New sprint car driver Connor Rangi (57N) rolls after riding the wall in the opening sprint car race. Photo: Tom Laney/Imagepress.

Plenty of bangs on and off the Speedway track

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The night sky was lit up with an array of lights, colours and sounds in full view of a packed house at Milestone Homes Top of the South Speedway.

The Coca-Cola fireworks meeting is Nelson’s premier fireworks display and it didn’t disappoint the many eyes looking skyward on the calm Saturday evening.

The display opened with a huge fire ball before the multitude of rockets filled the sky, finishing with a rapid succession of explosions and a double fire ball that lit up the arena.

On the track, the stock cars kept the crowd enthralled all night. Roll overs and big hits in every race made for some fantastic viewing.

The first to be parked up the wall was Josh Nell, left high and dry by Troy Curry. Dylan Clarke was lucky not to go over again after being rolled last meeting, the car up on two wheels for a long stretch. The next one to be put up and over was the stirrer’s sponsor, John Everett from Nelson Auto Services, being walled near the pit gate by Keightley Teece. There will be a few drivers with sore bodies and plenty of work to do on their cars in preparation for the Stock Car Teams Brawl next meeting.

The Sprint Cars made their first outing for the season. They will get plenty of track time with a good growth in numbers locally, as they have two rounds of the “War of the Wings Series” plus the South Island title here this year.

It was an unfortunate start on heat 1 for Alicia MacLauchlan and Connor Rangi, a second corner crash along the wall leaving Connor upside down in his newly-purchased car, causing some serious damage, Alicia was more fortunate with a flat tyre ending her race.

Kris Gerard ran away from Jason Smith in chase, Smith then won the last two races to take out the Trackman Trophy for the night from MacLauchlan and Gerard.

The Youth Ministocks were the other grade to make their first meeting of the season. A huge field of 20 cars turned up to race- A few Blenheim cars boosted the numbers along with a few new local drivers beginning their racing career.

The club has the biggest number of youth competitors in the South Island – the talent coming through will hold the club in good stead for the future. It’s very competitive among the drivers with three separate heat winners, Brayden Nell, Hadley Boyce and Baiden Mailman-Bryman.

The first round of the Southern Midget Series was run – regular visitor and South Island Champion Jeremy Webb was a level above the rest of the drivers in heat 1, winning by a country mile.

However, major engine failure in the opening laps of heat 2 put him out for the night. It was then a battle between Glen Durie, Tom Lumsden and local driver Gavin Wilkie to fight for the points. It was Lumsden who got on the outside and took a comfortable win.

Next meeting is on November 11, the Stock Car Teams Brawl headlines the show with the Nelson Thunder looking to defend their title, plus Sidecars will be in action for the Brett Lusty Memorial and the McCall Trophy between the Nelson Tigers and Glen Eagles.