Stratford Speedway officials are confident the repair work completed at the track will stop the dust problems that have annoyed drivers and turned away spectators.
The track has been relaid for tomorrow night's meeting, which will feature saloon, modified and midget classes.
The papa clay surface has been ripped, rotary hoed and rolled during the past two weeks, while the in-ground sprinkler system has been used to bed-in the surface.
"The surface as it was was very hard," club president Scott Shaw said. "We couldn't rip it with our own grader. We had to get the Uhlenberg grader up here and even that was lifting the front up when the rear rippers were in the ground.
"The relaid surface is softer and has more ability to hold moisture, which will reduce the dust and provide more traction for the competitors."
The track will get a real test tomorrow with a large field of 20 saloon cars to compete.
Included in the line-up are the Stratford father and son team of Craig and Thomas Korff.
Both have just returned from a week-long tour of the South Island where they competed in the South Island Saloon Car Speedweek.
Thomas finished eighth in the series while Craig finished 13th out of the 25-car field.
Either of the pair have a good chance of taking home the Taranaki Championship, although they face stiff competition from brothers Mark and Dave Hinton, along with Russell Gorrie and John Young, who have all been performing well this season.
Top ranked New Zealand driver Jeff Barron and third ranked Paul Cressy, both of Baypark Speedway, are expected to provide the toughest competition for Taranaki drivers. The modifieds will include Taranaki's Paul Ward, who was last month crowned Wellington champion.
With no racing in Stratford for the past three weeks because of rain and the the A & P show, several competitors have been travelling away to race, including Cressy and Blair Luscombe, who finished third in Wellington.
With the New Zealand Championship coming up in January, it will be vital for the drivers to get on top of the track conditions.
Stockcars and adult ministocks are also on the meeting card. The former will see drivers fighting for a position on the podium for the Stockcar Heritage Shield, while the adult ministocks will be competing for the Taranaki Championship. Youth ministocks will complete the race programme.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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