Epic beachlands battle deliver the goods

Modified Sprints

Jayden Fraser was the man to beat in Modified Sprints, the Riverside driver having been the class of the grade this season. He would smash the opposition in Heat 1 to secure victory over Glen Johnston of Beachlands and Shae McKenzie of Dunedin.

Johnston would turn the tables in Heat 2, despite Fraser having multiple attempts at making a pass. He couldn’t make it stick, giving Johnston the race win with Fraser second with McKenzie third.

Fraser’s redemption came in Race 3, racing off to a fast start and easily taking the win. McKenzie pressured Johnston but would get home in second, McKenzie consistent with his third 3rd placing of the night.

Heat 1 of night two produced a shock winner, with former 2NZ Streetstock driver McKenzie upstaging Friday’s winners to claim his maiden Modified Sprint win. Fraser settled for second, with Johnston third.

Johnston held out a fierce challenge from Fraser in Heat 2, with McKenzie not far off the pace. Those three drivers would remain in those placings when the checkered flag dropped.

The final race for Modified Sprints saw Fraser dominate from out front, smashing his rivals to cap off a big weekend of racing for the Riverside speedster. Fraser’s clubmate Vernon Helms struck some excellent form over the weekend, getting up to second, while McKenzie raced home in third.

Youth Saloons

Youth Saloons provided some excellent clean racing with no cautions until the third heat. Dunedin’s Max Kemp was chased after breaking away to a solid lead. He would fight off clubmate Jayden Cron to take the Heat 1 win, with Cron second ahead of Noah Kitto of Dunedin.

Cron would go one better in Heat 2 following a solid battle with Riverside’s Joshua Richardson, who got away to a good start. Cron would snatch the lead late in the race to claim the win, with Richardson second and Brooke Soper of Beachlands third.

It was newcomer Lachie Robertson of Riverside who bought Heat 3 to a brief stop with a big rollover in Turn 2, the car hitting a rut and firing upside down. At the restart, Cron would again get his way to the front of the pack and go on to win the race. Madi Stewart of Dunedin claimed a well- driven second, with Kemp up to third.

The next day’s Heat 4 saw Kitto hit the wall before passing the green flag, bringing a complete restart. On her last night of racing in the Youth grade, Stewart got off to a flying start, getting past the cars on the front row and powering off unchallenged to take her last-ever win in Youth Saloons. Richardson placed second, with Beachland’s Ashley Bennett fast in third.

The fifth heat was a heartbreaker for Kemp, who was fighting hard with his clubmate Cron when his engine blew, causing the car to catch fire. Kemp was visibly gutted but would return for the finale thanks to a great act of sportsmanship from Richardson, who gave up his car to Kemp to participate.

Beachland’s Max Fleet had a tough race, two spins bringing out cautions. The race win would go the way of Cron, with Soper second and Kitto third. The final Youth Saloon race for the season was fast and tidy with no cautions. It was fitting that Cron would get to the front of the pack and win the race in his last meeting in the grade. Kitto placed second, with Cayden Race of Riverside Speedway third.

With this race done, The Young and The Restless Championship went the way of Cron, Campbell and Schumacher, with Dunedin’s Lycan Cuff – Willman, Lavender and Andrew second and Bennett, MacHattie and Jenkins third.


The Stockcars were as entertaining as always, with Dunedin’s Zane Tuhura in one of those moods where he would inflict as much pain as he could. Trazarn Ryland-Annabell would take an easy Heat 1 win from Dunedin’s Nico Tuhura, with clubmate Liam Squire third.

Ryland- Annabell would start from the front row in Race 2, remaining unchallenged for the second race in a row. Nico Tuhura was second, with Squire rounding out the top three.

The third heat saw plenty of biff and bash, showcasing a Tuhura versus Simon family battle, with three members of each family attacking each other at every opportunity.

Squire would work his way to the front in this heat and remain there to take the win. Savannah Simon drove an excellent race for second, while her father, Paul, settled for third.

The next day, Nico Tuhura was too strong for the opposition taking the opening heat ahead of Dunedin’s Zac McClenaghan and Ryland-Annabell.

The second race saw more action and some solid hits, notably when Riverside driver Adam Naber placed Beachland’s Mike Holley up the wall at Turn 2. Ryland- Annabell would take this race over Nico Tuhura and Shannon Simon.

This left one race to run, with an early stoppage required when Naber put Shannon Simon into the Turn 2 wall. It wasn’t long after this hit that Holley would again be up the wall, this time in Turn 3. When the flag dropped, Nico Tuhura was the first man past the line, ahead of Ryland- Annabell and Savannah Simon.

