A large field of eighteen cars from around the South Island lined up for the Modified Sprint Clay Cup at the Racecourse Hotel and Motorlodge – Ruapuna Speedway on Saturday evening.
It was visting Invercargill driver, Vaughan Marshall to took out the title from the fast finishing Jayden Basalaj (Nelson) with local driver, Clayton Phillips third.
Marshall won the first heat from Courtney Jones and Kieran Harris.
The next heat Phillips looked to have the race won only for Marshall to take the lead on the final lap to claim another victory with Basalaj third. In the final heat it was another Phillips / Marshall battle with the former going on to claim a good win from the Invercargill driver with Charlie Jackson third.
In the Feature Phillips was the early leader before Marshall took the lead on the second lap and then slowly opened-up a good lead from Phillips, Jones and Basalaj. Basalaj moved into third place on lap five and five laps later passed Phillips and then set about chasing down Marshall who held a lead by nearly two seconds with five laps to race. The lead narrowed with each completed lap. On the final lap Basalaj closed right up on Marshall with Marshall managing to hold on to the lead by less than a second when the chequered flag dropped.
It was indeed action aplenty in the Midget Mayham event with several incidents reducing the field with each race. Jay Chadwick took out the opening heat from Glen Durie and Nathan Wilkie.
The next heat was the same result after an incident in the Prison Bend saw four cars unable to finish, with Tom Lumsden car gaining some serious air-time when climbing over Reon Taylor’s car. Speedway NZ officials ruled that Nevil Basalaj driving style was unwarranted and stood him down for the rest of the meeting.
Crews were kept busy to repair cars for the Feature but sadly only seven cars took to the track. Mitchell Hill was the early leader, but the race had to be restarted when Jeremy Scarlett spun coming out of the Town Bend and in another incident by Taylor and Durie were forced to retire from the race. . On the restart Lumsden swept wide around his rivals to take the lead and was never headed, going on to win by nearly half a lap. Wilkie continued with his resent good run when coming home in second place with Scarlett third.
The Three Quarter Midget section continued to produce close fast racing as the run their annual best pairs event. Kyle Glover won the opening heat with Liam McCoubrey winning the next heat. McCoubrey then dominated the Feature to clear out and take the chequered flag by a good margin as Gareth Bindon and Glover had a great battle for second and third placing with Bindon just managing to hold out Glover by 0.15 seconds.
Consistent finishes saw Ben Morgan and Sam McCreanor claim the pairs title by a point from Glover and Kimberly Yeatman. With Bindon and Mike Bell third after Bindon defeated Scott Bailey in a four-lap run off after Bailey and Brett Booth finish tied on points with Bindon and Bell.
Seventeen-year old Jacob Mitchell continued to impress in his ‘rookie’ season in his Duff Motorsport Six Shooter. Mitchell showed his undoubted potential when heading home both his heats and then back up by winning the Feature when leading home Peter Keith and Daryl Wright.
The Quarter Midget class also run a best pairs format with Dyllan Forsey the pick of the drivers with a won and a second in the heats and then took out the Feature from Jack Browlees and Jacob Cunniffe. Brownlees and partner Caleb Cribb were overall winners of the pairs from Cunniffe / Romeo Warren Webb with Forsey / Brooke Clark claiming third spot.
Race Results Midgetcars Ht 1. Jay Chadwick 1, Glen Durie 2, Nathan Wilkie 3. Ht 2. Chadwick 1, Durie 2, Wilkie 3. Feature. Tom Lumsden 1, Wilkie 2, Jeremy Scarlett 3.
Modified Sprints Ht 1. Vaughan Marshall 1, Courtney Jones 2, Kieran Harris 3. Ht 2. Marshall 1, Clayton Phillips 2, Jayden Basalaj 3. Ht 3. Phillips 1, Marshall 2, Charlie Jackson 3. Feature. Marshall 1, Basalaj 2, Phillips 3.
Three Quarter Midgercars - Best Pairs Ht 1. Kyle Glover 1, Gareth Bindon 2, Ben Morgan 3. Ht 2. Liam McCoubrey 1, Scott Bailey 2, Sam McCreanor 3. Feature. McCoubrey 1, Bindon 2, Glover 3. Best Pairs Results: Morgan / McCreanor (49 points) 1st, Glover / Kimberley Yeatman (48) 2nd, Bindon / Mike Bell and Bailey / Brett Booth (38) with Bindon defeating Bailey in run-off to take 3rd place.
Six Shooters Ht 1. Jacob Mitchell 1, Steve Duff jnr 2, Peter Keith 3. Ht 2. Mitchell 1, Andrew Gregge 2, Daryl Wright 3. Feature. Mitchell 1, Keith 2, Wright 3.
Quarter Midgets – Best Pairs Ht 1. Dyllan Forsey 1, Jack Brownlees 2, Ethan Smith 3. Ht 2. Jacob Cunniffe 1, Forsey 2, Brownlees 3. Feature. Forsey 1, Brownlees 2, Cunniffe 3. Best Pairs Results: Brownlees / Caleb Cribb 1st, Cunniffe / Romeo Warren Webb 2nd, Forsey / Brooke Clark 3rd