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Epic Battle Predicted For Reed Memorial

by Daryl Shuttleworth

Oreti Park Speedway will pay honor to one of its own legends this Saturday night March 1st when the Brian Reed Memorial Solo trophy goes up for grabs in what will be an epic battle within the ranks of the local riders.

The favorite without a doubt would have to be New Zealand Grand Prix winner Grant Tregoning, while he struggled early in the season with injury and mechanical issues, the Christchurch based Southland rider has been in blistering form as of late, claiming 2nd at the New Zealand Championship at Oreti Park, winning the New Zealand Grand Prix a week later in Christchurch and just last week being announced as a reserve rider at the New Zealand round of the World Speedway Grand Prix at Western Springs in Auckland, where if given the chance he will go head to head with the best in the world. The wild card spot in this event went to 9 time National champion Jason Bunyan of Auckland who stole his most recent title away from Tregoning by the narrowest of margins.

Tregoning knows the Brian Reed Memorial is going to be won on the day, there is any number of riders capable of winning this event, you just have to look at the blinding form Tregonings Southland Outlaws team mate Paul Hayes is showing at present, hes as quick and more experienced than most other riders competing, and should be looked at as a serious contender for the title. Then you cant discount the 2 young guns who have been impressive throughout the season, former National Under 21 Champion Jack McRae is one of the few riders to beat Tregoning fair and square in recent meetings, he knows he's capable of winning as is Jeremy Godfrey who on his day is as fast as any other rider, he has suffered a lot of bad luck this season and knows better than anyone else in this field just how good the safety fence is at Oreti Park, but if luck goes his way, he too could walk away with this title.

The sidecar teams will be in action also, after a big weekend away in Christchurch at the New Zealand Sidecar Championship, 44 teams were entered, 9 from Southland, 3 teams qualified for the 16 team championship. Jason Harper and Mark George, Scott Ayto and Dylan Carnie and Craig McMaster and James Dawson all did enough to make the top 16 after Friday nights qualiying and go onto Saturday nights final. Palmerston North pairing Paul Humphrey and Ben Franklin managed to make it back to back championships in a grueling final which saw them the only team finishing after a massive accident 1 lap out from the finish, while no Southland teams made that race Harper and George finished a very creditable 7th and Ayto and Carnie also made the top 10 with a solid 9th overall both huge results for the Southland contingent.

Saturday nights meeting at the Russell Cunningham Properties Oreti Park Speedway kicks off at 4pm and will also feature PeeWees, Junior Solos, Classic Solos and Solo Support