Drivers head east in search of track time
The opportunity to log a lot of laps attracted a strong turnout of Nelson drivers to Blenheim and the Christmas on the Clay promotion at Eastern States Speedway.
Saturday's meeting was the last before Christmas and was well supported in the stockcar and youth ministock fields, in particular. One Nelson driver, Ian Clayworth, took the chance to get his mandatory one meeting on board before Saturday's New Zealand Home Loans South Island superstock championships on his home track. With his own car not running, Clayworth logged three races at the wheel of the Paul Jones Ford 6 to meet the minimum requirements to take part in a title meeting.
Trevor Lineham and Ben Taylor also ran their superstocks among the stockcars, Lineham finally unlocking some of the potential of his Gordge-Nissan, getting faster as the meeting progressed.
Dylan Hall was the best of Nelson's stockcar entrants while a simmering rivalry in the Blenheim ranks remained unresolved with the protagonists steering well clear of each other. Steve Biddulph made his return to racing in the ex-Cleve Kokshoorn hot rod from the Coast and outran the superstocks on a very gluey track in race one.
Nelson, Canterbury and Coast drivers contributed to a big field of 20 youth ministocks, with the N cars to the fore. Royston Winstanley returned from a one-meeting stand-down for two wins and a second with Shawn Pomeroy, Trey Kelling and George Watson right on the pace. Britty Carpenter also had one of her best nights while Bayley Corkill and Brad Frost tangled on the entry to turn three and experienced their first time on their lids. Corkill made it back out but Frost's car was trailered for the night.
Ryan Musgrove had to make his own entertainment in a field of just four streetstocks, winning twice before choosing to spend race three spinning out rival drivers. Cody McCarrison escaped his attention for the victory.
New Zealand champion Rob Flood was almost a lap ahead of his saloon car competitors, Paul Power and Chris Cornelius running their own race for the minor money and Eddie Frans was the sole Nelson runner among the production saloons.
Adult ministocks don't compete in Nelson and took the chance to have a run in Blenheim, Paul Ewing, Dylan Clarke and Aaron Gray enjoying a skid, even if the meeting officials were less happy with some of the contact.
Nelson's Tahuna Beach Holiday Park Speedway cranks back into action on Saturday with 18 cars entered for the South Island superstocks. Meanwhile the Accessman Tasman Thunder stockcar team travels into unfamiliar territory as they take part in the national teams championships in Palmerston North for the first time on January 1 and 2.
Prior to that, Ben Smith will go it alone as the only Nelson driver in a 174-car field for the New Zealand stockcar championship, also scheduled for Palmerston North over two days this weekend.