Gavin Peterson took out the Demolition Derby in a car he won thanks to a lucky raffle ticket. Photo: Phillip Rollo.

Raffle winner takes out derby

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Gavin Peterson admits he probably wouldn’t have entered the Classic Hits Demolition Derby had he not won a car in a raffle drawn just days before the event.

But he was quietly happy with himself after avoiding enough carnage to be the last man standing at the Tahuna Holiday Park Speedway on Saturday night, earning $500 for his efforts – which isn’t a bad return on a raffle ticket that costs just a few dollars. “I wasn’t going to enter but the raffle was drawn on Friday so I was in,” he says. “The car didn’t miss a beat.”

Gavin, who is a member of Dale Ewers’ pit crew, had entered the demolition derby five times previously, having finished as high as second around 20 years ago.  “It was probably ten years since I’ve done it but it hasn’t changed.”

His staying-out-of-trouble tactic paid off with his car being the least notably damaged of the final five, which wove through the wreckage of dozens of written off derby cars before the last two were cornered on the back straight.

“Definitely want to stay out of trouble but depending on where you are on the track you might get a hit and that’s it but I wanted to protect the front of the car because the radiator and the battery are right there,” he says.

Gavin says he targeted the area that would kill the battery of his opponent, when he went on the attack. The number of regular speedway drivers entered in the demolition was down this year, although overall entry numbers was still consistently high.