IN a day full of championships the only real winner was the weather as the ILT Foundation Riverside Speedway was forced to abandon last Saturday’s race meeting due to rain.
A massive crowd showed up to take in the 25th ILT Foundation Fireworks Extravaganza. Rain had been forecast all week but the day started fine until noon during the second round of racing when a constant drizzle made the track too slippery and unsafe for racing.
Club promoter Graham Williamson had to make the toughest call in his short time in the role and it didn’t come lightly; the club had worked extremely hard behind the scenes to make the event a showcase and it was shaping up that way before the weather change.
It wasn’t just the fans in the arena who missed out as the event was being livestreamed through The Pits TV with American race fans tuned in to the event, a great chance for the small local club to showcase what they do to an international audience.
The races that ran were exciting, with Sprintcars getting two races in. The first saw Matt Anderson, of Cromwell, dominate while his clubmate Kyle Shearing claimed victory in race two. Both were competing for the first Stag Cup.
Saloons were racing for the Rod McLaren Memorial and it was Cromwell driver Phil Burgess who won over a fast-finishing Graham Williamson, while the Cecile Kergozou Memorial Trophy was on offer in streetstocks and it was fitting Cecile’s grandson Chris Kergozou took the only race win for the class.
The Brett Cooper Memorial Modified Sprints saw Jayden Fraser take the chequered flag in the only race while the final memorial trophy, the Ronnie Tree Memorial for Stockcars saw Cromwell’s Wade Crawford take the race win but the trophy would have been presented to the driver who causes the most carnage. Cromwell’s Casey McEwan and Riverside’s Jason Fisher were certainly among the best on track.
Production saloons got two races in and it was teenager Hayden Graves who upstaged the field in race one, while Tony Jones took the race two win. Six shooter also got two races before the rain and it was Jacob McIntyre, also driving a sprintcar, who won race one with Southland champion Adam Evans victorious in race two.
Youth saloons drove well once again but no-one could stop the dominance of Harrison Brown, who easily won race one. The youth grade drivers were suited up and on the dummy grid ready to go when the event got rained out.
The Fireworks Event is now scheduled for Saturday when the club hosts the Southland Championship for youth saloons and youth mini stocks.
The club will meet this week and discuss a discounted entry fee to help compensate fans who missed out at the rained-out meeting as they still want to deliver to the public, as well as celebrate 25 years of ILT Foundation support for the event.