Champ Winstanley comes of age

PETE MCNAE
Last updated 12:00 01/04/2014
 final sea swim
BRIAN HOPPING/MAINLAND PHOTOS

YOUTH MOVEMENT: Roydon Winstanley in 22Y takes the inside line as Rotorua’s Tyson Wright goes high during the Youth Ministock Challenge at Woodford Glen.

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Youth ministocks race only rarely at the Woodford Glen Speedway in Christchurch but, when they do, there is a fair chance Roydon Winstanley will be there.

The Nayland College student was part of the field five seasons ago as a 12-year-old first-season driver. On Saturday, he was back at the Glen for the return of the class, coming home as the Youth Ministock Challenge champion.

Winstanley is set to graduate from the class when he turns 17 later this season but, in his five seasons in the youth class, he has emerged as one of the drivers to beat.

Although he didn't win a race in the 24-car invitation field that ran at the Glen, Winstanley's second and two thirds were enough to see him win the title by a clear four points. Highly-rated Rotorua driver Tyson Wright was second on a countback from Nelson's Shawn Pomeroy.

On the way to his win, Winstanley broke the track lap record, which had previously been held by the late Tony Newman running in adult ministocks. Newman, acknowledged as one of the best adult class drivers ever, had take Winstanley under his wing on his previous visit five seasons earlier.

His lap time of 21.42sec came in heat two while he dipped under Newman's time again in heat three, but couldn't beat his own fresh record.

Winstanley races out of Westport's Sunset Speedway and will not be a part of the Ministock Mania field when the Nelson season wraps up on April 11-12.

Instead, the 16-year-old plans to compete in Blenheim at Easter, take a crack at the unofficial New Zealand title in Oxford and round out his youth career at Queen's Birthday weekend in Westport.

Future plans might involve a move to stockcars, following the path of his father, Brian, who raced superstocks in Nelson.

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- Nelson

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