SUPERSTOCK TEAMS NIGHT TWO
SF1 Palmerston North Panthers vs Gisborne Giants
The Palmerston North final rematch was first up. 31g Gary Davis and 591p Wayne Hemi sat this one out. It was
on from the get go and it would be the Panthers who established themselves at the front with 1nz William
Humphries and 88p Jack Miers running 1-2. Humphries was clipped which saw 45g Nick Vallance into the second spot.
10g Peter Rees would also have a go at Humphries in turn two but did more damage to himself when attempting to
slam the 1nz into the concrete. Palmy were in control but when Humphries went infield with mechanical failure it
left all hope on 88p Jack Miers. Mind you there was no reason to panic as Miers was a lap up on the Gisborne
runners. Miers took the white flag but trouble was awaiting. Pretty much every running car converged on the back
straight. As cars went everywhere Miers would come to a stop! Long was one of the few cars able to make it
through the melee to unlap himself. 3nz Jordan Dare tried to push start Miers but it was to no avail as a Gisborne
car was blocking the path. I don't think the chequered came out on the right lap but in any case Long won the
race with Miers stranded half a lap short.
SF2 Manawatu Mustangs vs Auckland All-Stars
99a Gary Lonergan didn't make the track all night, Auckland down to four cars. 75p driven by 6th driver Andy McCabe
sat it out for the Mustangs. On the very first corner 741a Craig Chatfield drove 71p Shane Mellsop head first into
the concrete wall. Mellsop would not move for the rest of the race. The 4 on 3 advantage gave Auckland fans some
home. 2nz Adam Joblin took the lead from 52p Scott Joblin with 741a Craig Chatfield and 599a Ron Tye chasing. Chatfield
would be blocked, dropping off the pace and into a block role. With 3 Auckland block cars and only one friendly helper
the Joblins were having to do a lot of work. 2nz Adam Joblin fell behind Tye due to taking out a blocker. That left
52p Scott Joblin at the front. Going into pit bend with two laps remaining he found himself in a bad part of town. All
three Auckland block cars were lying in wait. He passed 22a Dean Mulholland but got caught up with 63a Bryce
Marx and 741a Craig Chatfield. To the delight of the crowd Tye came by and took the lead. It wasn't over yet as the
2nz I think it was closed in only to get caught up with a stationary car exiting turn four. 599a Ron Tye would
go on to take one of the more unlikely victories and put the All-Stars into the final.
5v6 Waikato Wanderers vs Rotorua Rebels
218h Aaron Alderton and 336r Barry Hunter Jr sat this one out. 85h Jared Wade took the initial lead but found himself
on the end of a block car, 82r Darcy Meurant taking the lead. The race changed in an instant when 717h Tyson
Wootton slammed 118r Bryce Steiner coming out of turn two. Steiner was one of the night one stars but required a
red light to extract himself from the racing surface. A quick scan of the track revealed Meurant also on the infield.
138r Russell Hunter appeared to be battling steering damage but to his credit he and 93r Gary Hunter never
gave up, earning applause after the race for their efforts. However two against four was never a winning proposition,
97h Aidan Eustace taking the win for the Waikato team.
3v4 Manawatu Mustangs vs Palmerston North Panthers
A good old fashion civil war broke out for 3rd place. 1nz William Humphries and 71p Shane Mellsop sat this one
out. Team red waka led the way in the opening stages, 591p Wayne Hemi and 3nz Jordan Dare leading from 175p Gavin
Taniwha. 52p Scott Joblin and 88p Jack Miers had their own private battle in the opening stages, twice Joblin
got his front end airborne on the Miers machine. The Mustangs lost their way in the middle stages, all four drivers
running with their best car in third. The Panthers block cars helped out the Mustangs as they slowed a couple of
them! 3nz Jordan Dare would be slowed by the Mustangs late in the piece, as would 175p Gavin Taniwha. However
591p Wayne Hemi didn't have a bumper put on him, taking a commanding win and extending his perfect record for
the Panthers at the Superstock Teams Nationals to 12 wins from 12 starts.
Final Auckland All-Stars vs Gisborne Giants
Not exactly the final matchup that was expected coming into the weekend. Auckland got all four cars back on
the track whilst Gisborne rested 45g Nick Vallance. 41g Jason Long led away from the opening exchanges. 741a Craig
Chatfield gave chase but had to throw the car 180 degrees at the end of the first lap to avoid what would have been
a colossal collision with two block cars. 127g Ethan Rees took over the second spot, 599a Ron Tye joining
Chatfield in a belated chase. Whilst some were expecting a lopsided final this was far from the case, the Auckland
cars performing admirably.
The highlight of the race came down the back straight. 10g Peter Rees launched a shot at Chatfield only to be rolled
by the 741a! The crowd loved that moment. 63a Bryce Marx and 22a Dean Mulholland never gave up in a block role.
They were able to hinder the lead cars but were never able to stop their progress for an extended length of time.
On the last lap 127g Ethan Rees would sneak by Long to take the win for Gisborne, a lap ahead of the first Auckland
runner. In doing so Peter Rees became the first driver to win 10 Superstock Teams Nationals titles, a record that
will take some beating. Whilst the Gisborne win got the applause it deserved it was the local Auckland heroes who
received the loudest reaction from the crowd. In Auckland we haven't had a lot to cheer about over the last decade
but this team has given fans plenty of excitement.