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Palmerston North 21st Jan 2023 Manawatu Champs

Weekend Review
Palmerston North 21st jan 2023
Manawatu champs

We made the long drive to Palmerston North to defend our Manawatu championship from last season. With a huge field of 22 cars, we had no concerns about the weather after such a torrid season.

We drew marble 14 which put us in the middle of the grid for the heats. In heat one, starting mid pack, we were lucky to pick a few cars off with the help of some cautions and a few passes in the middle to move up to sixth. In heat two, the grid was inverted and we had an incredible start, jumping to fourth.

With a bit of luck, we got two restarts which allowed us to work our way up to second place and then, on the final restart, we grabbed the lead and held on to win the heat. Our 39 points put us second top qualifier, with Karl Uhlenberg from Stratford in first. He chose to start on grid two for the feature, which was to be 15 laps on a slick Palmerston North surface.

We didn’t have a great start in the feature and ran second until lapped traffic when we got a couple of looks at passing Karl for the lead. We got a little snagged in traffic just as a caution came on track for a crash down the field.

This gave us the opportunity to make some shock changes to the car and cool our Hoosiers. When the race resumed, Karl chose the outside line for the restart. We didn’t give it to him easily this time and what followed was one of the most exciting battles I’ve ever been a part of.

We ran side by side for easily three laps, neither giving an inch, until finally we snuck ahead at turn one with only a few laps to go. We put the hammer down and held out for the win in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

It was great to defend the biggest local title of the season at our ‘home’ track and I want to thank all my crew who worked hard on the car this weekend, as well as the track crew and all the other competitors for some great racing.

Our next event is the Speedway NZ Grand Prix in Stratford, Taranaki. Last time at this event, we scored third, being pipped by Uhlenberg on the last corner, so we will be determined to put that right.

It will be our first time in Taranaki this season on the undercard to the NZ midget title, which promises to be an amazing show.

That’s it for our first Speedway Special – Keep your eyes posted for more specials coming Thursday and in the meantime check out the website for any of your day to day needs


See you for the next race

Your Wallace Heron Team

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