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Queueing up for shot at GP title

Super saloon series, TQ Masters among support classes

SPEEDWAY

THE New Zealand Stockcar Grand Prix title goes on the line at Gisborne speedway over tomorrow and Saturday night in what is certain to be a no-holds-barred, hard-hitting extravaganza.

The field was limited to 100 cars for tomorrow night’s elimination heats to find the 30 cars for Saturday night’s finals at Eastland Group Raceway,

“Other clubs that have run the Grand Prix in recent years have not attracted the line-up we’ve got,” said Gisborne Speedway Club president Clyde McGrory.

“They have queued up to race on our banked track.”

Drivers from all over the North Island will be competing.

“The 100 cars will be divided into four equal-sized groups and they will race over three heats each,” said McGrgory.

“The top six out of each group will go through to Saturday’s final and on Saturday night there will be two repechages from which the top three will join the other 24 cars for a final field of 30.”

McGrory said the Gisborne club was fortunate to be able to run this championship.

“We could not have done it without the support of major sponsors Novus Glass.”

The Roseland Tavern will sponsor the second-tier finals on Saturday nights.

“It’ll be full-on, hard-charging, fast racing right from the beginning,” said McGrory, who was the first Gisborne driver to win the NZ Grand Prix title (in 1989).

“The winner this weekend will need to have an exceptional finals night and being a contact sport, he or she will have to have a lot of luck on their side.”

The Gisborne contingent includes James Clarke (29G), Nick Hutton (56G), Trevor McArthur (128G), Jason Lovell (67G) and David Glassford (22G).

“On our banked track, their home track, any one of them could be contenders.”

The Heavy Equipment Services DVS super saloon series will provide major support entertainment.

“We expect 15 cars for what is the second round of their national series,” McGrory said.

“A who’s who of super saloon racing will be here for it.”

The Autotech TQ Masters returns this weekend.

“We’ve got cars coming from Western Springs, Hawke’s Bay and Stratford, about a dozen of them, including our own Dylan and Ryan MacGregor.

“Dylan has been performing really well and has been tipped to win the series this year.

“He broke the lap record at Meeanee in Hawke’s Bay last weekend.”

McGrory said the track would be in perfect order for the weekend.

“The rain we’ve had this week has been a godsend. The surface is lightning fast, with plenty of drive.”

Gates to the speedway open at 5pm tomorrow and Saturday, with the first race from 6pm.

“There will be a parade of cars both nights at 5.30pm.”

Scrutineering for the cars will be conducted tomorrow afternoon from 1pm.

The public are welcome to go to the pits to have a look.

HARDCORE: Gisborne Speedway Club is hosting what is certain to be some of the most fierce stockcar action of the summer when 100 drivers and cars fight for the New Zealand Grand Prix title over two nights, starting tomorrow. Gisborne’s Nick Hutton (56G) has been going well this season and will be one to watch. Picture by Liam Clayton