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Buchanan Dominant In Championship Win
By Daryl Shuttleworth - Shuttleworth Motorsport Media
Cormac Buchanan on the way to winning the Southland Peewee Solo Championship
-Credit Lindsay Withington Photography
He may only be eight but Cormac Buchanan showed experience and talent well beyond his years to claim his maiden Southland Peewee Solo title at the Russell Cunningham Oreti Park Speedway on Saturday night.
The massive crowd were treated to some action packed racing across all the classes as they basked in the sunshine, but it was on the small inner oval that Buchanan was showing his dominance scoring four wins in the heat racing to head into the four bike final unbeaten.
Nick Olphert looked to be Buchanans main threat to the championship winning his first two heats and comfortably leading the third until he had a nasty spill, causing him not to finish and dashing his hopes to make the final.
With Olphert out it opened the door for Mason Coulthard to make the final alongside Laughlan McIntyre and second top points scorer Dakota Crengle, as the tapes went up in the final Buchanan shot out to an early lead as the other three finalists battled it out for the minors, in the third lap as Buchanan had one hand on the Southland Title, McIntyre and Crengle collided resulting in a restart and Crengle eliminated from the final for his part in the incident.
The restart got underway in the same fashion with Buchanan fast out of the blocks and racing out to a handy lead, Mcintyre battled wheel to wheel with Coulthard for second but as the chequred flag came down Oreti Park crowned a new champion, and Buchanan had done the job and won the title hes worked so hard to get, McIntyre rode well for second to hold off a fast finishing Coulthard in third.
The Oreti Park club also had reason to celebrate with the Southland Outlaws disposing of the Auckland Rhinos in the National Solo League, claiming the teams first victory of the season in a must win match up after both teams suffered heavy losses to the Canterbury Comets in Christchurch.
The Outlaws made thier intentions clear early with James Sargent and Hayden Sims banking maximum points in heat one followed by Grant Tregoning claiming first in heat two. The points kept accumulating as Jack McRae joint Sims to score maximum points as did team captain Tregoning and Sargent putting the Outlaws out to a commanding twelve point lead, but the Rhinos were determined not to let the match pass them by and impressive rides by Bradley Wilson-Dean and Dylan Hancock closed the gap slightly before they played thier Wildcard, giving them the right to put thier best rider in any heat and earn double points.
The Rhinos put Wilson-Dean out in heat nine and he dominated the race despite McRae pushing as hard as he could to put the match out of reach, this bought the overall scores to within three points in Southlands favor, with only two heats remaining.
Southland shrugged off the pressure and Sargent and Sims once again banked maximum points, in heat ten, and Sargent repeated the dose in the final to bring the Southland Outlaws home 44 - 33, they now have the chance to head to the top of the points table alongside Canterbury, if they can beat the Rhinos in Auckland next weekend.
73c Lionel Green and Shane Breach lead Erwin Tree and Nigel Cuckow in the sidecars -
Credit Lindsay Withington Photography
In support classes it was Canterbury pairing Lionel Green and Shane Breech who won the sidecar final, the pairing finding some good form heading into the South Island Championship in Invercargill next month. Southland pairing Shaun Kerr and Robin Poole were dominant in the sidecars winning all four heats but unable to front up in the final due to overheating issues, a problem they will be wanting to issue prior to the championship.
Jake Gillespie won all four Solo Support races, Phil Coulthard won B Grade Solos, Les Payne Classic Solos and Hayden Brookland Junior Solos.