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Palmerston NZ Champs 18th Feb 2023

We made the trip to Palmerston North speedway for the nz title event our biggest race of the season where who gets to run the coveted 1nz is decided for another year.  24 cars faced the starter for a complex format of qualifying heats before the main 25 lap feature where all would be decided

Our grid draw was 11 which put us last and first in the primary group for our two qualifying heats and meant we had a lot of work to do in race 1 of the night. We had 12 laps to come through from the back and were lucky to make some good ground early. The track narrowed up after the opening laps which stalled our progress but after a couple of mechanical failures for other competitors we climbed up the field to fifth which we hoped would be enough to qualify towards the front for the feature.

For heat two we tuned up the 72P car and had an absolute weapon that dominated out front from grid one, however our main competition behind us also managed to make good ground and although our car was fast on aggregate points from the two races we only qualified fourth spot for the one race final.

We knew we would have our work cut out to try and slice through the quality field from that far in the pack but we tuned up our best setup and bolted our best Hoosiers on for a shot at the big race.

When the flag fell the top row shot out to a good start and we catapulted to second place however our car was pretty average to start with and we soon dropped back to third. We battled away for maybe five or six laps with an ill-handling car before our setup came right and we finally hit our straps. We found a good groove out by the wall and the car came alive. We quickly moved around to second spot and then set our sights on the leader. It took maybe five or so more laps before we made any inroads but then the gap started to reduce at an ever increasing rate until we got down towards the end and we were right in the hunt.

We had to move off the wall to putt past the leader on the bottom and somehow managed it, we then led for half a lap before a poorly timed caution for a spin put us back to second spot. Under the yellow everybody had a chance to catch up and sort their in car adjustments out before the green came back out. We had an average restart but cruised back up to the leader quite quick staying out of the dramas that unfolded behind us. It took a lap to get our momentum but we shot down into one and pulled off the same pass as a couple laps earlier to lead with only a few corners to run. We rolled around the bottom for the final lap to seal the victory and secure the coveted 1nz.

It was a spectacular result for our team and the culmination of five years of hard work and learning to put our name on the biggest trophy in our sport. I want to thank everybody on our crew for all of their hard work and dedication and thank the Palmerston North speedway for putting on such a great event and prepping such a racy track. We get a week off next weekend to come back down to earth before we head back to stratford speedway with our new number to contest the north island champs on the 4th March.

Race Review

Check out the full race review in Stuff here

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