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Favorites Upstaged At Peter Blick Memorial
By Daryl Shuttleworth - Shuttleworth Motorsport Media
Photos Lindsay Withington Photography
It was always going to be a battle, but if you were a betting man the safe money would have been on Shaun Kerr and Robin Poole to take out the Peter Blick Memorial, and add another trophy to their pretty impressive collection this season.
Kerr and Poole showed their intentions early at The Russell Cunningham Properties Oreti Park Speedway, making easy work of the opposition in the heats to qualify for direct entry into the final with maximum points.
They were not the only combination to impress in the heats, James Douglas and Ricky Pubben also went through the heats unbeaten, Lionel Green and Shane Breech of Christchurch also looked as if they would go through on maximum points but a stunning performance by Scott Ayto and Dylan Carnie in heat four meant they had to settle for second but still qualified for the final. The last team to gain direct entry was Aiden Thwaites and Shane Twiss, who managed to sneak through with a win in their final heat.
The next top five points scorers got one last chance to take the fifth and final spot on the gate of the final, as that race started Erwin Tree and Nigel Cuckow jumped off the line sending them to the infield, ending their day, Bradley and Craig Sharp faced the same fate on lap two after an impressive day out.
There were more twists to come with Kevin McDonald and Karl Hosie slipping over the pole line on lap three putting them out, leaving Craig McMaster and James Dawson to battle in out with Luke Thwaites and Neville Chalmers for a spot in the final. McMaster and Douglas had track advantage despite being pushed hard by Thwaites and Chalmers they tooked chequered flag and booked a spot in the final.
The final of the Peter Blick Memorial also had its twists, when the race started Kerr and Poole got an awful start being blocked in, Douglas and Pubben took early advantage to lead into turn one but this was short lived as Green and Breech slipped past and started to clear away from the pack.
Douglas and Pubben fought back and when Green and Breech spun on lap two they took Douglas and Pubben with them, bringing out the red flag and leading to Green and Breech being eliminated.
It also spelt the end of McMaster and Douglas, the pair had spun prior to the Green incident, and when told to leave the track it led to some controversy but the Stewards decision remained, meaning the restart would only involve three bikes.
This restart gave Kerr and Poole a second chance but as the tapes went up they jumped off the line and shot to the infield ending their chances leaving Douglas and Pubben to battle it out with Thwaites and Twiss.
Douglas and Pubben took an early lead but Thwaites and Twiss pounced and stole the lead briefly, Douglas and Pubben snatched it back just as quick, and managed to defend their lead despite a tonne of pressure from Thwaites.
As the flag dropped the arms of Douglas and Pubben punched the air in celebration as they won their first Peter Blick Memorial Trophy from Thwaites and Twiss who were impressive in the final.
In support classes John Tuffley was too good in the Solo A grade, B grade was won by Zane Pay despite twice being upstaged by Classic Solo rider Les Payne with the classes being mixed.
National Short Track Champion Hayden Brookland also beat Sam Taylor twice, an impressive effort considering Brookland was riding a 125cc Solo, Taylor was on a 200cc bike. Both juniors shared two wins each.
In the Peewees Cormac Buchanan again dominated finishing the day with four wins, it looked as if he would finish the day in a three way tie with Nick Olphert and Lachlan McIntyre but the pairing who were both running unbeaten heading into the final round, were both beaten, but had impressive results.
Oreti Park has its final meeting next Saturday with the running of the Brian Reed Memorial Solos and Sidecar Pairs.