The results for the Man of Steel went to Nico Tuhura over Ryland-Annabell and Paul Simon, while Zane Tuhura took the stirrers award ahead of Naber and McClenaghan.


Saloons were running a 40-lap race to cap the opening evening off, first running two 10-lap heat races to determine that grid.

Heat 1 saw Christchurch driver Ashton Osborne easily take apart the opposition to bag top points. Second went the way of Dunedin’s Travis Smith, who held off a fast-finishing Aaron Andrews of Dunedin.

Race 2 was another race dominated by a Christchurch driver in a Stealth, this time Peter “Dutchy” Schouten clearing out from the front to bag the win. Ryan Bennett of Dunedin was second, while Andrews was again at the top end of town in third. Andrews would lead the field into turn one of the 40-lap race, having never been beaten in previous years in the event, once again looking the part early. It was only a matter of time before Osborne and Schouten would start to make a move for the lead.

There was an early caution when local driver Wayne Bennett spun but managed to re-join, while Smith suffered steering damage heading into Turn 3, putting him out of the race.

At the restart, Osborne bolted from the field only to come to a grinding halt when Dunedin driver Calvin Todd spun in Turn 2, the leader making light contact with him but able to continue. Riverside’s Mark Dobson was starting to put together some fast laps and began making his way through the field, but a spin late in the race saw the Southlander fall down the order.

Osborne would continue to impress to come home first, winning the 40-lap race with ease. Schouten would be second, and Andrews third.

Saloons were back on Saturday, racing for the Donald Maclean Trophy, Osborne continuing from where he left off in Heat 1 with a dominant win over Bennett and Dobson.

Dobson got away to a flying start in Race 2 while the pack battled hard behind and would take the win, with Gold driving well to get to second and Andrews third.

The final Saloon race was again fast and clean despite Osborne being forced out with steering issues, which opened the fight for the silverware. Gold and Andrews put on a fantastic show, with the latter constantly threatening to pass in a fierce battle for the lead.

Gold would take the heat win ahead of Andrews and Shane Greer of Dunedin.

Victory in the finale saw Gold claim the Donald Maclean Trophy over Andrews and Dobson.

Production Saloons

Friday’s meeting also saw the final night of action for Production Saloons, with the grade not competing on Saturday. You could not fault the driving in the first three heats with just the one caution when Lucy Greer of Dunedin had her bonnet flip over her roof in Heat 1.

Dunedin’s Liam Gillies and Clubmate Aaron Brookland were both class acts across the heats, with Gilles taking the opener over Brookland and Dunedin’s Clay Marshall.

Heat 2 would also go the way of Gillies following a post-race penalty for Brookland. Dunedin’s Tyler Kelk was second, with Brookland pushed to third.

Gillies made it three-from-three in the finale off the back of a charging drive, Brookland was second, and Marshall third.

The feature saw Gillies and Brookland start from the rear and work their way through. Dunedin’s Ricki Pilley would get the lead mid-race, but Gillies and Brookland would eventually get to him before both suffering problems.

Brookland looked to have mechanical issues but still raced home for sixth, while Gillies looked good for the win chasing Pilley before hitting the wall on the last straight while in second. This gave Pilley the win over Dunedin’s Kaleb Marshall and Gillies.

Super Saloons

A strong Super Saloon field was also at Beachlands for the Otago Super Saloon Championship. Christchurch’s Josh Boulton was an early scratching, damaging a rib before racing. A handy replacement was found in the way of three-time New Zealand Champion Mark Osborne of Christchurch.

Cromwell’s Owen Dixon bought out Heat 1’s only caution, hitting the wall hard coming out of Turn 2. Out front, it was Osborne who took apart the opposition, claiming the win from Ray Stewart of Cromwell and Ricky Boulton of Dunedin.

Osborne had an uncharacteristic spin in Turn 3 in Heat 2, his clubmate Trevor Elliott dominating the race from the front, holding off a strong Boulton challenge for the win, with Alister Lister of Dunedin third.

Boulton raced hard off the front in the finale, trailing Cromwell’s Greig Johnston early before eventually powering his way through for the lead which he held until the end on his home track. Johnston capped off a good race with second over Elliot in third.

Boulton would take the Otago Super Saloon Championship, with Elliott second and Johnston third overall.

Chaos & Carnage at Beachlands! Battle of the Streetstocks comes down to the wire

The Battle of the Streetstocks is fast becoming one of the most popular meetings on the calendar at Custom Signs Beachlands Speedway in Dunedin, with the event sponsored by Gillies Contracting this year attracting 30 cars, 15 locals paired off with 15 visiting South Island drivers, racing six heats over two nights.

Heavy rain leading up to the event brought a sodden infield. What was expected to be a damp racing surface was anything but, with Track Manager Russell Stewart putting on a track surface that needed no attention all night, a top job in a testing lead-up.

