Nelson's Greg Teece took out the opening round of the General Tyres War of the Wings Sprintcar series at Mag and Turbo Ruapuna Speedway on Saturday evening. Teece took out the win from local Matt Honeywell with Cromwell's Jason Scott in third place.The meeting, the first of the new season almost did not take place as a violent electrical storm hit the track just before 6pm and the result heavy downpour left the track under water but the competitors decided to race and after the track was â€˜wheel packed' the racing started over an hour late.The War of the Wings saw 20 V'8 sprintcars start in the opening round of the $60,000 -ten round series that will take in seven tracks throughout the South Island. Teece, a former rally car driver, made a steady start to the meeting when he finished in fifth place in his opening heat, and then claimed two third placing in his remaining heats. Ashburton's Matt Honeywell and Palmerston North driver Bryan Menefy were the stand-outs in the heat racing, both taking out two wins, with the other heat wins going to Daniel Anderson (Cromwell) and Southbridge racer Lindsay Gilbert.Going into the 20 lap Feature Menefy was top scorers and started on the outside of front row alongside Scott, with Teece on the next row. Scott made a mistake on the opening turn which allowed Menefy to jump clear with Teece moving into second place by the end of the first lap, from Ray Baughan and Scott. With Menefy controlling the race and Teece in a comfortable second place, a great dice developed for third place between Baughan, Scott and Honeywell over the first half of the race, with positioning swapping several times. Up the front Teece was slowly closing in on Menefy as the leaders weaved their way past lapped cars. With six laps remaining Menefy crossed up too far coming out of the Town Bend, almost spinning only to be straightened by Teece,causing Teece's car to stall. Officials first put Teeece to the back of the field but thenaltered their ruling which saw Teece restart at the front and Menefy being moved to the back as the prime cause. Teece come under pressure from Honeywell over the closing laps, but the Nelson driver held one to record an impressive win with Scott just holding out the hard charging Baughan for third place. The series now moves north for a double header next weekend at Blenheim and Nelson. A large field of Three Quarter Midget cars provided plenty of action, including several rolls, with the closing racing seeing eight different drivers finishing in the up three of their three heat. Teenager Matt Leversedge won the opening heat, with Atama Holland the next with Gareth Brindon, the only driver to claim two top three placings winning the Feature from Marcus Doocey and Kate Warren.
With the New Zealand Midget title being raced at Ruapuna in January, Glen Durie had agood meeting recording a win and a third in the heats before claiming victory in the Feature where he headed home Dunedin's Gavin Wilkie and Glenn Everett. Kieran Harris and Joss Walls were the pick of the modified drivers, each taking a win with the Quarter Midget field producing closing racing with Liam McCoubrey and Hunter Rowland dominating the racing.
Race Results (Competitors from Christchurch unless stated)
SprintcarsGeneral Tyres War of Wings Round 1
Ht 1. Matt Honeywell 1, Jason Scott (Cromwell) 2, Nathan Astle 3.
Ht 2. Daniel Anderson (Cromwell) 2, Brent Gaudion 2, Ray Baughan 3.
Ht 3. Bryan Menefy (P. North) 1, Kris Gerard (Nelson) 2, Greg Teece (Nelson) 3.
Ht 4. Lindsay Gilbert 1, Mark Evans (Cromwell) 2, Baughan 3.
Ht 5. Menefy 1, Scott 2, Teece 3.
Ht 6. Honeywell 1, Greg Clemence 2, Anderson 3.
Qualifying Points: Menefy 27, Scott 25, Anderson 24, Teece 22, Mark Evans (Cromwell)21, Baughan 20, Clemence 20, Honeywell 20, Caleb Brooks 16, Astle 15, Gilbert 14,Brett Sullivan (Nelson) 12, Gaudion 9, Gareth Thomas 9, Gerard 9, Andy Erskine(Cromwell) 9, Allan Chapman 6, Myles Wederall 5, Barry Low 0, Anthony Dawson 0.
Feature. Teece 1, Honeywell 2, Scott 3, Baughan 4, Anderson 5, Astle 6. Erkine 7,Clemence 8, Evans 9, Menefy 10.
Ht 1. Glen Durie 1, Graham Sharpe 2, Scott Millar 3.
Ht 2. Gavin Wilkie (Dunedin) 1, Glen Everett 2, Glen Durie 3.
Feature. Durie 1, Wilkie 2, Everett 3.
Three Quarter Midgets
Div 2. Matt Leversedge 1, Gareth Bindon 2, Sean Brown (Greymouth) 3.
Div 1. Atama Holland (Greymouth) 1, Kyle Glover 2, Mark Morris 3.
Feature. Bindon 1, Marcus Doocey 2, Kate Warren 3.
Ht 1. Kieran Harris 1, Nigel Jackson 2, Josh Walls 3.
Ht 2. Walls 1, Harris 2, Jackson 3.
Race 1. Liam McCoubrey 1, Brad Shearman 2, Jack Low 3.
Race 2. Hunter Rowland 1, McCoubrey 2, Shearman 3.
Feature. Rowland 1, McCoubrey 2, Shearman 3.