Taranaki drivers will be out to win back the Taranaki Streetstock Championship trophy at Stratford Speedway tomorrow night.
In the last two years the trophy has gone home with out-of-town drivers - Rotorua's Steve De Malmanche won in 2011 and his son, Trevor, won in 2012.
This year the championship has attracted a field of 16 cars, seven driven by visiting competitors, and including both De Malmanches - Steve, who is the No 1- ranked driver in the country, and Trevor, who is ranked No 3. The remaining visiting competitors are from Kihikihi and Wellington.
New Plymouth driver Richard Kettle said it was about time the trophy came home.
"The Stratford guys are going to give it a damn good go and at this stage it looks like we are going to work together to get the trophy back," he said.
Kettle, along with Chris Shingleton, John Young and Wayne Barron, who finished fourth in the New Zealand Grand Prix last weekend, are without doubt Taranaki's fastest competitors in the class and will provide the best chance for a local win.
However, the De Malmanches are very fast and it will take skill and teamwork to beat them.
Youth ministocks will race in their second championship of the season. The City of New Plymouth Classic, which was rained out at an earlier meeting, will see 30 cars face the starter. The number of starters is testament to the growth of the class - all competitors on Saturday night are from the Taranaki region.
Blair Uhlenberg will start as the favourite. He has been in good form this season and won the youth spectacular earlier this month, but will face stiff competition from Bayley Betts, Regan Gernhoefer and Carol Podjursky.
About 25 stockcar competitors will contest the Allan Hancock Memorial.
Brett Barron will make his first appearance of the season in the saloon class and, after making changes to his car during an extended winter rebuild, he is hoping to give the leading contestants a run for their money. Paul Ward will return to the Stratford track after destroying his modified at the New Zealand Championship just two weeks ago. Ward and his team performed a small miracle, repairing the modified within a week and competing in the Dirt Cup event at Auckland last weekend, where the Taranaki driver finished third.
Adult ministocks and the ever popular demolition derby will complete the programme.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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