To kick the night off, each pairing would send a single car out to qualify in the Streetstock Shootout. Dunedin’s Mitch Lavender would bag the fastest time ahead of clubmates Ben Jenkins and Matt Stewart.

All eyes were on Stewart come Heat 1, who was leading on the timing monitor and was in a heated battle with both Jenkins and Lavender at the front of the pack. This race would see a couple of stoppages, the main one when Riverside’s Steve Dryden came together with Scott Palmer of Dunedin, Palmer retiring to the infield while Dryden continued to battle.

What looked like a race win to Stewart took many by surprise with Christchurch driver Jono Garthley collecting the winner’s flag, Garthley not appearing on the timing due to a MyLaps fault, actually taking the win, with his partner, Scott Ashton of Dunedin sixth. Stewart was second with his partner Jono Bower of Riverside suffering a DNF, and Ben Jenkins third with his partner Dillon MacHattie of Riverside also parked up, not finishing.

Heat 2 of the opening night was a good, fast race, bringing just one red light period when Riverside’s AJ Lapsley was stopped with a flapping front guard. The race would restart from there and run the distance without another stoppage. The win would go the way of Beachlands driver Braden Adams whose partner Ben Turner of Christchurch suffered a DNF. Second was New Zealand Champ Paul Leslie of Christchurch, his partner Adam Stewart of Dunedin eighteenth. Corey Schumacher of Christchurch was third, and his partner, Kelly Campbell of Dunedin, also not finishing.

The third heat saw plenty of action, beginning at Turn 1 on Lap 1, when Lapsley was minding his own business looking for a way around the outside of the pack, only for the in-front Adam Stewart to be spun by Palmer, shooting into Lapsley and causing the Invercargill driver to have a remarkable rollover, bringing the race to an early stop. Lapsley would walk away, and once the car was righted, he could remarkably drive it to the infield.

This race saw multiple stoppages, mainly for flat tyres, which killed the race’s momentum. There was a nervous period in the race for Dunedin’s Ben Bisset when he got spun on the main straight; Bisset was parked head-on into an angry pack of cars all coming for him at speed with no gaps to turn around, so the race went red for him to go infield.

Heat 3 would eventually be won by Garthley, bagging some more vital points, with Ashton adding to that total with a solid third. Leslie would snatch second with his partner Adam Stewart not finishing.

After night one, it would be Garthley / Ashton leading the way, ahead of Lavender and Shaun Andrew of Christchurch in second, with Campbell / Schumacher third.

A new day of action on Saturday didn’t make the racing any less dramatic, with an early Heat 4 stoppage required for Jono Bower. Schumacher was strong in this race, fending off solid challenges from several fast cars. He would get home to win the heat, with his partner Campbell scoring good points in fourth. Second went to Garthley, his partner Ashton finishing sixth, while Lavender was third and his partner Andrew fifth.

Heat 5 was the highlight of the night, and it was brutal. Cars that were out of contention went out to put on a show, and a show they delivered.

The race was only half a lap in when Adam Stewart put a killer blow on Schumacher on the back straight. This sent Schumacher into Palmer, who will then feel the full force of Riverside’s Chris Kergozou coming through to tear the back end of his car to bits. Schumacher was ordered off the track with a damaged front bumper. Dunedin driver Jacob Campbell was in menacing form, going after Ashton, which led to Ashton being ordered off the track with a flat tyre. Campbell would then hit Ashton’s partner Garthley, putting both championship leaders to the infield and opening up the competition.

The race looked to be won and done when Blenheim’s Jorden O’Connell-Inns would tear in from Turn 3 at pace, cleaning out Kergozou, who would roll heavily. The Invercargill driver stated in his post-race interview that his car would be fixed, and he would be out looking for O’Connell-Inns.

The race went the way of Mike Jones of Christchurch, with Matt Stewart second and MacHattie third.

The crowd were now amped and ready for the sixth and final race of the event; who would be the Battle of the Streetstock Champions now that the event was wide open?

The race was a relatively clean affair, with Jacob Campbell out early, followed by Palmer and Ashton bringing out red flags.

Up front, Kergozou’s car was repaired from the rollover, and he made a statement that the crowd loved. He was being chased hard, but the Riverside racer, who has never won a race at Beachlands Speedway, wasn’t about to give up the top spot, taking a famous race victory. His partner, Craig Blackler of Dunedin, was tenth. Turner was second with partner Adams ninth, while Jenkins placed third with his partner MacHattie seventh.

At the end of all the carnage, Lavender and Andrew were crowned Battle of the Streetstock Champions, Jenkins and MacHattie were second, with Schumacher and Kelly Campbell third.