Local driver, Nick Donaldson won an incident packed New Zealand Midgetcar Grand Prix at Elf Lubricants Ruapuna Speedway on Saturday evening, with the win completing a remarkable comeback for Donaldson after he totally destroyed his car in a spectacular crash on the same track in November.
â€œYes this has made our season after wrecking the car earlier. I felt we had the set up to make our mark late in the race and thankfully everything went to planâ€, said a beaming Donaldson after the 30 lap GP final. The win ended the recent dominance of Auckland drivers that have won the GP title.
Dave Kerr the current South Island champion was the top points scorer after the three heats of the Russell Lilley Builders sponsored event, after winning the opening heat in record time to start on the front row of the GP with other local drivers, Glenn Everett and Glen Durie also claiming heat wins.
Auckland's Brock Mascovich, who recently finish third in the World 50 Lap Classic looked set to finish among the top points scorer after finishing in second place in the first two heats but then crashed out of the final heat when and chasing down the leaders when an axle on Graham Sharpe's car snapped coming out of the Prison bend and with Mascovich's having no chance to avoid Sharp the Aucklander's car rolled causing minor damage which his crew repaired in time for Mascovich to start the GP from grid 8.
Kerr quickly lead the GP and was lapping cars by the eighth lap from Ben Drummond (Auckland) and Dunedin's Gavin Wilkie who was locked in a great dice with Mascovich finally claiming third place in lap 12. In a dramatic few seconds on next laps Mascovich inherited the lead as first Drummond car slowed and then Kerr rolled on the Town bend, Kerr restarted but at the back of the field.
Mascovich lead from Wilkie and Donaldson who moved in to second place the next lap with the raced running under caution again when Auckland's Jared Taylor rolled on the Town bend. On the restart Donaldson started to press for the lead and finally managed to hit the front with ten lap to run. A lap later Wilkie was forced to retire after involved with a tangle with Nelson's James Nicholson, with left Tom Lumsden in third place from Kerr.
On the closing laps Donaldson opened up a lead of over two second from Mascovich with Lumsden having to fight off a determined late challenge from Kerr who was followed home by Brian Barclay and Steve McCallum.
In other racing John Warwood and Laurie McMahon made it a clean sweep on their sidecar. Jeremy Webb was the pick on the TQ drivers with two wins with both Melanie Smith and Kimberley Yeatman also impressing. Josh Walls took out the Modified Sprint Feature along with a head win with honours shared in the Six Shooter class with Brad Clive ending Montana Jamieson run of Feature wins in the Â¼ Midget section.
Race Results (Competitor from Christchurch Unless Stated)
Russell Lilley Builders New Zealand Grand Prix
Ht 1. Dave Kerr 1, Brock Mascovich (Auck) 2, Ben Drummond (Auck) 3, Nick Donaldson 4, Gavin Wilkie (Dunedin) 5, Tom Lumsden 6.
Ht 2. Glenn Everett 1, Mascovich 2, Jared Taylor (Auck) 3, Wilkie 4, Kerr 5, Brian Barclay 6.
Ht 3. Durie 1, Kerr 2, Taylor 3, Drummond 4, Blair Bertram (Auck) 5, Wilkie 6.
Progress Points: Kerr 46, Drummond & Wilkie 39, Durie 36, Everett 35, Donaldson 33, Mascovich & Barclay 32, Taylor 30, Tom Lumsden 26, Bertram 24, Steve McCallum 23, Steve Campbell and James Nicolson (Nelson) 15, Andrew Brown (Nelson) 10, Graham Sharp 9, Scott Millar 5.
NZ GP 30 Lap Feature. Donaldson 1, Mascovich 2, Lumsden 3, Kerr 4, Barclay 5, McCallum 6.
Three Quarter Midgets
Ht 1. Jeremy Webb 1, Gareth Bindon 2, Kimberly Yeatman 3.
Ht 2. Melanie Smith 1, Liam McCoubrey 2, Kyle Glover 3.
Feature. Webb 1, Yeatman 2, Smith 3.
Ht 1. Kieran Harris 1, Josh Walls 2, Caleb Baughan 3.
Ht 2. Walls 1, Brendon Daly 1, Alan Daly 3.
Feature. Walls 1, Harris 2, B Daly 3.
Ht 1. Grant Harkness 1, Matt Anderson (Dunedin) 2, Jeremy Wright 3.
Ht 2. Kris Jemmett 1, Kirk Hawkins 2, Harkness 3.
Feature. Matt Doncliff 1, Anderson 2, Jemmett 3.
Ht 1. John Warwood/Laurie McMahon 1, Pete Stevens/Tony Adams 2, Bevan Nuttridge/Blair Low 3.
Ht 2. Warwood/McMahon 2, Nuttridge/Low 2, Steven/Adams 3.
Final. Warwood/McMahon 1, Nuttridge/Low 2, Paul Anderson/Nick Case 3.
Ht 1. Jessy Daly 1, Hunter Rowland 2, Montana Jamieson 3.
Ht 2. Jamieson 1, Rowland 2, Brad Clive 3.
Feature. Clive 1, Jamieson 2, Rowland 3.