Pierce takes out modified titles
New Plymouth driver Richard "Bunter" Pierce won both the Taranaki Modified Championship and the Ginge Hayward Memorial at Stratford Speedway on Saturday night.
Pierce, who was the most consistent driver on the night, powered away from the 10-car field to win the first heat of the Taranaki championship after starting grid two.
He finished fifth in heat two and then won heat three after a spectacular drive from near the rear of the field in grid eight.
Pierce won the championship two points clear of Craig Ward, who finished fourth in the first heat, then went unchallenged to win the second after slipping up the inside of Paul Blinkhorne early in the race before again finishing fourth in heat three.
Craig's brother, Paul, ended the night third after a coin toss with Neil Marshall after both finished tied on points.
New Zealand No 3 and defending Taranaki champion John Jackson and Blair Luscombe both had their chances evaporate in the first heat when Jackson blew his engine and Luscombe blew his clutch.
With the Ginge Hayward Memorial starting order being inverted from the finishing order of the Taranaki championship, this meant a start from the rear of the field for Pierce in the 15-lap race.
Jackson, Luscombe and Tony Reade were all missing from the start and Pierce weaved his way through the seven starters to record a popular win.
Duane Hickman won the Midget Heritage Shield from an eight-car starting lineup.
Hickman, who blitzed the field to win the first two heats, struggled in the third, and only managed fourth after wearing out his right rear tyre.
However, the fourth place was enough for him to win the title just one point ahead of Greg Jones, who recorded two second places and a third.
The superstock class is increasing in competitiveness each race night and Saturday was no exception - three races with three different winners being testament to that.
New Taranaki champion Michel Willemsen won the first race from the 14-car field. Nik Kiser and Neville Nolly won the others.
The saloon class provided plenty of drama for race fans when Alistair Lilley and Alistair Stewart collided and crashed into the wall in front of the grandstand in race two.
Brett Barron, in only his second race meeting this season, then hit the wall and barrel rolled his car while trying to make an outside pass on Jarrod MacBeth in the third race. Race wins went the way of Barron, Thomas and Craig Korff.
Chris Shingleton dominated the 10-car streetstock field, winning two of the races in his Ford Falcon, while Richard Kettle won the other in his Holden Commodore.
Seventeen adult ministocks were on hand to compete for their races, wins going the way of Shane Denham, Tony Shaw and Neil Riddick.
On the same night in Auckland, Stratford driver Tyler Walker finished third in the North Island Stockcar Championships.
Walker, who is only in his second season of stockcar racing, also finished third in the New Zealand Stockcar Grand Prix in Greymouth earlier in the season.
On Sunday afternoon in Wanganui, another Stratford driver won the West Coast adult ministock championship.
Shane Denham, who initially finished second after a four-lap run off with Tony Shaw, was promoted to first after Shaw was relegated for excessive contact.
Taranaki Daily News