McIntyre Grabs Mag & Turbo Cromwell | From April ’21 Issue

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STORY Daryl Shuttleworth

PHOTOS Corbyn Shuttleworth

The Mag & Turbo Super Cup looked a bit different this season with Covid effecting how it would be run. Usually, it would be contested over an entire season but for this year it was condensed down to just four rounds raced over two consecutive weekends.

Round three would be run at Heavy Trax Hire Central Motor Speedway in the basking summer sun of Cromwell. One big addition to the series was former 1NZ Sam Waddell of Tauranga who was keen to mix it with the best the South had to offer.

Heat one would see Trevor Elliott the defending Champion of Christchurch dominate most of the race, that was until Waddell pulled off a spectacular pass with two laps to run to bag maximum points and remain series leader. Elliott would claim second ahead of an extremely fast Paul Simon of Cromwell. Heat two there was a noticeable absentee from the grid with Waddell parked up after an engine noise became apparent. The team choosing to sit out the heat and investigate further. Blenheim’s Paddy North led early and never came under threat to take heat two from Cromwell favourite Ray Stewart and Riverside’s Ewan Shearing fast in third.

Heat three is where all the action unfolded. Christchurch’s Mark Grocott got off to a solid start but spun in turn two, leading to Shane McIntyre of Nelson making heavy contact. Cromwell’s Greig Johnston led from the restart only to spin leading to a pile up of cars including Owen Dixon of Cromwell, Elliott and Alister Lister of Dunedin with Dixon and Lister retiring to the infield. The race restarted and McIntyre showed his dominance sneaking into the front in a damaged car, driving home to claim victory over Cromwell’s Kerry Dixon and Elliott. Dixon would not come out for the rest of the event due to engine dramas.

The results of these races would give us the filed for the top eight shootout which consisted of McIntyre, Elliott, Simon, Johnston, North, Grocott, Shearing and Brett McGlashan of Christchurch. Johnson did not make it out to the shootout but strangely was still rewarded with a fifth place starting spot for the feature. The top three shootout spots were McIntyre, Elliott and North, Waddell had sorted his car but would need to start down the grid in eleventh place.

The final was set to be action packed and the level of driving was second to none, which resulted in a green to chequered finish. Not one safety car which is almost unheard of in a thirty-lap feature final. McIntyre set off early and had a huge buffer but behind him several battles were shaping up between Elliott and North while Waddell started to work his magic, weaving, and darting through some classy opposition.

As the race went on and into its dying stages McIntyre seemed to lose some pace. Waddell started to drive up high and before long past North and had McIntyre in his cross hairs. The chequered flag could not come soon enough for McIntyre who did enough to claim the win as well as the series lead while Waddell claimed second ahead of North.

A huge field of Youth Mini Stocks converged on Central Motor Speedway as the club hosted the Southland Championship on behalf of Riverside Speedway. Race one saw Christchurch speedster Robbie Edgeworth took an easy win with the Cromwell pairing of Josh Evans and Harrison Brown claiming the minors. Race two was action packed with a few incidents causing multiple restarts meaning the race really had no flow, but plenty of chances for some of the faster cars to take advantage of the bunched-up pack and gain positions. Cromwell driver George Hedley was the winner of this heat ahead of Brown and Evans.

Race three was the decider with total points being added to give us a Southland Champion. An upset was certainly on the cards as Cromwell driver Bayley Craig led early and remained unchallenged the entire race while all the championship contenders Hedley, Brown, Edgeworth, and Evans battled hard to gain advantage. Craig would claim a popular win over Hedley in second and Evans third. Overall championship went the way of Hedley with Evans second and Brown third.

Sprintcars gave the crowd some great racing as per usual. They were racing for the Central Otago Sprintcars Championship and a big field of cars meant some exciting racing. Two-time NZV8 Champion Liam McDonald arrived in style having just won a race at Teretonga Park in Invercargill as part of their Speedfest meeting. He finished and boarded a helicopter straight away and made his way to Cromwell to take part in this event.

