Variety is the spice of life and the team at the Racecourse Hotel and Motorlodge Ruapuna Speedway certainly provided plenty of that with their recent first annual Show Night Fireworks and Speedway Carnival presented by Valvoline. A big crowd was on hand basking in glorious weather conditions and they were provided with an entertainment smorgasbord with a stunning fireworks display capping off a night of hard and fast racing while being entertained by track side carnival rides, performers and giveaways. All of this ensured that everyone was well catered for and it is sure to become a regular treat for spectators and competitors alike. The main event on the racing programme was the first round of the Total Access Sprintcar Summer Slam and while local hot shot Jamie Duff went through unbeaten, the action behind him was fast and furious with Caleb Baughan, Paddy North, Martin Harcourt and Ben Gilmore all ensuring that Duff didn’t get it too easy! The hard track provided a couple of fast lines and it was Duff, Baughan and Midget stand out Dave Kerr who utilized the top to their advantage while Gilmore, Harcourt and North cashed in on the slicker bottom line and all reaped the reward for their efforts. Gilmore campaigns his Cool chassis car just a hand ful of times a year and his third place in the feature came after a solid performance. Baughan continues to impress and in traffic he gained on Duff several times but couldn’t capitalize. The Midget class, although boasting just eight cars provided action that double that number would struggle to do with each of the four races providing a different winner but to be fair Jeremy Webb was the standout performer winning a heat and being placed in his other. Jack Low provided a ‘boil over’ when he took out the Midget Dash. Webb’s run looked like it was going to extend to another feature race win however he was black flagged by officials who had noticed an issue with his car. Webb’s lead at the time was such that it was highly unlikely that his rivals would reel him in. The TQ races got off to an ‘inglorious’ start when Ray Smiths car failed to take any throttle at the green flag and as the field concertinaed behind him Tim Yellowlees car rolled knocking him out of the rest of the programme. Jeremy Webb made up for his disappointment in the Midget Feature to win a TQ heat, and that classes feature race. Mother heat wins went to James Thompson (Greymouth) and Ben Morgan while Kyle Glover won the hotly contested TQ Flying Farewell. Daniel Jenkins was the best performer in the Modified Sprints with a heat win that he topped off with victory in the Feature while Jacob Cunniffe cleaned up in the Quartet Midgets to go through his races unbeaten.
Race Results: Sprintcars Summer Slam Series Round 1 Ht 1. J Duff 1, C Baughan 2, P North 3. Ht 2. Duff 1, M Harcourt 2, B Gilmore 3. Feature. Duff 1, Baughan 2, Gilmore 3. Midgetcars Ht 1. J Webb 1, G Durie, M Hill 3. Ht 2. T Lumsden 1, Webb 2, G Milroy 3. Top 6 Dash. J Low 1, Webb 2, Lumsden 3. Feature. Durie 1, J Chadwick 2, Milroy 3. Three Quarter Midgetcars Ht 1. J Thompson 1, G Chappell 2, M Bell 3. Ht 2. B Morgan 1, J Webb 2, S Shilton 3. Ht 3. J Webb 1, B Morgan 2, K Glover 3. Feature. Webb 1, K Glover 2, L McCoubrey 3. Flying Farewell. Glover 1, S McCreanor2, McCoubrey 3. Modified Spirits Ht 1. D Jenkins 1, C Jones 2, C Cox 3. Ht 2. J Basalaj 1, Jenkins 2, K Harris 3. Feature. Jenkins 1, Harris 2, B Daly 3. Quarter Midgetcars Ht 1. J Cunniffe 1, E Smith 2, M Webb 3. Ht 2. Cunniffe 1, J Brownlees 1, I Clark Feature. Cunniffe 1, Brownlees 2, Webb 3.