Second generation Christchurch sprintcar racer Steve Duff Jnr showed that given a half chance he is more than capable of capitalising, and that was underlined when he scored a decisive win in the first round of the Hydraulink Sprintcar War of the Wings Series held at Stadium Finance Ruapuna Speedway on Saturday night. While Duffs brother Jamie had a nightmare run with engine problems, 'Jnr' had a night to remember. He had been equal top scorer with Australian Allan Woods after the qualifying heats, but when the vastly experienced Woods withdrew before the start, Duff must have sniffed a good chance of providing an upset. Woods bad luck elevated Nelsonian Brett Sullivan to share the front row with Duff, but the local driver got the best of the start and set off at a cracking pace. On the twelth lap it looked for all money that he had thrown a big opportunity out the window when he half spun, which elevatated Sullivan to the front, but almost in unison with that move the yellow lights came on after a multicar collision blocked the track. The restart order went back to the track position held on the previous completed lap, which gave Duff another opportunity which he grasped with both hands, and from that point on he never looked like wilting, showing great poise in the lapped traffic and clearly relishing the superb handling set up on his Triple X chassied car. Late in the race it was Sullivans turn 'to have a moment' and when he spun with a handful of laps to go it elevated veterans Ray Baughan and Daniel Anderson into a position that they could mount a serious challenge...but it was clearly Duffs night, crossing the line ahead of Baughan, Anderson , steve Sullivan (Nelson) and defending WoW champion Matt Honeywell who had raced his way in to the top six from the 17th pot on the starting grid. Heat race wins had gone to Baughan, Honeywell and Duff.
Support races were as hotly contested as the nights main act with Gary Chadwick clearly relishing his return to racing in an Esslinger powered car that took him to an exciting Midget car feature win, pipping Tom Lumsden on the line, while current South Island TQ Champion Jeremy Webb was unbeaten in his classes three races.
Kirk Hawkins was the pick of the Six Shooters class starting with a third and then finishing with two good wins heading home Jason Manson and Peter Keith for the Feature while Nelson's Jayden Bradley continued to dominate ¼ Midget class with three clear wins from the chasing pack. Ben Gilmore won the Modified Sprint Feature
Results - Competitors from Christchurch Unless Stated.
Sprintcars - War of the Wings Ht 1. Ray Baughan 1, Matt Leversedge 2, Brett Sullivan (Nelson) 3. Ht 2. Matt Honeywell 1, Allan Woods (Aust) 2, Kris Gerald 3. Ht 3. Steve Duff jnr 1, Sam O'Callaghan (Cromwell) 2, Jason Scott (Cromwell) 3. Feature. Duff jnr 1, Baughan 2, Daniel Anderson (Te Anau) 3.
Midgetcars Ht 1. Gary Chadwick 1, Glen Durie 2, Graham Sharp 3. Ht 2. Glenn Everett 1, Chadwick 2, Scott Millar 3. Feature. Chadwick 1, Lumsden 2, Everett 3.
Three Quarter Midgets Ht 1. Jeremy Webb, Kyle Glover 2, Tim Millar 3. Ht 2. Webb 1, Scott Bailey 2, Millar 3. Feature. Webb 1, Andrew Marker 2, Daniel McKinlay 3
Modified Sprints Ht 1. Courtney Jones 1, Caleb Baughan 2, Kate Warren 3. Ht 2. Ben Gilmore 1, Warren 2, Jones 3. Feature. Gilmore 1, Warren 2, Baughan 3.
Six Shooters. Ht 1. Peter Keith 1, Kris Jemmett 2, Kirk Hawkins 3. Ht 2. Hawkins 1, Keith 2, Jemmett 3. Feature. Hawkins 1, Jason Manson 2, Keith 3.
¼ Midgets Ht 1. Jayden Bradley (Nelson) 1, Jack Low 2, Ben Morgan 3. Ht 2. Bradley 1, Brad Clive 2, Montana Jamieson 3. Feature. Bradley 1, Oscar Harcourt 2, Jamieson 3.