Riverside Speedway ITM Outlaw TrophyBy Daryl Shuttleworth
Photos Corbyn Shuttleworth
Phillips Conquers Carnage To Be Top Outlaw
If the hearty Southland crowd wanted to see a night of thrills and spills they certainly got a lot more than they bargained for at The Rock FM's Riverside Speedway, as the club hosted the ITM Outlaw Modified Sprint Trophy.
A strong field of seventeen Modified Sprints from both Invercargill and Christchurch entered the event and it only took half a lap into heat one before we had the first casualty, Christchurch's Alan Daly clipped a wheel on the back straight, resulting in a nasty rollover, ending the Cantabrian's night.
After the restart reigning Southland Champion Jayden Fraser got the jump and drove away from the field to secure top points in heat one, followed home by Tony Jones in second and George Phillips third, both from Invercargill.
Heat two was relatively tame with no real drama and just the one restart after Invercargill's Dean Miller suffered engine failure resulting in that much smoke that the rest of the field had to stop due to lack of visibility.
On the restart rookie Jason McMullin of Invercargill headed off Christchurch's Caleb Baughn who was starting to find his feet on the bumpy Riverside track, race one winner Fraser bagged more valuable points to come home third.
Heat three saw Baughn show his class with a commanding victory over the entire field showing he would be the man to beat going into the winner takes all final, Raymond Phillips of Invercargill came home in second after not finishing races one and two and fellow Southlander Daryl Scott third.
After three heats Fraser was the top points scorer meaning he would start from pole alongside Baughn.
As the seventeen lap final got underway it was Baughn who got off to a flyer heading the field off into turn one and two before fellow Cantabrian Verdan McCaffy came to grief upside down in turn one.
This called for a restart and Fraser had done his homework and made sure Baughn wasn't going to get a jump on him this time around and he cleared off to a handy lead.
Baughn pushed hard in second with George Phillips in third as they reached the halfway point in the race, Baughn was doing everything in his power to bridge the gap to Fraser but ended up having a nasty spin which ended not only his own race but also local hopeful Darcy Hewitt.
At the next restart Raymond Phillips come unstuck leaving the damaged car parked up on the main straight forcing yet another reformation of the field.
As the pack got up and racing once more George Phillips made a challenge for the lead of the race and slipped around the outside of Fraser, this also left Fraser vulnerable to Scott who was looking menacing in third, it was only one more lap until Scott got the job done and left Fraser fighting for survival.
As Phillips and Scott cleared off Mike Jackson started to pressure Fraser and the pair fought hard until Fraser spun, Jackson had nowhere to go and the pair made contact, avoiding the accident was Invercargill's Kevin Fulton who took drastic action but was thrown out into the wall causing yet another rollover, and another restart.
Now with only a handful of laps to run Phillips led the pack off but Scott was starting to find some serious pace out wide, McMullin was doing a solid job in third but couldn't hold off a fast finishing Brendon Daly of Christchurch.
With just a lap to go Scott put a late challenge on Phillips but the youngster showed skills and handled the pressure taking out the ITM Outlaw Trophy, his first major title in the grade, Scott had to settle for second and Daly third.
In Production Saloons the Riverside Wranglers hosted the Beachland Barracudas in teams racing and despite the Barracudas winning both races courtesy of Lex Cummings and solid placings from Violet Cummings the Riverside Wranglers scored vital points throughout the rest of the field to win the match by ten points.
The final two production races were won by Luke Oliver and Dave Horton.
Graham Williamson of Cromwell fired a warning shot to his fellow drivers ahead of the upcoming Saloon Slam, Williamson's Hypermac Mustang won two of the three races with Dunedin's Graeme McKernan taking race three.
A nasty accident in Saloons put paid to Lloyd Phillips, Craig Phillips and Clark Brown's night and means the trio will have to pull a massive effort to be ready for the Saloon Slam, not to mention a hefty repair bill.
Dunedin drivers were a welcome addition to what has been slender fields of Streetstocks, twelve cars lined up for this event and left no one disappointed with the show they put on.
Invercargills AJ Lapsley and Dunedin's Luke Ellis suffered big roll overs but managed to get back up and running to continue the night, the Streetstock class was dominated by Andrew Keach of Dunedin who claimed two race victories while Lapsley and Graham Morris of Dunedin took a win each.
In Youth Saloons Jacob Garrick dominated race one, winning it by a solid margin, he looked to repeat the dose in race two but had a tyre blow in turn one causing him to head off in the direction of the concrete wall.
Garrick did well to control the car but handed the victory to Emma Phillips who also managed to win race three in a very impressive outing.
The final grade to run was the Sprintcars, Ross McKinnel made short work of race one and two with solid wins, but couldn't chase down Cromwell's Russell Jack who fought off the rest of the field in race three to claim a much deserved victory.