Fast Racing Witnessed In WOW Sprintcar Series track and overcast conditions the Sprintcar section turned on some of the fastest ever racing witness at The Racecourse Hotel & Motorlodge Ruapuna Speedway on Saturday evening as the Winged V8’s contested Round 3 of the 2020/21 Hydraulink War of the Wings Series, in association with Duckmanton Ag.
The meeting started with a breath-taking BF Goodrich Jacks Tyres Quick Time Trials with five of the drivers, Jamie Duff, Connor Rangi – the series leader, Shaun Ashton Matt Honeywell and Daniel Anderson all producing a sub 13 second lap with Duff taking out the Quick Time with a stunning 12.7848 second lap which as only 0.104 of a second away from the all-time lap record of 12.687 held by Allan Wakeling, set back in 2004.
In the Dash that saw the top six points scorers from the heats take to the track to determine the top six grid for the Feature saw Rangi, from grid 1 lead from start to finish for the six laps and stopped the timing at 83.4661, a new record by just under 3 seconds, with Steve Duff second from Sam O’Callaghan, Jamie Duff, Matt Anderson and Paddy North.
Jamie Duff and Rangi then produced an epic battle in what was a lighting fast 25 Lap Feature as both drivers reeled off lap after lap in the mid 13 second range with the two cars seemingly locked together for most of the race. At the start of the race Rangi stormed to the front as Steve Duff had to get of the gas as his car lifted on the green and got a little sideways but somehow his recovered with another contract from the rest of the field. Jamie Duff quickly claimed second place with O’Callaghan in third from Steve Duff.
The only 'yellow' came out when North stopped mid pack on three lap, whedn ended hopes of a new 25 lap record. On the restart Rangi and Jamie Duff resumed their lead. For next six laps Duff hunted down Rangi and took the lead with a sweeping outside pass on turns one and two to take the lead on lap ten with Rangi then in the chasing role as the two cut their way passed lapped cars. On lap 13, Steve Duff retired from the race to leave Matt Honeywell in fourth lap.
By lap 19 Jamie Duff as managed to open up a 1.8 lead over Rangi as the laps rapidly ‘clicked’ by with Rangi managing to close the margin on the closing laps with O’Callaghan in a clear third place from Honeywell with teenager Oscar Harcourt producing a strong finish to claim fifth place after starting from grid 11. Shaun Ashton was next home from Caleb Baughan, the defending War of the Wings champion, with Matt Anderson, Martin Harcourt, and Ray Baughan round out the top ten.
The heat racing was actioned packed with Jamie Duff, Rangi and O’Callaghan all claiming wins with Duff managing another sub 13 second lap when winning the opening heat from Matt Anderson and North. Going into the final round at Cromwell over Easter, Rangi tops the points on 297, 37 clear Jame Duff with Caleb Baughan still in the hurt on 220 with Ray Baughan, Honeywell and O’Callaghan all locked on 204 and still an outside chance of takig the series if both Rangi and Duff fail to final the Feature in Cromwell.
The V6 Wingless Sprints were also in record breaking form with two new marks established in their opening heat with Kirk Hawkins slashing the eight-lap record nearly 3 seconds when winning the opening heat with second placed Adam Evans setting a new lap mark of 15.8461 when trying to catch Hawkins, with Jeremy Scarlett third. Evans then took out the next heat from Hawkins with Peter Keith third. Andrew Gregge claimed victory in the next heat with Evans in second place from Keith. Scarlett became the fourth different winner on the night when winning the Feature from Gregge and Christopher Gray.
With the South Island Three Quarter Midgetcar Championships being contested in Nelson a small field took to the track, but racing was still intense. Grace Roxburgh and Jess Morris had a great battle in their opening heat with Morris managing to make a winning pass on the final laps to claim her first win when Tim Yellowlees in third. Yellowlees won the next heat from with Morris holding out Roxburgh for second place. After failing to finish in the opening two heats, Cameron Sole luck changed when winning the final heat in a close finish, just ahead of Yellowlees and Morris. Yellowlees and Roxburgh skipped clear in the Feature with Yellowlees claiming the chequered flag from Roxburgh with Tyler Warnock in third place.
In Nelson, Jeremy Webb, current NZ champion, made it nine South Island titles in the ten season, and the last five on the bounce. Webb headed home fellow Ruapuna drivers, Liam McCoubrey and Karl Glover. McCoubrey failed to finish his opening heat meaning he had to start the 20-Lap Final near the back of the field but quickly charged up to the head of the field behind Webb and Glover and moved into second place after a great battle for several laps but was never able to challenge Webb before the chequered flag came out.
