Stockcar season to roar into action

SPEEDWAY
Last updated 07:04 09/11/2012

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A stockcar team challenge and stockcar football are the headline acts while production saloons, ministocks, street stocks and saloons will also be in action when Eastern States Speedway near Renwick hosts the "Eve of Destruction," its opening meet of the 2012-13 season, on Sunday.

The feature event of the day is the stockcar team challenge, with Marlborough represented by the Eastern States Titans.

Ralph Gillespie, Ricco Gray, Sam Thompson and Steve Biddulph make up the Titans this season and on Sunday they will be hoping to defend their title against Palmerston North's KB's Cowboys and the Canterbury Crushers.

Although they enjoyed some top results last season, luck was not always on the Titans side. They produced a superb performance to finish fourth at the national stockcar teams championships, with Gray named the "Warrior of the Oval" for an outstanding performance in the qualifying rounds.

Team spokesman Gray expressed the excitement in the team as they prepared for a busy period and chased the dream of grabbing the No 1 spot at this year's national championships.

"The boys are all pretty keen to get into it on Sunday, before the two-night meeting in Christchurch next weekend where we will all meet again for another teams meeting, as well as a North v South shootout. It is awesome to host Palmerston North's KB's Cowboys and the Canterbury Crushers here on our home track."

Combining a game of football with a field of hard hitting cars proved so popular with the crowd last year, the club has insisted on the return of stockcar football this season.

It involves a group of stockcars tussling for possession of a derelict donor road car, slowly turning the rolling mass into the shape of a ball. Popular Marlborough driver Daryl "Dagwood" McDonald was the most valuable player in stockcar football last season, almost rolling end over end as he performed dressage-like skills for the applauding fans.

After an extremely busy off-season, where members constructed a new safety fence to meet the requirements of the national organisation, club president Stu Coutts said he was excited to finally be at the start of the race season.

"Speedway New Zealand are proud of our achievements and we are now setting the benchmark for what is required to comply with regulations. The track is future-proofed for many years to come."

The gates open to the public at 1pm on Sunday, with racing set to get underway at 2pm sharp.

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- The Marlborough Express

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