Championship action adds extra edge to competition

Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013

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Two of speedway's fastest classes will be competing for championships at Stratford Speedway tomorrow night.

Superstocks, the fastest contact class within the sport, and sprintcars, the elite class of speedway, will both be racing for their Taranaki championship titles.

Phil Ogle, who finished second at the world invitation championship at Rotorua last weekend and who is the defending Taranaki superstock champion, will start favourite.

The increase in competitor numbers in Taranaki in the grade this season has ensured a quality field of 22 drivers.

The starting lineup, which includes Huntly driver Karl Pegg and Palmerston North contracted drivers Scott and Adam Joblin, along with Phillip Gargan, will provide ample competition for Ogle.

There are also plenty of Taranaki competitors who have the ability to knock Ogle from the top spot, including Roydon Collingwood, Wayne Moss, Neville Nolly and Michel Willemsen.

The event will be raced over three 12-lap heats and as the class allows full contact, tactics may well come into play during the later races.

Nine sprintcars have entered for their event. The class does not contract to Stratford but the club likes to run one meeting during the season for the class.

There are three sprintcars based in Taranaki.

"It's nice to be able to give them a meeting locally that they can race in," club president Scott Shaw said. "It's also good to have variety at our race meetings."

Sprintcars have a high power to weight ratio and it is not uncommon for the top machines to exceed 700 horse power.

"They are very quick around the track," Shaw said. "Faster than anything else that races here."

New Plymouth driver Graeme (Skinny) Colson is the defending champion and he will lead the Taranaki charge.

The other Taranaki drivers are Wade Savage and Tony Uhlenberg, both from Eltham.

Colson, a household name in Taranaki for racing super saloons, was looking forward to the meeting.

"I've been buzzing all week. It's going to be like the old saloon car days, just going down the road to race.

"I can't wait and we are really looking forward to putting on a show for the crowd," Colson said.

Joining the Taranaki drivers will be competitors from Palmerston North, Huntly and Wellington.

Completing the race programme will be the stockcars, streetstocks, youth ministocks and minisprints. The minisprint class will include top Palmerston North driver Christian Hermansen.

Meanwhile, the Stratford Scrappers team to compete in Palmerston North next weekend at the superstock teams champs has been named.

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STRATFORD SCRAPPERS: Phil Ogle, Wayne Moss, Tony Zehnder, Michel Willemsen and Carl Shearer.

Barry Podjursky is the sixth driver and Roydon Collingwood is the team manager.

- Taranaki Daily News

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