Start your engines, Oreti Park's ready to race
Local speedway riders will be looking forward to a well earned weekend off next weekend as they prepare for another action filled night at the Oreti Park Speedway tomorrow night.
While the Southland Outlaws Solo team took out a controversial teams event last week against the Canterbury Comets, that close-knit team becomes bitter rivals this week as they compete for the Southland Solo Championship.
Hayden Sims will be a noticeable omission from the event after a spectacular high-speed crash last weekend.
Sims was rushed to Southland Hospital and underwent surgery to repair a badly broken arm. He will be out for the rest of the season while he undergoes more surgery and rehabilitation, club president Warren Shuttleworth said.
"Once again the air fence at Oreti Park Speedway has proved its worth. Hayden's accident would have been a whole different story without it had we not had it, once again a massive thanks to all those who helped to fund it and make it possible," he said.
Without Sims the championship is wide open.
Canterbury-based Southland rider Grant Tregoning will go into the event as the strong favourite, but has had a mixed bag of results due to mechanical failures throughout the season.
Jeremy Godfrey was very fast last week. The young Southland rider seems to have shaken off early season spills to find some form and he will be putting plenty of pressure on Tregoning.
The experience of Paul Hayes and John Tuffley should not be discounted.
Hayes won several heats in the Interprovincial Teams Events and could well be the dark horse in the field, while Tuffley has just wrapped up the Southland Classic Solos Championship and the Burt Munro Challenge.
Former New Zealand Under 21 champion Jack McCrae will also be looking to turn his season around.
All these riders will also be looking for a solid result two weeks out from the New Zealand championship at Oreti Park.
There will also be a strong lineup in the support classes.
Kevin Mcdonald and Karl Hosie, fresh off winning the Southland Championship, will be the team to beat in sidecars, but this season has proved that any team on the day can cause an upset, and there has been several teams in the past few weeks who have lifted their game.
Scott Ayto and Dylan Carnie won three races last weekend and earned second spot in the Southland championships, Bradley Sharp and Neville Chalmers claimed third and also won the Peter Blick Memorial, Craig McMaster and James Dawson have won multiple races along with Josh Heenan and Harley Biddle.
Other support classes are Pee Wees, Junior Solos and Solo Classic. Racing starts 4pm tomorrow.