The Racecourse Hotel and Motorlodge Ruapuna Speedway roared back into life with the opening meeting of the new season on Saturday evening with good fields which lead to some excellent racing. The race of the night was perhaps the midgetcar feature with the race only being decided on the final lap with Tom Lumsden taking the chequered flag by centimetres from Glen Durie with Scott Bailey third. Lumsden who had earlier won the second heat, took the early lead in the feature, choosing the wide racing line with Durie running on the pole-line, with the two locked together for the opening half of the race. On lap seven Durie took a narrow lead with Lumsden never more than several cars length in arrears with Bailey in third waiting for the leaders to make a mistake. Going into the final two laps Durie and Lumsden were racing side by side with Lumsden making one last attempt to pass coming out of the Stadium Cars Prison bend for the final time with the cars locked together at the flag with Lumsden just denying Durie the win. Glenn Everett started the evening well for the Everett Racing Team, who are celebrating 50 years racing at Ruapuna this season by starting out the opening heat but then crashed out of the next heat with hooking a wheel going into the CJ Phillips Construction Town bend sending the car into a series of high flips. A bumper field of 19 sprintcars took to the track with former New Zealand champion, Jamie Duff starting and ending the night on a winning note. Duff headed the field home in the opening heat from Blenheim's Paddy North and Matt Honeywell. Jason Smith (Nelson) took out the next heat for former national modified titleholder, Luke Keegan, with Duff third. Nelson's Kris Gerard claimed the win in the next heat from the fast finishing Daniel Anderson (Te Anau) and Honeywell. Duff dominated the feature leading from start to finish, heading home Honeywell and Smith. Duff's car had too much speed for the field and even several cautions lights during the race could not holt his diminance as he quickly opened-up a handy margin each time the race resumed at pace. Keegan, in his first season in a sprintcar had a great dice with Ben Gilmore for the first half of the race, for fourth and fifth place with Keegan claiming a fourth place just ahead of Gilmore. Jeremy Webb claimed a heat win and the feature in the Three Quarter Midget class, Webb, who will slso race his newly acquired midget car in coming weeks headed home Kyle Glover and Daniel McKinlay in the feature with Alicia McLaughlan (Nelson) claiming the other heat win. Only a relegation prevented Kate Warren making it a clean sweep in the Modified Sprint class. Winning the opening heat before relegated two places in the next heat leaving Clayton Phillips with the win from Jayden Fraser (Invercargill) and Warren third. Warren was untroubled when dominating the feature to win from Courtney Jones with Caleb Baughan third. Kris Jemmett and Pete Keith claimed a heat win the the Six Shooters with Jemmett winning the feature from Daryl Wright and Gene Spooner. Bean Nuttridge and Ricky Pubben were in a class of their own when winning all of their sidecar races with ease with Nelson's Jayden Bradley doing the same in the Quarter Midget class. Race Results - Competitors from Christchurch unless stated
Sprintcars Ht 1. Jamie Duff 1, Paddy North (Blenheim) 2, Matt Honeywell 3. Ht 2. Jason Smith 1, Luke Keegan 2, Duff 3. Ht 3. Kris Gerard (Nelson) 1, Daniel Anderson (Te Anau) 2, Matt Honeywell 3. Feature. Duff 1, Honeywell 2, Smith 3.
Midgets Ht 1. Glenn Everett 1, Dion Rochford 2, Nevil Basalaj (Nelson) 3. Ht 2. Tom Lumsden 1, Shane Clarke 2, Glen Durie 3. Feature. Lumsden 1, Durie 2, Scott Bailey 3.
Three Quarter Midgets Ht 1. Jeremy Webb 1, Tyler Warnock 2, Daniel McKinlay 3. Ht 2. Alicia McLaughan (Nelson) 1, Tim Millar 2, Kyle Glover 3. Feature. Webb 1, Glover 2, McKinlay 3.
Modified Sprints Ht 1. Kate Warren 1, Caleb Baughan 2, Courtney Jones 3. Ht 2. Clayton Phillips 1, Jayden Fraser 2, Warren 3. Feature. Warren 1, Jones 2, Baughan 3.
Six Shooters Ht 1. Kris Jemmett 1, Daryl Wright 2, Ben Smit 3. Ht 2. Peter Keith 1, Andrew Gregge 2, Gene Spooner 3. Feature. Jemmett 1, Wright 2, Spooner 3.
Sidecars Ht 1. Bevan Nuttridge/Ricky Pubben 1,Ben Morris/Craig Muir 2, Pete Stephens/D Muir 3. Ht 2. Nuttridge/Pubben 1, Morris/Muir 2, Stephens/Muir 3. Final. Nuttridge/Pubben 1, Stephens/Muir 2, Morris/Muir 3.
Quarter Midgets Race 1. Jayden Bradley (Nelson) 1, Oscar Harcourt 2, Montana Jamieson 3. Race 2. Bradley 1, Jamieson 2, Harcourt 3. Final. Bradley 1, Jamieson 2, A Forsey 3.