It turned out to be a family affair in Round 3 of the Vinz Sprintcar Summer Slam at the Racecourse Hotel and Motorlodge - Ruapuna Speedway on Saturday evening, with Caleb Baughan coming from behind on the final laps of the Feature to edge out his father, Ray by less than a second at the chequered flag.
Baughan senior looked to have the race under control after leading from the opening lap and he built up a handy lead, but Caleb came on strongly from the mid race point eating into into his fathers lead. As the two began to lap rivals with seven of the 25 laps to race Caleb got himself into the position to launch an attack, and with two laps to go he made his move to claim the bragging rights. h Jacob Brownlees finished in third place, with the former stockcar competitor continuing to impress. Allan Chapman,Martin Harcourt and Jamie Duff rounded out the top six.
Earlier in the meeting Duff took out the opening heat from Chapman who battled front wing damage over the closing laps after leading until the final two laps when Matt Honeywell managed to pass him. Honeywell took out the next heat from sprintcar ‘rookie’ Gene Spooner and Martin Harcourt.
The Midget car section again turned in excellent racing as they contested Round 2 of the Southern Series. All races saw plenty of passing as the class builds to the New Zealand title at Ruapuna in late January. Tom Lumsden took of the opening heat by the slimmest of margins, winning the drag race to the chequered flag to pass Dave Kerr right on the finish line. Glen Durie, who had been the early race leader, finished in third place. Lumsden also claimed the next heat win, this time by a clear margin taken the lead after a caution light on lap after Reon Taylor, lead out from the opening laps/ Glen Milroy was seconds after a great dice with Durie.
Lumsden continued his winning streak in topping the pole shuffle to determine the top five grid positions. Lumsden had to hold off Glen Durie, who had rolled his car when he was pitted against Glen Milroy. with Durie’s car righted, he restarted to claim the win. In the Feature Lumsden lead out from the opening lap and was never seriously challenged with the action focusing on the race for the minor placings. Nelson’s Nevil Basalaj held second place until passed spinning out and re-joining the field at the rear of the field. This left Milroy on second place from Durie, who retired from the race on lap 13. Basalaj blasted his way back up the field was in fourth place with five laps to race. With three laps to go Milroy’s car stopped on the Town Bend. This saw Taylor and Basalaj battle it out for second at third over the closing laps with Taylor, who is back on the track after a fifteen-season gap brought the Everett Motorsport car home on second place from Basalaj.
As expected, the Three Quarter class turned out in numbers to contest the Ryan Stone Tribute. Kyle Glover dominated the heat racing showing plenty of pace to come from deep in the pack to win the opening heat from Ben Morgan and Conner Rangi (Nelson). Glover was just as impressive in going back to back in the next heat, again coming from behind to pass Greymouth’s Rodney Thompson on lap six to lead with Thompson finishing in third spot behind Brett Booth.
The 17 lap Feature, with the highest points scorer starting off the back, saw Glover quickly picking off rivals at will as the laps clicked off. With half the race to run Scott Bailey was leading from early pace setter, Jamie Booth with Glover in fifth place. Three laps later Glover was up to third place with Bailey holding a good lead which disappeared when the yellow flags come out with five laps to race. This saw the field close up, on the restart Glover quickly moved into second place and set to mount a challenge for the lead only to loose power with a mechanical issue which allow Bailey to they out in front but he had to hold off a late challenge from the fast finishing Shawn Shilton with Morgan claiming the final podium position.
Steve Duff junior was to the fore in the Six Shooter Class starting the meeting with two good heat wins but had to settle for third place in the Feature behind Matt Doncliff and Daryl Wright. Wright, one of the driving forces behind getting the class established trailed Duff home in the opening heat with Peter Keith third with Keith going one better in the next heat, just ahead of Andrew Gregge.
The development Quarter Midget class continues to grow in numbers with fields now reaching double figures which sees good racing right throughout the field. Ethan Smith good start to the season continued when he took out the opening heat, followed up with two second places behind Jack Brownlees in the next heat and the Feature. Isabelle Clark also have a good meeting when finishing in third place in all three races.
Sprintcars - Vinz Summer Slam Round 3 Ht 1. Jamie Duff 1, Matt Honeywell 2, Allan Chapman. Ht 2. Honeywell 1, Gene Spooner 2, Martin Harcourt 3. Feature. Caleb Baughan 1, Ray Baughan 2, Jacob Brownlees 3.
Three Quarter Midgets - Ryan Stone Tribute Ht 1. Kyle Glover 1, Ben Morgan 2, Conner Rangi (Nelson) 3. Ht 2. Glover 1, Brett Booth 2, Rodney Thompson (Greymouth) 3. Feature. Scott Bailey 2, Shawn Shilton 2, Morgan 3.
Midgetcars - Southern Series Round 2 Ht 1. Tom Lumsden 1, Dave Kerr 2, Glenn Durie 3, Ht 2. Lumsden 1, Glen Milroy 2, Durie 3. Pole Shuffle. Lumsden 1, Durie 2, Milroy 3, Nevil Basalaj (Nelson) 4, Kerr 5. Feature. Lumsden 1, Reon Taylor 2, Basalaj 3.
Six Shooters Ht 1. Steve Duff 1, Daryl Wright 2, Peter Keith 3. Ht 2. Duff 1, Keith 2, Andrew Gregge 3. Feature. Matt Doncliff 1, Wright 2, Duff 3.
Quarter Midgets Ht 1. Ethan Smith 1, Dyllan Forsey 2, Isabelle Clark 3. Ht 2. Jack Brownlees 1, Smith 2, Clark 3. Feature. Brownlees 1, Smith 2, Clark 3.