Marlborough racers still hot

17:57, Feb 20 2013

Marlborough drivers again stood proudly on the podium when the Eastern States track near Renwick hosted the South Island Stockcar Champs on Saturday night.

A large crowd watched 24 of the South Island's most talented stockcar drivers charge to the chequered flag over three heats.

Nelson's Cody Teece eventually came out on top and took the title, narrowly ahead of runner-up and local favourite Ralph Gillespie. Another Eastern States racer, Brent Goulding, also got on the podium by earning third overall, while several other Marlborough drivers - Zac Thompson (6th), Ricco Gray (10th), Daryl MacDonald (13th), Gavin Marshall (15th) and Steve Biddulph (18th) - were also competing.

Eastern States president Stu Coutts said he was thrilled at the number of fans supporting both the Marlborough and visiting competitors. He said the efforts of Gillespie and Goulding added to his pride in the performance of the drivers registered to the club.

"We have a 1NZ saloon driver, who also holds second in the South Island, the Titans stockcar team getting second in New Zealand, the second ranked super saloon driver in the South Island and now a second and third in the Southern Stockcar Champs. It just keeps getting better and our small club is so proud of the large achievements."

Newly-crowned national saloon champion Rob Flood was out on track debuting his 1NZ plate and he displayed the form that earned him the top spot in Cromwell two weeks ago, taking wins in two of the three saloon races.

Meanwhile, Blenheim super saloon speedster Paddy North began his campaign at the Super Saloon National Championships in Christchurch on Friday night, qualifying second in his group.

The 46e Lovelady Monaro showed pace capable of being a top contender for Saturday's final. However, a disappointing grid draw saw North starting at the rear of the field for race one and he was unable to avoid being tangled in a collision, resulting in a flat tyre and a DNF. Despite good performances in the following two heats, not completing race one meant that 10th overall was the best he could manage.


The Marlborough Express