I believe he's as good as any of the other four and I'm pretty keen to give him a run."
Parkes is unsure whether Rees will run his superstock or father Peter Rees' tank which he won a race in last week.
"It's entirely up to him what he wants to drive though. I am aware he won a race in the tank, but he's gone well in his car recently also."
Parkes called a conference call with the rest of the team, Scott Miers, Shane Penn, Peter Bengston and Scott Joblin to let them know what he had decided.
He admitted it was beginning to get increasingly difficult to select teams with many of the young drivers stepping up, including Jack Miers, Adam Joblin, Simon Joblin, Jordan Dare and William Humphries, while there's talk former Manawatu Mustangs captain Kerry Humphrey will return next season.
- Manawatu Standard
Is this the best summer ever?Related story: Wellington sizzles in January heat