A monster crowd filed through the gates for the inaugural Huntly Superstock Teams event. 7 teams fronted contesting a knock-out format with the Stratford Scrappers the lucky team seeded through to the second round. Conditions were perfect for racing with clear skies and ambient temperature creating pleasant viewing conditions.

Quarter Final 1 - Auckland All-Stars vs Palmerston North Panthers
33a Robbie Maybe and 947p Chris Collingwood were the reserves. A combative opening saw the Panthers into the lead with 95a Gary Lonergan and 247a Hayden Chapman escorted towards the wall, the latter courtesy of 94p William Humphries. It was an ominous sign but the Aucklanders bounced back, 96a Jamie Fergusson taking up his customary block role to vault 66a Hayden Hart into the lead. In a topsy-turvy opening, 88p Jack Miers got into Hart which saw 34p Rebecca Barr become yet another race leader.

From there it was all downhill for Auckland. Lonergan and Humphries got together in a bizarre incident entering turn 3. Seemingly locked together, they spun around with Humphries briefly getting perched on Lonergan's bonnet. Technically Humphries was driving in the wrong direction at the time but a penalty would have been tough given the nature of the incident. A red light interrupted proceedings with Chapman and Lonergan out for Auckland. Hart could hardly get going from the restart leading to a Panthers whitewash.

Qualifier 2 - Baypark Busters vs Waikato Wanderers
99m Todd Hemingway and 422h Blair Ashton were the reserves for this one. Bizarrely just one Waikato car ran from the start, ceeding a 2 on 1 advantage to the Busters. 98m Mark Costello led away with the Busters quickly reverting to a one runner, three blocker approach following their second runner being held up. The Wanderers got themselves together, 71h Tony Wootton and 218h Aaron Alderton taking up the running. The story of this one was the efforts of the Busters blockers, in particular 38m Ross Ashby showing great racing IQ.

22m Dean Mulholland and Alderton got together exiting turn four, Alderton accelerating into a precarious position. 41m Bruce Williams entered the fray, hitting Mulholland to free him from the melee and everyone carried on like nothing had happened! Costello was perhaps isolated a little more than ideal but handled everything thrown his way with class. By race conclusion the Wanderers were destroyed, matching Auckland's first race performance by scoring zero points.

Qualifier 3 - Kihikihi Kings vs Rotorua Rebels
64r Jeremy Sinclair and 371k Dan Hole sat this one out. Easily the best tactical race of the quarter finals as both teams kept cars on track. The opening saw 118r Bryve Steiner take 85k Jared Wade to the wall but it would be the Kings who wrestled control of the race via 126k Asher Rees and 26k Mitch Vickery. 94r Dale Stewart and Steiner chased for the Rebels. The Rebels were poised to pounce if the Kings tripped up, only problem was they didn't. When you have a national class driver like Asher Rees it makes a substantial difference.

Semi Final 1 - Palmerston North Panthers vs Stratford Scrappers
The glamour matchup of yesteryear saw 34p Rebecca Barr and 41s Scott Williams on the infield. Race leaders 947p Collingwood and 28s Blair Uhlenberg were side by side entering turn 3. Enter 599p Ron Tye with an expert punt on Uhlenburg, putting him into a vulnerable spot. Collingwood able to slot Uhlenburg up the wall, ultimately requiring a red to extracate. Tye meanwhile was off into the lead. The reds timely for the Panthers as 82s Hamish Booker has 88p Jack Miers lined up in turn one but bailed out. Tye continued to lead.

For the Scrappers 37s Shane Denham ran a ghost like second, hardly touched by the Panthers blockers keeping the Scrappers well in contention. The reds activated a second time for debris just as Tye was vulnerable to 33s Logan Sharpe. The race came to a conclusion when Tye was caught up in a 5-car gaggle exiting turn two. Somehow against all odds Tye popped out the other side just as Denham closed to an interesting distance. The Panthers through to the final.

Semi Final 2 - Baypark Busters vs Kihikihi Kings
22m Dean Mulholland and 26k Mitch Vickery were the reserves. 99m Todd Hemingway lasted all of 80 meters, I may have heard a diff being the culprit. Down on numbers it was an uphill task for the Busters. 371k Dan Hole and 126k Asher Rees ran in the lead for the Kings. Controversy erupted when 471k Benji Sneddon rolled 38m Ross Ashby exiting turn two. Sneddon clearly driving in the wrong direction to make the roll. Both were off to the infield which was about all the officials could do in terms of on track punishment.

The race restarted with 85k Jared Wade battling with 98m Mark Costello and Hole matching up against 41m Bruce Williams. That left 126k Asher Rees to drive off into the distance. There was further action for the officials when Hole reversed and drove into Williams who was sitting across the track, front end against the wall. The reverse was good as the track was blocked, hitting a car in a non-attacking position not so flash. Nevertheless the Kings were in to the final.

5th vs 6th - Rotorua Rebels vs Auckland All-Stars
The All-Stars made the 5th place race off courtesy of a 2 on 2 run-off victory. The run-off was a bore but exploded post the chequered with dual 15-day suspensions handed out! Robbie Maybe the Auckland driver falling foul of the busy SNZ officials with Jamie Fergusson driving 33a for this one. I didn't catch the Rotorua non-starter. As an Auckland fan the team has been a challenging watch over the last decade. But even by Auckland standards this was a tough watch. No structure, no teamwork, no chance, A massive lift in performance required if this team is going to compete at this level.

3rd vs 4th - Baypark Busters vs Stratford Scrappers
99m Todd Hemingway and 33s Logan Sharpe the non-starters. Baypark seized the initiative early courtesy of 38m Ross Ashby and 22m Dean Mulholland forming an unlikely running duo. Things were looking good when 41m Bruce Williams took Stratford runner 37s Shane Denham to the front straight wall. 82s Hamish Booker launched an attack on 98m Mark Costello and launch he did, into a spectacular barrell roll! With Booker out and the Busters in control it looked all over.

But nobody told the Scrappers who launched an unlikely comeback. They had a car on the lead lap, I think it was Denham and finally got some block support. Ashby blocked on the exit of two, handing the lead to Mulholland. A lap later Mulholland had been escorted to the turn four wall. Thankfully for the Busters their blushes were saved by a recovering Ashby who freed himself and was able to resume the lead, taking the win by all of 70 meters. Having won the race and completed another lap, Ashby was probably surprised to be attacked and rolled by a Stratford car who had also gone under the chequered flag twice. One suspects the SNZ bank account will be looking healthy come Monday morning.

Final - Kihikihi Kings vs Palmerston North Panthers
A slightly anti-climactic final saw the Panthers field just three cars, Collingwood and Miers unable to front. Hole the reserve for Kihikihi. The Kings got the better of the early exchanges and although they lost a car, Tye was also stricken for the Panthers. Barr was the lone Panthers runner and remarkably wasn't encountering much resistance as the Kings chose to protect their runner, 126k Asher Rees. Tye was able to fire up mid race and we were 3 on 3. However, the Panthers blockers seemed occupied with Kings blocker 471k Benji Sneddon. Finally, late in the race Asher Rees encountered some turbulence and despite the help of a Kings mate, seemed to be in trouble. Rees was sideways down the back straight but remarkably flicked the car straight and carried on like it was no drama at all. Asher Rees taking the win for the Kings from a valliant Rebecaa Barr.