Local Matt Honeywell tasted success in the opening meeting of the new season at at City South Van Spares Ruapuna Speedway when winning the first round of the Sprintcar War of the Wings series, from Australian Allan Woods with Cromwell's Jason Scott in third place. The racing was fast and furious throughout the heats and the 25 lap Feature with several cars involved in racing incidents which saw them roll and flip into the concrete safety fence.
Woods who had boasted earlier in the week that he was here to show the local's how to drive took out the opening heat from Honeywell and Brett Sullivan (Nelson). Christchurch's Ray Baughan won the second heat after being pressed all the way by Honeywell over the closing laps who had charged from the back of the field with Sullivan third.
Scott, the current WoW title holder was a clear winner of the final heat from Nelson's Kris Gerard with Shaun Ashton impressing with third in his debut meeting in a sprintcar. The race was stopped on lap three when Nelson's Greg Teece hooked a wheel going into the Prison bend and rolling heavily into the safety fence with Teece quickly climbing unhurt from the badly damaged machine.
The Feature turned into an epic battle between Honeywell and Woods with Woods leading out early with Honeywell a close second with plenty of passing going on back down the 15 car field. At one stage Woods opened up to two second lead only for Honeywell to slowly close the gap and for several laps the two cars raced side by side as they reeled of low 13 second laps.
Honeywell made his decisive move on lap 20 and blasted by Woods to go in to take the chequered flag by less than a second with Scott holding out the fast finishing Sullivan, Daniel Anderson (Te Anau) and Nelson's rookie Steve Thompson.
Nelson's Nevil Basalaj won all three midgetcar events with Nick Marquet (Nelson) showing the potential of his new car with a second and two third's. In the Feature Basalaj had to work hard to get by Blair Low with Low keeping this his Toyota, one of the smallest powered car on the prefect race line with Basalaj only claiming the lead on the last two laps.
As usual the Three Quarter midgetcar fields turned in close racing with four different winners with current NZ #3 , Jeremy Webb winning the Top 10 event and then had two seconds, two Kate Warren and Tim Millar but had to settle for third the the Feature behind Lindsay Bailey and Liam McCoubrey.
Caleb Baughan took out the Feature in the Modified Sprint division with Allan Daly and Ben Gilmore claiming a heat win. Nelson's Jayden Bradley took out the open heats in the ¼ midget class with Ben Morgan heading Bradley home in the Feature.
Race Results (Competitors from Christchurch Unless Stated)
Sprintcars - Wars of Wings
Ht 1. Allan Woods (Aust) 1, Matt Honeywell 2, Brett Sullivan (Nelson) 3.
Ht 2. Ray Baughan 1, Matt Honeywell 2, B Sullivan (Nelson) 3
Ht 3. Jason Scott (Cromwell) 1, Kris Gerard (Nelson) 2, Shaun Ashton 3.
Feature. Honeywell 1, Woods 2, Scott 3, B Sullivan 4, Daniel Anderson (Cromwell) 5, Steve Thompson (Nelson) 6, Steve Sullivan (Nelson) 7, Paddy North (Blenheim) 8, Gerard 9, Kenny Bartlett 10.
Ht 1.Nevil Basalaj (Nelson) 1, Glenn Everett 2, Nick Marquet (Nelson) 3.
Ht 2. Basalaj 1, Marquet 2, Brian Barclay 3.
Feature. Basalaj 1, Blair Low 2, Marquet 3.
Three Quarter Midgets.
Top 10. Jeremy Webb 1, Matt Leversedge 2, Liam McCoubrey 3.
Ht 1. Kate Warren 1, Webb 2, Scott Bailey 3.
Ht 2. Tim Millar 1, Webb 2, Gareth Bindon 3.
Feature. Lindsay Bailey 1, McCoubrey 2, Webb 3.
Ht 1.Allan Daly 1, Jimmy Doyle, Vernon McHaffie 3.
Ht 2. Ben Gilmore 1, Doyle 2, Caleb Baughan 3.
Feature. Baughan 1, Gilmore 2, McHaffie 3.
Ht 1. Jayden Bradley (Nelson) 1, Ben Morgan 2, Montana Jamieson 3.
Ht 2. Bradley 1, Jamieson 2, Jack Low 3.
Feature. Morgan 1, Bradley 2, Low 3.