Close racing was the hall mark of the New Zealand Three Quarter Midgetcar Grand Prix, raced at Magand Turbo Ruapuna Speedway on Friday evening as 43 drivers chased the blue ribbon event. DylanMacGregor, based out of Auckland claimed his second GP title, from current New Zealand champion,Craig Todd (Napier) with Rachel Melrose, formerly of Christchurch in third place.In the close fought battle less than two seconds separated the top three cars at the end of the 25 laprace, with Duane Todd (Napier) in fourth place from Christchurch's Gareth Bindon.MacGregor and Craig Todd went into the GP as the top points scorers, each winning one of their threeheat races with Melrose, who now lives in Auckland, claiming two heat wins, while Jarred Taylor(Auckland) and Bindon each registered a heat win to head the top 24 cars that contested the GP.MacGregor led out from the green flag from Craig Todd, with Melrose having a battle for third place withShane Phillips (Auckland) before Melrose made a passing move. She then chased down Todd, claimingsecond place on lap six and then closed up on MacGregor. The race went under caution after GavinChappell rolled his car heavily going into the town bend.On the restart both MacGregor and Melrose opened up a lead on the chasing pack with Melrose less than0.2 of a second behind the leader with nine laps to run. She lost ground when trying to pass lappedtraffic allowing Craig Todd to close in. As the three lead cars encountered more lapped traffic they werelocked together on the last lap but Melrose got baulked by a slower car on the run to the chequered flagwhich allowed Craig Todd to claim second by less than a car length.The visiting USA and Australian drivers all suffered from mechanical problems during the night in whatwas their first meeting since arriving in NZ for the Tri Nations Series which will be raced around SouthIsland tracks over the coming week, before ending back at Ruapuna.Nelson's Nevil Basalaj had the ideal build-up to the NZ Midgetcar title which will be contested at Ruapunathis coming Friday and Saturday evening, winning two heats and then taking out the Feature from GlennEverett and David Kerr, with Kerr winning the other heat race.Darryl Harris dominated the Modified Sprint racing with two wins including the Feature while LiamMcCoubrey claimed honours in the 1/4 Midget section which including several Auckland drivers. Results (Competitors from Christchurch unless stated)
Three Quarter Midgets New Zealand Grand Prix
Ht 1. Craig Todd (Napier) 1, Paul LeCren (Auckland) 2, Jeremy Webb 3, Ben Gilmore 4, Dylan McGregor(Auck) 5, Gareth Bindon 6. Ht 2. Jared Taylor (Auck) 1, Shane Phillips (Auck) 2, Blair Warren 3, Kyle Glover 4, Brad Day (Aust) 5,Marty Kennett 6. Ht 3. Rachel Melrose (Auck) 1, C Todd 2, Taylor 3, Tom Lumsden 4, Blair Warren 5, Lindsay Bailey 6. Ht 4. Gareth Bindon 1, D McGregor 2, Duane Todd (Napier) 3, Ben Tiplady 4, Ryan MacGregor(Gisborne) 5, Phillips 6. Ht 5. D MacGregor 1, Ben Gilmore 2, Le Cren 3, Glover 4, D Todd 5, Bindon 6.
Ht 6. Melrose 1, Bailey 2, C Todd 3, R MacGregor 4, Phillips 5, D Webb 6.
Qualifying Points: C Todd 72, D MacGregor 72, Melrose 66, Phillips 65. Bindon 65, LeCren 64, D Todd62, Glover 62, Warren 62, Ben Gilmore 62, Bailey 60, Marty Kennett 53, D Webb 47, J Webb 47, Taylor47, Day 46, R McGregor 43, Kenny Willey(USA) 43, Charles Gardiner 41, Gavin Chappell 41, Lumsden 40,Brett Booth 39, Kimberley Yeatman 39, Atama Holland (Greymouth) 39, Mel Smith 38, Ben Tiplady 38,Matt Leversedge 37, James Thompson 37, Justin McMinn (Aust)34, Scott Bailey 33, Brian Fridd 30, DanielMcKinlay 19, Ryan Chapman 17, Chuck West (USA) 14, Scott Dobson (USA) 12, Marus Doocey 11, Andrew Miller 9, Mike Griffith (Aust) 0,West Evans (USA) 0.
Repercharge: Holland 1, Tiplady 2, Thompson 3, Yeatman 4, Fridd 5, McKinlay 6.
NZ GP Final: D MacGregor 1, C Todd 2, Melrose 3, D Todd 4, Bindon 5, Phillips 6, P LeCren 7, Gilmore8, L Bailey 9, S Bailey 10.
Ht 1. David Kerr 1, Michael Moulin 2, Gavin Wilkie (Dunedin) 3. Ht 2. Nevil Basalaj (Nelson) 1. Steve McCallum 2, Wilkie 3. Ht 3. Basalaj 1, Kerr 2, Wilkie 3. Feature: Basalaj 1, Everett 2, Kerr 3.
Ht 1. Darryl Harris 1, Ray Baughan 2, Charlie Jackson 3. Ht 2. R Baughan 1, Harris 2, Caleb Baughan 3. Feature: Harris 1, C Baughan 1, R Baughan 3.
Ht 1. Jay Basalaj (Nelson) 1, Liam McCoubrey 2, Jack Low 3. Ht 2. Brad Shearman 1, Jayden Bradley (Nelson) 2, McCoubrey 3. Ht 3. Hayden Guptill (Auck) 1, Morgan McHugh (Auck) 2, Bradley 3. Final: McCoubrey 1, Basalaj 2, Bradley 3.
Results First Round of CHCH TQ Club Tri-Nations Sseries at Greenstone Park Speedway,Greymouth 2nz Duane Todd14a Paul le Cren1nz Craig Todd8c Jeremy Webb39c Matt Leversedge16c Kyle Glover3usa Kenny Wiley18a Shane Phillips4n James Nicholson74g Ryan MacGregor