DESPITE only completing a handful of race meetings this season, X Factor Cars Riverside Speedway pulled together for a night of celebration which was enjoyed by a large contingent of members, sponsors and guests.
The night started with a moment’s silence to honour Southland Stockcar Drivers Association life member Bill Brand, who died recently.
The grade awards were then presented with season points honours going to Michael Jackson in modified sprints, Duane Cracknell in six shooters, Jacob Garrick in stockcars, Dillon Machattie in streetstocks, Harrison Brown in youth saloons, Graham Williamson in saloons, and Tony Jones in the production saloon class.
Several of the grades also had special awards presented Jayden Fraser with the Sportsmanship award, six shooters gave Jacob McIntyre the Hard Charger trophy, Emma Gordon the Good Attitude trophy and Jason Jenner the Most Improved award.
Youth saloons presented Emma Menpes with the All Round Achievement trophy and Kahu Moxham with the Sportsmanship award, while in production saloons, Blake Murdoch won Best Presented and Laura Heads won the McKernan Trophy for Sportsmanship.
There were also several club awards presented on the night. Streetstock driver Luke Molloy received the High Flyer trophy for a big rollover he had at the opening meeting with Chris Kergozou. Molloy rebuilt the car only to roll it again at the New Zealand Streetstock Championship in Dunedin.
Several unfortunate events during the season saw saloon driver Mark Dobson presented with the Hard Luck award; the icing on the cake for this award was filling his diesel Ford Ranger with petrol just after leaving the club.
The Savoy Bakery was a worthy winner of the Club Sponsor of the Year award, helping out the club and being a major sponsor of the NZ Saloon title, the Scott Gordon Memorial and other grades.
Club president and commentator Daryl Shuttleworth received the Volunteer of the Year trophy for his efforts writing all the club articles, Facebook and the club website, while Graham Williamson took home the Clerk of the Course Consistency award.
Drivers from the six shooter grade took two of the major trophies in the club awards, with Emma Gordon claiming a well-deserved Most Consistent Driver trophy, and Jason Jenner, in his first full season, claiming the Most Improved Driver award.
Two new awards were presented on the night, the first, for Rookie of the Year, was presented to youth saloon driver Dayne Harvey. Production saloon driver Stephen “Sox” Nicholas took home the second new award, The Promoters Trophy.
Caretaker of the Year went to Aaron Reed, who established a team which took care of the club grounds before and after race meetings.
It was a well-deserved win for Reed who eased the pressure for the committee.
The Club Ambassador award was won for the second time by Stephen and Asha Clements, Aaron Rawcliffe, Shane Carson and Daniel Rolton, who did a four-meeting stint in the North Island, representing the club well while competing there. These drivers took part in both the NZ Champs in Whanganui and the NZ Grand Prix in Huntly.
The final award was the big one, The Member of the Year award, which went to Deborah Brown who gave a very passionate speech upon acceptance.
Brown was elected to the committee at the start of the season but, when the club was left with no treasurer early in the piece, Brown stepped up.
She was also the brains trust behind the Scott Gordon Memorial and Six Shooter Grade rep as well as spending the majority of her time doing jobs at the track no-one else had time for.
The club is now looking forward to what will hopefully be a dry 2021/22 race season.