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Boulton Brilliance Steals The Show At Beachlands

Beachlands Speedway

STORY BY

DARYL SHUTTLEWORTH
Shuttleworth Motorsport Media

Images supplied by: Robin Simpson

(Disclaimer – results as seen by myself while commentating, results may have changed slightly due to relegations etc. – This article or extracts from it are not to be used by any other form of media without prior permission.) 

Dunedin could not have put on a better night for racing, with the sun shining, good fields of cars across all the grades and a bumper crowd in attendance which is not always easy on a Friday night, but the team at Custom Signs Beachlands Speedway pulled it off, hosting the Synergy Cup for Super Saloons, the final round of The Pits Media Trophy for Youth, Saloon Top Gun and the Best Pairs Trophy for Streetstocks.

The Synergy Cup for Super Saloons rose from the ashes of what was the Xtreme Dirt Series which was cancelled late last year. A small but quality field was entered to run at Beachlands on the Friday night, and Central Motor Speedway on the Saturday, a meeting which would unfortunately sucumbe to a rain out.

The format was pretty straight forward, two twelve lap heat races and a twenty lap feature final.

Heat one of the event that was sponsored by Lister Helicopters could have seen local driver Terry Soper head to the showers early when he took a wild wall ride coming out of turn two, and not coming off the wall until well down the back straight, it was certainly a heart in mouth moment that would see Soper sit out race two but return for the feature.

There was some fantastic battles across the field but Ian Burson of Nelson was the man on a mission, racing from midpack early to grab the race lead and remain untouched, spanking the rest of the field by a huge margin. Back in second and third were Beachlands duo Alister Lister and Ricky Boulton who were really going at it toe to toe, with Lister giving Boulton a decent nudge on the last lap to secure second, Boulton settling for a hard fought third.

Now I spoke to a Speedway New Zealand official while at Cromwell waiting for the rain to ease and he told me there was no relegations for the contact, and both drivers were spoken to.

Heat two and Cromwells Ray Stewart was in full control of the race when with two laps to go Boulton made a move on Stewart to steal away the lead, it would turn from bad to worse for Stewart who would then spin on the very last corner while placed in second, watching any sort of points haul disappear in front of him.

Boulton would cross the line first with Lister second and Burson third, but Boulton would face the wrath of the Speedway New Zealand officials and be relegated to fifth for pole line infringing, handing the win to Lister, Burson second and Shane McIntyre of Blenheim third.

This now led us on to the twenty lap feature final, and Lister was full of confidence as was Burson who had banked some solid heat results, but it was Boulton who charged from the back of the pack early to sneak up to second place, battling with Burson early which gave Lister plenty of breathing room up front.

Lister pulled away with ease and by the halfway mark of the race you could almost say Lister was going to cruise home with the win, Boulton was chasing hard but not making inroads, and having to battle McIntyre who had now been challenging for the second spot.

Boulton and McIntyre had a thrilling battle for a couple of laps before McIntyre decided to send it in a move for second, Boulton defended his line well which led to McIntyre scrubbing off a heap of speed and falling back from Boulton.

Up front Lister looked to have the race won and done, but Boulton rung the neck off his car and reeled Lister in, Lister would take the white flag and still looked as if he would take the feature win but Boulton measured Lister up in turn two of the very last lap and sling shoted up the inside in a stunning move, Lister simply had no reply, Boulton was gone, and on his way to banking a remarkable, well driven Super Saloon win, Lister came home in second in what I can only imagine as a heart wrenching result, but certainly one to be very proud of, and McIntyre would secure third place.

Streetstocks as always were entertaining with Best Pairs trophies on the line and a huge field of cars, including the members of the Beachlands Bulldogs who were preparing to defend the State of Origin Streetstock crown they won in Christchurch last year.

I thought those guys would be protecting their cars but I could not be more wrong.

Heat one and a stoppage early while the officials checked on both Adam Stewart and Baily Gillam of Dunedin in turn two, the race would restart and run at a furious pace with newly crowned New Zealand Champ Allan Finch in full control at the head of the pack, looking like he would win the race with ease.

What he didn’t bank on was Stewart nailing him on the very last corner of the race, handing the race win to Clinton Finch and Mitch Lavender, both of Dunedin, with Allan Finch regrouping and getting across the line third.

Heat two and another early stoppage, this time when Dunedin duo Regan Constable and Ben Bisset had a coming to on the main straight, both coming to an end on the infield. Constable would continue on but the damage to Bissets car would see him remain parked up for the race.

From the restart it was an all out sprint race with Ben Jenkins of Dunedin dominating up front, taking the win, Allan Finch claimed second with Braeden Adams also of Beachlands third.

The final race would decide the best pairs championship and it didn’t go well for heat two winner Lavender, with his car stopping on lap three, turn two ending any hope he and his partner had.

There was plenty of casualties in this race with a fair bit of biff and bash unfolding but very few stoppages at all, any wounded cars made it to the infield which created space for those on track, Ben Jenkins of Beachlands would take the race win from clubmate Clay Marshall and Christchurch driver Shannon Aspen in third place.

That result gave the best pairs trophy to Jenkins and Aspen, second was Marshall who was teamed with Riverside’s Phil Johnston, with Allan Finch and Clinton Finch third.

Beachlands would host the final round of the Pits Media Challenge for Youth Saloons, a series run at Riverside, Central Motor Speedway and Beachlands, and has provided some fantastic racing at each meeting.

