The Nelson Tigers got their claws on the Super Stoke Challenge Cup, taking the lead in the penultimate lap to send the home fans into raptures.
The cup win over the Palmerston North Panthers at the Milestone Homes Top of the South Speedway was the highlight of a busy night of racing on Saturday.
There wasn’t the huge wall rides but the hits were still hard with the Panthers unable to get a car across the finish line. They took over the lead half way through the race when the Panthers’ blockers managed to hold up Alex Bright ,who had led from the start. Shane Mellsop took over the race lead for the Panthers before import Peter Rees held him up with a lap and a half to go. Bright scooted around the outside of the duo to finish the final lap untouched for the epic win.
The Tigers had started the race on the back foot early with Trevor Lineham suffering a collapsed right front suspension after being taken to the wall, but the Tigers rebounded, slamming Panther Bryn Liddell and ending his race and night with some major damage. Willie Humphries was the next Panther to fall. He went in for a hit but was spun up before being collected and left parked into the wall. 2NZ Jordan Dare was the other Panther to get taken out over the start line with three laps to go, his gear lever popping out of the box, leaving him unable to move.
Peter and Ethan Rees proved their credentials with some fine blocking on behalf of the Tigers while a relieved Alex Bright continued his good run, bringing the Tigers home for the win.
The heat races provided some fantastic racing. Six other Palmerston North cars made the trip down while ex 1NZ Malcolm Ngatai made the trip from Christchurch. He joined two other former NZ champions to make a class field seldom seen outside of the titles. It gave the local drivers some quality racing before they travel north for championships after Christmas.
Heat wins went to Mellsop, Peter Bengston from Palmy and Ethan Rees.
The Side Cars ran their Mark Thorn Memorial Trophy with Aidie Drake and Kieran Satherley picking up another trophy to add to their collection. The final heat was held up for a bit after 88N machine got squeezed off the start, sending swinger Rosie Taylor airborne before landing with a thump. She was aided off the track by St Johns.
The T.Qs got some valuable track time with round two of their club champs. Heat wins went to Dylan Stone-Cuthbert and Morgan Frost before Jayden Corkill ran away with another feature win to close the points gap with a round to go.
Speedway takes a break before Christmas with the next meeting scheduled for December 30. There is a street car race planned so if you want to have some fun and have an “old dunger” that won’t pass the mustard on the road, jump on the Nelson Speedway website and check out the entry criteria. It could be the most fun thing you could do over summer.