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Ethan Cook named top competitor


SALOON car racer Ethan Cook had a stellar season with wins in the New Zealand saloon car championship and the NZ Grand Prix.

On Saturday night he was named Gisborne Speedway Club’s Competitor of the Year.

Cook also featured with his brother Daniel in the North Island team against the South Island, and the North won the inter-island saloon car challenge.

As he picked up the supreme award, a delighted Cook thanked his brother Daniel, his pit crew and his sponsors for their support.

“I would like to especially thank my father Dean for all his support, and John and Sue Baker, who own the car,” Cook said.

“It was awesome to get the award, especially at my home club in Gisborne.

“We put more than a thousand hours into getting my car ready for the season, and it performed exceptionally.

“We all look forward to another big season next summer.”

Nearly 200 people attended the club prize-giving at the Cosmopolitan Club.

Awards presented —“Battler” awards: Sammy Durston, mini stocks; Matt Shultz, production saloons; James Clarke, stockcars; Jarod Ingoe, streetstocks; Paul Habib, saloons; Clive Ireland, sidecars.

“Stirrer” prizes: Jason Jones, stockcars; Sean Gooch, streetstocks.

Most improved: Hayley Durston, ministocks; Tara Whiteman, ministocks (first year); Matt Shultz, production saloons; Dana Kingsbeer, stockcars; Te Meyrick, stockcars (first year); Nigel Wallace, streetstocks.

Most consistent: Seth McKay, ministocks; Jordan Fleetwood, stockcars.

Stockcars, best female driver: Dana Kingsbeer.

Best presented vehicles: Jyneika Hollis-Peach, ministocks; Anton McKay, production saloons; Mason O’Dwyer, stockcars; Gooch Motorsport, streetstocks; Smart Cookies Racing (Ethan and Daniel Cook), saloons; Regan Feck and Martin Domper, sidecars.

Ministocks, most race meetings: Tara Whiteman.

Streetstocks, fastest lap local: Shaun Kingi.

Ministocks, best pairs: Seth McKay and Thomas McEwan.

Champion of Champions awards: Dave Gooch, production saloons; Brenden Gooch, streetstocks; Callum Innes and Justin Lincoln, sidecars.

Ashley Scott Memorial, stockcars: Regan Penn.

Lloyd Cup, stockcars: Jason Jones.

Phil Walsh Memorial Trophy, production saloons: Dave Gooch.

Trevor Allen Memorial Trophy and Colin Top Memorial, saloons: Daniel Cook.

Best-performing front-wheel drive, production saloons: Crystal Peach.

Best-performing rear-wheel drive, production saloons: Anton McKay.

Swinger of the Year, sidecars: Callum Innes.

“Hard luck” awards: Rob Miller and “Red” George, sidecars; Cody Gooch, streetstocks.

Sidecar ambassador: Stu Priest.

Roll of the year: Ben Yeoman.

Commentator Cup: Rogers Family.

Points trophies — Production saloons: Dave Gooch. Runner-up: Crystal Peach. Saloons: Daniel Cook. Runner-up: Paul Habib. Streetstocks: David Hampton. Runner-up: Sean Gooch. Stockcars: Jason Jones. Runner-up: Bryce Harding.

Feature points: Crystal Peach, production saloons; Daniel Cook, saloons; Jordon Fleetwood, stockcars; David Hampton, streetstocks.

Pit Crew of the Year: David Bacon.

Gladiator of the Year: James Clarke.

Ralph Ghent Memorial Trophy: Andrew Harvey, the Gladiators.

Most supportive ministock person: Sarah Moore.

Morley Family Trophy: Daniel Cook.

“Hard luck of the Year” award: Hamish Moore.

Most supportive outside competitor: Trent McCann.

Club Woman of the Year: Kelly Simpson.

Club Man of the Year: Jamie Simpson.

Club Competitor of the Year: Ethan Cook.

TOP DRIVER: Saloon driver Ethan Cook achieved a rare national double when he won the 1NZ title and the New Zealand Grand Prix in the 2018/19 speedway season. He was named Club Competitor of the Year at Gisborne Speedway Club’s annual prize-giving on Saturday night. He is pictured at the prize-giving with his awards. Picture by Murray Robertson