Going into the final round Beachland’s Max Kemp would hold a slender one point lead over Riverside driver Cayden Race, it was all on the line in the final round.

Race one saw Kemp get off to an absolute flyer, he had a handy grid draw that he used to his advantage. He knew he had to finish ahead of Race to keep extending the lead on his home track.

Kemp would be thankful for his clubmate Kaian Greene who has really been on the improve since Christmas, Greene managed to park himself between Kemp and Race, Kemp taking the win, Greene second and Race third, allowing Kemp to stretch the lead ever so slightly. Race’s frustrations boiled over at the end of the race, and he was filthy with himself, but to his credit he got his emotions under control and came out fighting in race two.

Heat two got off to a very untidy start when Riverside’s Isiah Stretton got beaten from pillar to post in turn one of lap one by Beachlands duo Imogen Knox and Jasmine Todd, the race having to reform after a caution for this incident.

Riverside driver Joshua Richardson had a front row start but would have been a nervous lad, Richardson had suffered mechanical dramas late in a race at Riverside last meeting that cost him the win on the very last lap, the car going into limp mode after having a handy lead.

Richardson would have been counting down the laps from out front, and he would have been happy to see the white one fall with Race, Kemp, Greene and Lachie Robertson of Invercargill all chasing hard, Richardson held on to take the race win, with Race second ahead of Kemp, but those two cars would be relegated post race handing second to Greene and third to Robertson, this result having big implications for the round and series lead.

Race would start from the front of the pack in heat three, he needed to win and have Kemp finish more than two places behind him to tie the series or three to win the series, and Kemp was starting this race from the rear of the pack.

Race got off to a flying start only to have to regrid after Richardson had been sent around in turn one of lap one. At the restart again Race cleared off, but behind him both Greene and Kemp were coming from the back of the grid at pace, getting up to the pointy end of the paddock within a lap.

Race held his nerve, there was simply no more he could do but hope the likes of Robertson or Richardson could get between himself and Kemp, but it just wasn’t to be, Race took the final race win ahead of Kemp with Greene third.

This result would see Greene win the round, and Kemp and Race head back out on track for a run off for second and third.

This is a run off Race would rather forget, spinning twice in a damp surface to settle for third place, Kemp securing second.

Overall results from the Pits Media Challenge saw Kemp take the win, second Race with Richardson third overall.

Saloons provided some great racing across both heat races which would then lead to the Top Gun, a bit like a pole shuffle, then a fifteen lap feature to cap off their nights racing.

Heat one fast and clean, Mark Newall of Dunedin leading home clubmate Aaron Andrews with Jason Gold of Central Motor Speedway third.

Heat two and it all went a bit pear shaped for Dunedin driver Paul Carr who looped it in turn four after making a solid start to the race.

Carr would spin and be hit hard by Gold, causing severe damage to Golds car, Dunedin’s Travis Smith would also find himself with nowhere to go, making contact with Gold as well but managing to keep going. This incident could have been alot worse with Carr powering away from the incident at speed, directly towards oncoming cars that thankfully spotted him and took action.

It was Andrews who would settle the pack down and race off to claim the top spot for Top Gun which was next on the program, Dunedin’s Calvin Todd scored a well driven second with Smith third.

First two cars to hit the track for Top Gun were Riverside’s Daren McLeod and Beachlands Andrew Hutton, they would race two laps, winner continues to the next round, loser is out.

McLeod made short work of Hutton eliminating him in round one, McLeod would then eliminate Todd in Round Two, Dunedin’s Brodie Findlay in Round Three but meet his match against a very fast Smith in Round four, but a brilliant result for the Riverside driver.

Smith would then face Newall and beat him meaning he only had one car to face and that was Andrews.

Smith threw everything he had at Andrews and challenged him right up till the flag dropped but Andrews was just too fast taking the Top Gun from Smith in second and Newall third overall.

In the feature the big surprise was Todd who led for a good part of the race, however Andrews would chase him down and grab the win of the fifteen lap feature, Todd second and Newall home in third place.

The second group of Youth Saloons racing were the newbies, the drivers who didn’t enter the Pits Media Challenge, and they put on a great show across all three races.

Heat one saw Dunedin’s Cruz Soper show his class, getting to the lead of the race early and managing it to claim the race win, second would go the way of Hunter Glover with his Beachlands clubmate Blake Fox Millar third.

Heat two saw a decent incident unfold on the main straight when Beachland’s duo Maddy Stewart and Aiden Heads had a big pile up. Stewart looked to have a flat left front tyre coming into turn four, this spat her out towards the wall then speared her down low in front of Heads who was coming through at speed.

Both cars suffered considerable damage, but testament to the cars and the safety gear, both drivers stepped away unhurt.

Fox Millar would continue on his fine form from race one taking a race win over Soper with clubmate Brodie Holley home in third place.

The final race for Youth Saloons was a good clean race and it features a car that had been quick all meeting but just outside the top three all meeting also, Ashley Bennett of Dunedin.

Bennett took control of the race early and held off Glover to take the race win with Soper capping off a consistent day out in third place.

The final grade to race was Stockcars, five started the night with just three finishing the night.

Heat one went the way of Paul Simon, heat two Shannon Simon with Billy Greer in a borrowed car home as the winner in race three.

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