From Robertson Holden Speedway
Jonathon Allard successfully defended his North Island Sprintcar title, in what was a superb display of precision overtaking at the Robertson Holden International Speedway. The win put to rest any prior bad luck the American has experienced here, in his first major championship win at Arena Manawatu.
Kingsgate Hotel North Island Sprintcar Champs
A reasonably small, but high quality, field of 16 Sprintcars assembled to compete for the North Island Championship. Time trials were topped by the impressive 8a Ryan O’Connor, followed by 10usa Ricky Logan. 19a Jamie Duff was a pleasant surprise with third fastest time, ahead of 0usa Jonathon Allard in fourth, 22a Dean Brindle in fifth and 78a Daniel Eggleton in sixth.
The field was split in half for a pair of reverse-grid heats each, to determine grid positions for the 25-lap final. O’Connor comfortably took the first heat from Duff, with 66m Skinny Colson getting ahead of Brindle for third. The group’s second heat was won emphatically by 11p Ian Easton by virtue of a brusque pass on 4p Bryan Menefy, who finished second ahead of 16m Dean O’Reilly. O’Connor made two impressive passes in as many laps to finish sixth.
Allard won the first heat of the next group, but was relegated to second behind Logan for jumping the start. 51m Rodney Wood started better than Eggleton to secure third place. Wood looked to have sewn up a crucial victory in the final heat, but was relegated to third place for crossing the poleline during his overtaking manoeuvre on 15p Rob Garratt. This promoted Garratt to first and Allard a superb second place from grid seven by virtue of some great passes.
The final saw Logan and O’Connor on the front row of the grid, followed by Allard and Duff, Colson and Wood, Brindle and Garratt. O’Connor got a perfect start and quickly built a buffer ahead of Logan, while Duff started poorly and was back to sixth. O’Connor’s lead quickly disappeared when he was briefly held up by a backmarker, just as Allard hit the boost button. The American hotshot pioneered the high line, blitzed around the outside of Logan and then O’Connor with an amzing turn of speed within a few laps.
A slight error by O’Connor around half-race distance allowed Logan to sneak past into second, but he could make no inroads on Allard’s big lead. Eggleton tried to emulate Allard and went on a good outside run past Brindle, and was on his way round Duff when they touched and Eggleton was fired into the wall. On the restart Brindle performed a carbon copy of the incident, making a move outside Duff but touching his right-rear tyre and rolling more spectacularly than Eggleton. None of this bothered Allard, who blasted his way to the North Island title with a superb performance, with Logan second and O’Connor another impressive podium. Wood had one of his best night’s racing here in a Sprintcar to finish fourth, ahead of Duff and Colson.
Time Trials: 8a – 13.3629, 10usa – 13.3941, 19a – 13.4554, 0usa – 13.4769, 22a – 13.5788, 78a – 13.5935, 66m – 13.6411, 51m – 13.6648, 11p – 13.6828, 15p – 13.7428, 6p – 13.7755, 56a – 14.2522, 4p – 14.2909, 28p – 14.3052, 16m – 14.5918, 9p – 15.3571
Group One – Heat One: 8a Ryan O’Connor, 19a Jamie Duff, 66m Skinny Colson, 22a Dean Brindle, 16m Dean O’Reilly, 6p Nelson Hartley – Fastest Lap: 19a – 13.6233
Group One – Heat Two: 11p Ian Easton, 4p Bryan Menefy, 16m, 66m, 8a, 22a – Fastest Lap: 11p – 14.3765
Group Two – Heat One: 10usa Ricky Logan, 0usa Jonathon Allard, 51m Rodney Wood, 78a Daniel Eggleton, 15p Rob Garratt, 56a Carl Wilson – Fastest Lap: 0usa – 13.5316
Group Two – Heat Two: 15p, 0usa, 51m, 56a, 10usa, 9p Wade Savage – Fastest Lap: 51m – 14.0965
Final: 0usa, 10usa, 8a, 51m, 19a, 66m – Fastest Lap: 0usa – 14.1607