The abilities of the Marlborough speedway fraternity have been tested and proven over the last month as many of the various classes have kicked into championship mode with tracks all over the country hosting vital meetings.
Saloon driver Robert Flood started the success by claiming second place in the South Island Saloon Championship in Cromwell last month, narrowly missing the top spot in a hard-fought battle with Cromwell racer, Daryl Ainsly. Flood returns to Cromwell this weekend, this time testing his talent against the country's best drivers in the National Championships. With a remarkable history at the Cromwell track, Flood is hoping to replace his 791e race number with the prestigious 1NZ livery.
Eastern States Speedway stockcar racers were not as successful on an individual basis, no Blenheim cars qualifying for the final rounds at their National Championships held at Woodford Glen Speedway in Christchurch.
However, Ralph Gillespie, Gavin Marshall, Steve Biddulph, Ricco Gray and Sam Thompson then formed as the Eastern States Titans team to take on the best of other provinces at the Teams Racing National Championship in Palmerston North two weeks ago. All of the team, including guest team member Jordan Dare from Palmerston North, gave it their all working their way into the grand finale against the Palmerston North Pumas. The Titans did not quite have what it took to take the title from the home team, but their second place was their best achievement to date and they provided some racing highlights.
Invercargill was the latest destination for super saloon driver Paddy North, making the trek south to compete in last Friday's ELF Supercup. It was round three of the seven round series and was followed by the South Island Super Saloon title on Saturday.
Continual development on the 750 horsepower Lovelady Monaro race-car paid dividends for North, coming second in the Supercup and South Island title features, behind Nelson's Ian Burson on both occasions. North is now placed second overall in the series, with Cromwell, Dunedin and two Christchurch rounds left to race.
North will also be concentrating his efforts towards earning a 1NZ race number at the Super Saloon National Championships, being hosted at Woodford Glen on February 15-16.
- The Marlborough Express