OVAL RACING KIWI-LEAGUE
Written Exclusively for NZ Dirt Track Racing and NZ Racer
CANTERBURY’S RONNIES REBELS vs SOUTHLANDS ORETI STORMERS.
The first challenge underway and a win to the Canterbury Rebels
by 42 to 36 points.
The ALL WEATHER MOORE PARK track held up extremely well as the meeting was held in adverse conditions
for NZ. Wet inclement weather saw the perfect race surface slowly become laden with surface water.
As Ronnie Moore said " an English based Kiwi League held on a typical English track in normal English
racing weather ",
(as they all crowded in the control tower out of the rain.)
In 30 odd years of following Speedway, it’s the first time I’ve seen a meeting successfully run in wet conditions.
A true testament to the Moore Park track surface in contrast to the clay based tracks all around the country that fail when
a sprinkle from above lands on them.
The racing for the 13 heat Kiwi-League challenge was exceptional, rapid fire in an attempt to get through a shortened programme
which saw 29 races held. An excellent effort from all League riders, vets and juniors who rode in supporting events.
There seemed to be a quite determination by all concerned to see the meeting through. The series was launched in contrasting
style in response to the efforts Alan Crosbie and his Oval Racing Team.
The message for fans was clear, don’t be late, don’t worry about the weather, just park up around the track.
These guys are not afraid of a little wet weather. The meeting starts with League racing heats followed by supporting races
and planned rider challenges in the second half .
Round 1 was a little curtailed due to the continuing rain
but set the standard for future challenges.
Racing was surprisingly keen given the conditions which resulted in some visibility and traction problems.
It was not until half way through that the Canterbury Rebels managed to edge ahead of the Southland Stormers.
James Miller and Alex Cunningham got the Stormers off to a good start with a win and third placing over Daniel McKinlay
and Johnathon Able in the first heat.
Jeff Manson took out the second race to give them a 7-5 lead when Rebels Steve Gunn and Glen Sole pulled in the minor placing’s.
Blair McKinlay pulled one back for the Rebels with Grant Tregoning to make it 9 points each.
The Stormers John Tuffley managed to get in between to split them up.
The Stormers then hit back with Peter Stenning and Andrew Tree combining to make it 13-11 to Southland but this time Canterbury’s
Andrew Aldridge squeezed in between them for the 2 nd
Next heat Blair McKinlay and Tregoning got the better of Miller and Cunningham
to bring it back to 15 each.
It was heat six when the table tipped Canterbury’s way as team
riding by Johnathon Able with Daniel McKinlay guarding his rear kept out Manson and Tree to put the Rebels ahead 20 to 16.
From then on the Canterbury Rebels slowly edged away to take the win by 42
to 36 points.
Race of the day was heat 12.
The McKinlay brothers lined up on grids 1 and 3 with the Stormers riders Andrew
Tree and Aiden Thwaites on 2 and 4.
Tapes up and the dash for the first turn sees Blair slightly ahead of Thwaites
but Thwaites slipped out a little allowing Daniel to claim 2nd.
Down the straight for the first time Blair holds tight while Daniel struggles
a little on the outside in the wet slush.
Thwaites straightens and looks for the inside run.
Blair leads through the first lap, Daniel 1 bike length behind mid track as
Thwaites again makes a charge down the inside edging ahead.
Daniel comes back around the outside of the turn and down the back straight
Thwaites again grabs more traction and moves to come level.
Blair still out front looks for Daniel to catch up as they round turns three
Daniel comes out of the turn four half a wheel ahead but Thwaites makes another
storming run down the inside to overtake him entering the turn.
Thwaites held 2nd momentarily as the slippery surface took it’s
Too much speed entering the turn and Thwaites fell ending an excellent challenge.
Blair heads for the flag while Daniel manoeuvred around him to take 2nd .
All this time Tree had trailed them all avoiding the slush thrown up
by the swapping of lines, avoids Thwaites to come home and claim 3rd.
Canterbury’s main points came from Blair & Daniel McKinlay 12 &
9 while Aldridge and Able pulled in a useful 7 & 6 each.
Southland’s top scorer was Miller with 11.Tuffley 8 with Manson and
Tree claiming 6 & 5 respectively.
Support racing by a Matson Brewery sponsored Classic Team of riders saw Paul
Fewings lead on 11 points with Warrick Aldridge on 10. Ian Graham and Simon Eastwick collected 8 and 3 points respectively.
These point accumulate over the League series.
No tear offs with these guys. The goggles came off early on in each race.
Westport riders Kevin Williams and Scot Lang were the pick of the other seniors
racing while the juniors turned on their usual competitive display.
In the 125cc class, Anthony Knowles continues to shine while Westport rider
Cory Lang kept him honest with Jake Askew and Troy Schafer mixing it up.
200cc racers again saw Dale Finch and Phillip Bray battle away from the back
marks while Chris Harris and Ashton Schafer made them work. New boy Vaughan Struthers is rapidly moving back on handicap.
Written Exclusively for NZ Dirt Track
Racing and NZ Racer
by Warrick Korstanje.