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Local Riders Keeping Busy
Photo 2 Kevin McDonald and Karl Hosie lead Scott Ayto and Dylan Carnie at Oreti Park Speedway
(photo credit to Corey Varcoe Photography)
By Daryl Shuttleworth
While the organisers at Oreti Park Speedway are having a well deserved break, hosting four race meetings including a National title since the New Year, their riders are still as busy as ever contesting events elsewhere.
The Southland crowd witnessed a heart stopping battle at the New Zealand Solo Championships when Jason Bunyan claimed a record equaling 9th National title over local hopeful Grant Tregoning by just a wheel length, but Tregoning's fortunes changed in Christchurch at Moore Park on Saturday night when he contested and won the New Zealand Solo Grand Prix. Tregoning showed alot of fight to come back from last weekends dissapointment, he made the final along side New Zealand Under 21 champion Bradley Wilson Dean and Sean Mason both of Auckland and Dale Finch of Christchurch, Tregoning got a great start in the final and was just a class above the rest of the field as he stretched his lead over his fellow competitors to dominate from start to finish claiming the New Zealand Grand Prix, the battle for second and third is where all the action was but it was Mason who snuck home ahead of Finch.
Southland sidecar duo James Douglas and Ricky Pubben won the support class at the same event, fighting off some strong opposition, this is the sort of form the team are looking for just a few days out from the New Zealand Sidecar Championship being held at Ruapuna Speedway in Christchurch.
The Oreti Park club will send a strong contingent of 9 teams north to contest the title, along with Douglas and Pubben there is Kevin McDonald and Karl Hosie, Fraser and Johnny Gillespie, Jason Harper and Mark George, Scott Ayto and Dylan Carnie, Daniel Harper and Brad Waddick, Craig McMaster and James Dawson, Shaun Kerr and Dallas Kelman and the team of Aiden Thwaites and Daniel Gillett.
With 44 teams entered including current New Zealand Champions Paul Humphrey and Ben Franklin, it will be a huge achievement just to qualify, only the top 16 teams will get a chance to go forward to compete for the title.
All the teams are put into groups for Friday nights qualifying where they race each other three times, these races will distinguish the top 16 for Saturday nights championship.
McDonald and Hosie have been in stellar form as of late, and they will look to improve on their 3rd placing at last years championship, along with them any of the Southland pairings entered have shown throughout this season that none of them are to be underestimated, they will look to feature heavily in the finals, and bring the title South to Oreti Park.
The next meeting at the Russell Cunningham Properties Oreti Park Speedway is March 1st when the solos will compete for the Brian Reed Memorial.