Race one was fast, clean, and looked to the be a guide to who would be the front runners in the title chase. Jason Scott claimed victory over “Slamin” Sam O’Callaghan with Christchurch driver Alan Chapman claiming third. Race two certainly came with plenty of action with the first restart coming after Nigel Colvin clipped another car, spearing him towards the infield and sending the car tumbling upside down on the grass. Colvin walked away and would return for the feature. At the restart Daniel Anderson started to chase down early leader Andy Erskine, eventually making the move that would reward him with a race win. Erskine came home strong in second ahead of Kyle Shearing.

The third and final heat before the winner takes all feature, also had its share of incidents. The first being when Mark Evans clipped Daniel Scoles while putting a lap on him. Unfortunately, Scoles who was on debut wanted the same piece of real estate that Evans wanted sending Scoles to the wall and out of the race. Luckily, there was no damage to Evans who would go to the front for the restart. At the restart Shearing took advantage and got off to a flying start. McDonald also looked good as he came through the pack only to come to a grinding halt in turn four with O’Callaghan and Matthew Anderson both making contact. Shearing would continue to win this race ahead of Evans and Matthew Anderson.

The Sprintcar feature would cap off a great night’s racing and crown a Central Otago Sprintcar Champion. Shearing and O’Callaghan shared the front row of the grid and it only took until turn one for the carnage to unfold. Shearing went in hard and contacted O’Callaghan who spat him out to the wall ending both cars’ chances of competing for the championship. John Sievwright and Riverside’s Ross McKinnel were also involved in the incident. With both cars now gone from the front row it looked to be a battle between Scott and Chapman, both looked fast but did not count on Daniel Anderson who was competing for the first time in Cromwell this season to be carrying the pace he had.

One of the young guns in the field, Jacob McIntyre of Riverside, was also making moves through the field but made contact with a lapped car, damaging the front end of his car resulting in another restart. This would not be the final time the race would need restarted, with just five laps to run Sievwright and Whetu Taewa spun bunching the field once more. Anderson took control from the last restart and drove home to a well-deserved championship win while Scott and Chapman switched positions multiple times, but it was Chapman who did enough to claim second ahead of Scott.

Production Saloons also had the Central Otago Champs on the line and Cromwell driver Bradley McTaggart was in fine form, passing several cars in heat one to cruise off to an easy win ahead of club mates Sam McKenzie and Whetu Taewa. Taewa would turn the tables in race two with a solid win ahead of Dunedin’s Shane Prestney with McTaggart third. Lap one of this race did not start well for Riverside driver Laura Heads, McKenzie, or Monique Maynard, all finding the wall in turn three and ending Maynards night.

The third and deciding race was a brilliant battle between Prestney, Taewa, McTaggart and Alena Johnston who really looked the part up with the faster cars in the championship. Unfortunately, the race was ended early after Prestney and Taewa made huge contact on the back straight, also hitting Johnston who was lucky not to roll. Track staff tried to separate the two cars, but they were well entangled and had to be left on the infield until racing had finished for the night. With the race being called the championship went the way of McTaggart, McKenzie second and Taewa third overall.

A few visiting cars were on hand in Stockcars and in race one it was Harry Greer of Dunedin who looked to be the man to beat. Greer held off clubmate Ben Finlayson for a few laps before Finlayson gave him the lightest nudge to unsettle and spin him. Zane Tuhura also of Dunedin would then challenge Finlayson, eventually sneaking past him and taking the win. Finlayson took second while Kamryn Reddy of Cromwell would take third spot on debut. The second race was once again clean and fast with the only stoppage being for Greer who stopped on track. Tuhura would again take the win and this time Reddy impressed by getting up to second ahead of Finlayson.

The third and final race was another chance for Tuhura to display his dominance, but this was not to be. Finlayson, who was consistent all day, put in a great drive to claim victory. Jason Fisher of Riverside sorted a couple of mechanical gremlins to get up to second while Reddy would cap off a successful debut in Stockcars claiming third place.

The final grade running was Six Shooters who only managed to run two races due to time constraints, but both were dominated by Cromwell youngster Adam Evans. Evans cruised off to a half lap win in race one with the battle for second and third being a lot closer with Blair Smith just holding off John Pagan in third. Evans second dose of dominance came in race two, again showing why he is the cream of the crop in Six Shooters in the South, coasting away to an easy victory. The race behind him was once again the highlight with Pagan looking the best of the rest with a solid day at the office claiming second ahead of club mate Brian Ellison in third.