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OST Round 3: Palmerston North – 18th March 2023

The next round of the tour took us back to our ‘home’ track of Palmerston North and while it’s still a long trip down the country it was nice to be back in familiar territory. After a bruising few weeks the field was a little depleted but all the contenders were there to put on a good show. As always we drew a tough grid, putting us off 11 for race one.

The track was still quite heavy as we drove out the gate, but we were much better on setup than we had been for the last few weeks and managed to make some good ground. Picking cars off through the race to finish up in fifth spot. The reverse grid put us off two alongside our good mate in the 2nz car, promising to make an exciting start.

We got the jump heading down to one but stayed high in 1-2 and the top lane just didn’t have the grip we needed causing us to fall back to second. We followed through the other end before getting the run and reversing the move at turn 1 the next lap. Making the dive and getting it done for the lead. Our car was pretty perfect for setup and we cleared out for a strong win.

The heat results put us in a three way tie for top qualifier. However we scored quickest lap time through the night which settled the tie breaker. The format was to invert the top six and this put us outside row three for the feature.

On the race start we had a blinder running down the outside then cutting to the bottom to take the lead into turn one but when we get to the back stretch the yellow comes out for a jump start, reason being the front row not entering the box even. We had to try again from row three but lightening wouldn’t strike twice and this time we couldn’t gain any ground. It took us a sec to get rolling but once we did we were fast, moving up a little and scoring fastest lap in the process but we couldn’t make the passes on the primarily one lane track and had to settle for fourth.

It certainly wasn’t the result we hoped for after having such good speed but it was another good points night and helps cement our place at the top of the ladder. With all the rain offs we now only have one round left of the tour at harrisville speedway on Easter Sunday. The daytime show at the outlaw track is always a challenge and we will have to apply ourselves well to get a good result.

Our next race is back at Stratford for the speedway nz Grand Prix title and will be another important weekend. That will be after a well deserved week off where we can get into the car and make sure we finish the season well.

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