THE hearts of the Riverside Speedway committee, drivers and race fans all sunk on Saturday night as the heavens opened after just one round of racing at X Factor Cars Riverside Speedway second meeting in a row this happened, with the meeting prior also completely rained out.
The club were looking to set off $10,000 worth of fireworks and celebrate 25 years of support from the ILT Foundation. Instead, the track commentator was left apologising to race fans for the rain, something totally out of the club’s control.
Of the races which were run, streetstocks competing for the Cecile Kergozou Memorial ran two races with Steve Dryden claiming victory in both.
However, due to not being able to complete the races, the memorial and all the other championships will need to rescheduled for a later date.
This will be problematic considering the already busy calendar.
However, on a positive note, Dryden will be happy with his form heading into the South Island Streetstock Championship in two weeks at Riverside.
Several Cromwell and Christchurch youth mini stocks travelled south to compete in the Southland championship taken out by Christchurch driver Cam Siderway, with Invercargill’s Harrison Brown, second, and Amber Brooks, of Christchurch, third.
Brown also lined up in the Youth Saloon Championship, and settled for second in the only completed race, with Joshua Livingstone, first, and Alex Crosbie, third.
Cromwell driver Shanarrah Stronach stunned the six shooter field starting from sixth on the grid, but storming off to a huge win by almost half a track length.
She took advantage of a restart and never looked back, leaving club-mate Jim Martin in her dust in second, ahead of Riverside’s Emma Gordon.
It was also a Cromwell driver who took the only race win for production saloons.
Whetu Taewa trailed Tony Jones, of Riverside, for most of the race.
But when Jones was held up by lapped traffic, Taewa took advantage and snatched the victory with Jones having to settle for second.
Hayden Graves crossed the line third.
Graves would later be relegated, putting Shane Prestney, of Dunedin, in third.
The Brett Cooper Memorial was on offer for modified sprints and Riverside’s Vernon Helms shocked the opposition by taking a commanding win.
Helms, in a far older car than his counterparts, kept them at bay, despite club-mate Michael Jackson making some fantastic moves through the field to put up a challenge.
Jackson had to settle for third after hitting the wall on the home straight with force, allowing Glenn Johnson, of Dunedin, to grab second.
Stockcars were entertaining with a few good shots delivered by the drivers.
Jason Fisher was challenged by Jesse Stevens for most of the race.
Stevens put a hit on his Riverside counterpart, but came off second-best allowing Fisher to drive off for a comfortable race win.
The final grade on track was saloons, which put up the race of the evening.
Aaron Andrews, of Dunedin, drove off into the sunset for the easiest of wins, but the action behind him was sublime.
Riverside’s Jeff Richardson and Graham Williamson went toe-to-toe with Cromwell’s Raymond Phillips and Phil Burgess could throw a blanket over all four cars.
As the four cars reached lapped traffic, it was Richardson and Burgess who spilt the traffic and challenged each other to the flag.
The pair could barely be separated as the chequered flag dropped with Richardson just getting a nose in front of Burgess to claim second.
The Riverside Speedway committee is hoping for sun on Friday, December 11, and Saturday, December 12, as it hosts the Auto Parts Invercargill/Powderline South Island Streetstock Championship.buy footwearadidas ZX 8000 Frozen Lemonade