Youth takes Tank teams race

JEREMY SAVELL
Last updated 12:01 23/04/2012

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Speedway

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It was a night of huge variety at the Palmerston North speedway on Saturday as youth overcame experience in the Tank teams race and with titles decided in the modified and sidecar classes.

An interesting twist on the tank teams race was introduced this time as the teams facing off were comprised of fathers against sons.

Dad's Army were struck a blow in the warm-up when 1NZ, Peter Rees, retreated to the infield with engine trouble and likewise the Territorials, as the youth team were called, suffered the loss of speedster Jayden Ward.

The decision to focus on young Asher Rees at the start of the race cost Dads Army, as team-mate Chevron Taniwha skipped away to an early lead and the oldies seemed to have no answer to his pace.

Graeme Ward was a willing combatant, but couldn't land the killer blow as the cool-under-pressure Taniwha took a win that will earn bragging rights at the very least.

Asher Rees also finished in second place despite coming under further attack.

The other feature event was the Manawatu modifieds championship, not held for many years.

The Taranaki challenge looked impressive with heat wins going to Mark Dixon and newcomer Farron Lowry, along with solid performances by Richard "Bunter" Pierce.

They didn't count on the guile and skill of Auckland's Jamie Fox however, who struggled early in the meeting.

Fox was having difficulty finding the form he shows on his home track, but the measure of the man was shown in the championship final.

Starting from grid five, Fox patiently made his way past Pierce, Lowry and race-leader Blair Luscombe during the 15-lap race to take a hard-earned win.

The impressive Lowry upstaged his team-mate Pierce as they finished second and third respectively.

A sidecar best-pairs event went to the wire as the top combinations suffered mechanical trouble in the final heats. Matt Stewart and Jacob Cooper were paired with Paul Humphrey and Ben Franklin and emerged victorious.

Steve King and Shaun Carter were second along with recent South Island champions Derek Ramsay and Tony Hislop.

Action carried on in the stockcar and superstock classes after the teams race, with a number of wall rides and rollovers.

Overall season points prompted Jayden and Graeme Ward's repeated attacks on Rob Miers, and the walling of Mitchell Hill by Josh Prentice in an entertaining feature.

Alec Wilson continued his running battle with Shane Simpson by tipping him over earlier in the same event.

Peter Rees took out his frustration at not being a part of the teams race by piling Craig Humphries into Andy McCabe at the start of the first superstock race, sending the Europe-bound McCabe onto his lid.

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Rees went on to win the next two races, including a rollover of another Taranaki modified pilot, John Jackson, behind the wheel of Peter Bengston's car, and a wily spin on the flying Wayne Hemi to take the feature.

Minisprint racing was notable for the sheer speed and skill of Jamie Larsen, who notched up two second places and a feature win.

Other wins went to Dean Fitness and Robert Orr, who then suffered a rare tumble in the feature race. Adult ministock wins were shared between Wanganui's Tyler Gibbons, Seatton Hay and Karl McGill.

- Manawatu Standard

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