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Season Finale Palmerston North – 29th April 2023

Race Report

We headed back home to Palmerston North speedway for our final round of the season at the big grand finale meeting. We had a small lead in the track championship points we were keen to retain and a couple of new things to try on our 1NZ car. Format for the night was standard, two heats for qualifying with marble draw grids then a 15 lap feature.

Race 1 we drew grid 10 which put us quite near the back of the field. Our setup was good and we managed to make a couple of spots early and continue to pick them off through the race to move up the field. The leaders got off to a big gap early while we were stuck in traffic but we were able to drive right up to them in the final laps, just couldn’t make the pass before the checkers came out. We wound up third which was a great start to the night.

Race 2 was a better grid on third, however this pinned us to the bottom lane for the opening corner. We ended up losing a spot in the first lap as the top lane quickly got rolling. We moved upstairs and got a pass away but couldn’t reel them in to make any further ground. Our setup was close to the mark but we didn’t really have what we needed and had to settle for third. Our two grids would put us third for the feature, however the top qualifier drew the invert marble to reverse the grids for the feature which made a job for us all.

With a few cars retiring through the night we moved up to grid 7 for the feature and with 15 laps on the books were confident we could make some ground. The opening laps were hectic, we shot through the middle of turn 1-2 on the opening laps to gain some spots then just picked them off as we caught them, going where they didn’t to make the pass. We eventually got to third and wound the leaders in quickly before making the pass for second.

The race went to caution a lap later for another competitor going upside down, and the restart order pushed us back to third. This pinned us on the low lane again for the restart and killed our chances of moving up in the last couple of laps as our competitors who followed us through the field were able to get the passes made on the preferred top lane. We eventually got settled in and started to make some ground but ran out of laps and ended up fourth. Luckily this was just enough to defend our season points lead and gave us the track championship for our first time.

Despite the tough second half of the season we were lucky enough to tick off all of our main goals this season, winning the Oval Superstars Tour, Manawatu Champs and the Palmerston North track championship as well as the big one, the NZ Minisprint title also held at Palmerston North. We were also lucky enough to have podium finishes at the North Island champs, Waikato Champs and King of the Mountain champs.

It was a full on season, and thanks to our awesome sponsors Wallace Heron Ltd, Enzed and Fragola we were able to make it our most successful one yet!

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