It became a bit of a battle of attrition in the Modified Sprint class with seven cars started the meeting, but mechanical issue and a series of race incidents saw only two cars finish heat three leading to the Feature race cancelled. The meeting started well for Ben Gilmore who won from the opening heats from Courtney Jones, with Caleb Cribb and Caleb Waugh both claiming a third placing. Gilmore then when into a wild ride in the third heat, when something broke on his car heading into turn one, which sent the car into a series of rolls / flips with Gilmore unhurt has be walked away from the wreck, with Jones awarded the win from Waugh.
Race Results: Sprintcars BF Goodrich Jacks Tyres Quick Time Trials Top 10: Jamie Duff 12.7784 seconds 1, Conner Rangi 12.8441 2, Shaun Ashton 12.9048 3, Matt Honeywell 12.9428 4, Daniel Anderson 12.9508 5, Sam O'Callaghan 13.0289 6, Paddy North 13.2346 7, Steve Duff 13.3049 8, Matt Anderson 13.3757 9, Jacob McIntyre 13.4510 10.
Ht 1. J Duff 1, M Anderson 2, North 3, O'Callaghan 4, Ashton 5, Oscar Harcourt 6. J Duff fastest lap of 12.7388 Ht 2. O'Callaghan 1, S Duff 2, Rangi 3, J Duff 4, North 5, Ray Baughan 6. O'Callaghan fastest lap of 13.1456 Ht 3. Rangi 1, D Anderson 2, Honeywell 3, S Duff 4,M Anderson 5, Ashton 6. Rangi fastest lap 13.2750 Dash. Rangi 1, S Duff 2, O'Callaghan 3, J Duff 4, M Anderson 5, North 6. Rangi a new 6 lap record of 83.4661, also fastest lap in race of Feature. J Duff 1, Rangi 2, O'Callaghan 3, Honeywell 4, Oscar Harcourt 5, Ashton 6, Caleb Baughan 7, M Anderson 8, M Harcourt 9, Ray Baughan 10.
Round Points .J Duff 103 1, Rang 95 2, O’Callaghan 90 3, Honeywell 88 4, O Harcourt 86 5, C Baughan 78 6, Ashton 77 7, M Harcourt 67 8, M Anderson 65 9, R Baughan 57 10, Jacob McIntyre 50 11, Whetu Tawa 46 12, Allan Chapman 45 13, Andy Erskine 35 14, John Sieveright 32 15, D Anderson 25 16, S Duff 20 17, North 15 18.
Hydraulink War of the Wings points after 3 of 4 rounds. Rangi, 297 1, J Duff 260 2, C Baughan 220 3, R Baughan, Honeywell, O’Callaghan all 204 4, S Duff 190 7, North and Chapman 185 8, M Anderson 167 10, Erskine 156 11, Tawa 126 12, M Harcourt 125 13, Alicia Hill 110 14, O Harcourt 91, 15, Ashton 77 16, McIntyre 50 17, Brandon Parkinson, 48 18, Jack Brown 47 19, Gene Spooner 38 20, Sieveright 32 21, D Anderson 25 22, Dave Kerr 20 23, Nigel Colvin 10 24.
Modified Sprints Ht 1. Ben Gilmore 1, Courtney Jones 2, Caleb Cribb 3. Ht 2. Gilmore 1, Jones 2, Caleb Waugh 3. Ht 3. Jones 1, Waugh 2. Placings awarded
Three Quarter Midgetcars Ht 1. Jess Morris 1, Grace Roxburgh 2, Tim Yellowlees 3. Ht 2. Yellowlees 1, Morris 2, Roxburgh 3. Ht 3. Cameron Sole 1, Yellowlees 2, Morris 3. Feature. Yellowlees 1, Roxburgh 2, Tyler Warnock 3.
V6 Wingless Sprints Ht 1. Kirk Hawkins 1, Adam Evans 2, Jeremy Scarlett 3. New 8 Lap Record of 2:12.8305 and Evans a new lap record of 15.8461 seconds. Ht 2. Evans 1, Hawkins 2, Peter Keith 3. Ht 3. Andrew Gregge 1, Evans 2, Keith 3. Feature. Scarlett 1, Gregge 2, Christopher Gray 3.