Fireworks show set for Saturday

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Jason Fisher will be the man to watch in the Ronnie Tree Memorial at X Factor Cars Riverside Speedway on Saturday. Photo: Daryl Shuttleworth

X FACTOR Cars Riverside Speedway’s committee urge all speedway fans to cross their fingers and pray to the weather gods this Saturday as the club looks to run its second meeting of the season.

Riverside was set to run the ILT Foundation Fireworks Extravaganza on October 31, but rain put paid to any chance of the club running anything.

As the committee is ardent on putting on a big show for the Southland community, it has rescheduled the fireworks to Saturday night, which will also be a celebration of the ILT Foundation supporting this event for the past 25 years.

The club will also wind back the calendar to the 2019/20 season and contest the Memorial Championship which didn’t run due to Covid-19.

The committee felt holding the event this season was the best way to honour the people who gave so much to the club. The 2020/21 edition of the Memorial Championship will be contested at the last meeting of the season.

The Memorial Championship was one many drivers felt was more of an honour to win than a Southland title, as it had a lot more feeling and meaning behind it, and a sense of pride for those who claimed the trophy.

The Brett Cooper Memorial will be contested by modified sprints. Cooper raced midgets at Riverside in the 1980s and 90s and was the pioneer of introducing some very fast Japanese-powered cars to the grade, with the chassis also built by him.

Cooper was one of the few midget drivers from the club who also raced at meetings throughout New Zealand, representing the club he was proud to be a part of.

Cecile Kergozou was a huge supporter of the streetstock grade and it was fitting drivers would race for a trophy in her honour this Saturday night.

Kergozou used to love watching her son Joel do battle. She was his biggest fan and the family would love to see her grandson, Chris Kergozou, grab the trophy this weekend.

But he will face some stiff competition to accomplish this.

Saloons will race for the Rod McLaren Memorial.

McLaren was a late starter to the sport of speedway but didn’t take long to become a frontrunner in the grade.

McLaren was one of the drivers who stepped away from the V8-powered saloons and started running front-wheel-drive Honda Preludes, showing up the high horse-powered opposition on many occasions.

The final memorial trophy will be the Ronnie Tree Memorial for stockcars.

Tree was remembered as one of Riverside’s true characters. Racing in the 1980s, Tree was know for his big hits, and for being a general menace on the track.

The trophy the stockcars will be competing for will reflect that, with the driver who does the most damage to his opponents being crowned the winner.

The meeting will also see the running of the Best Pairs Championships for production and youth saloons.

These events were affected by rain-off a couple of weeks back and, with large fields expected, this should produce some action-packed racing.

Sprintcars are also expected back at Riverside.

Jack Brown dominated the field at Riverside last time and he will be determined to entertain his home crowd once more.

Racing starts at 4pm, with gates opening to the public at 1pm. This is a family-friendly event and would be strictly no alcohol.

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