Dickinson puts midget title on the line
There will be no rest for speedway competitors on Boxing Day.
Instead of relaxing after Christmas Day or rushing off to the Boxing Day sales, Taranaki racers will be readying their cars for tonight's meeting at Stratford Speedway.
Taranaki's Lydia Dickinson will be no exception. Arguably one of the most successful female competitors in the country, Dickinson will defend the Taranaki Midget championship at the Stratford track.
She has won the event twice and will compete against a quality field of the super fast race cars.
She will probably face stiff competition from the 13-car field that includes Daryl Hughes, Jimmy Greenhough, Dean Gorrie and Greg Jones.
Hughes has been in good form at the past few meetings, picking up race wins despite the fact that his engine has been running with a miss, while Greenhough, in an ex-Duane Hickman car, has been consistently battling at the front of the field.
Gorrie, who is running a new BSL Aggressor chassis this season, has been improving and showed a good turn of speed at the December 15 meeting.
Greg Jones, one of the most experienced racers in the class in Taranaki and also a past back-to-back winner of the championship, has his sights set on the trophy.
Jones, who has had a late start to the season because of delays with a new head for his car arriving from the United States, has been in blistering form at his past two meetings.
''We've got more horsepower and reliability.
''We were chasing reliability with the change of head, but the car certainly wasn't as competitive as we would have liked it to be last season either, so it has worked out well for us all round,'' he said.
''I'm hoping we'll be competitive on the night.''
The starting lineup will not include top local midget racer Duane Hickman, who is competing in tonight's 25-lap international midget race at Western Springs Speedway in Auckland.
The midgets are just one of seven classes that will be competing at Stratford.
Youth ministocks, which have had limited racing because of an early season rainout and two cancellations at another meeting because the track was too rough, have been added to the programme to give the drivers track time before the Youth Spectacular early in the new year.
Superstocks and saloons will both be racing, and with both grades' North Island championships being held in just a few days in Whanganui and Auckland, this will be the last chance for competitors to get their cars sorted before they take part in these events.
Streetstocks, stockcars and adult ministocks will round out the racing classes while a demolition derby will complete the night's programme.