Grand prix field a 'who's who'

CONTENDERS: The first New Zealand production saloon title goes on the line at the Eastland Group Raceway tomorrow night, and Gisborne’s Fraser Wright (44G) and Dave Gooch (7G) will be serious contenders in a field of 22. Picture by Liam Clayton

A “who’s who” of New Zealand sidecar racing will be in Gisborne tomorrow night for the NZ Sidecar Grand Prix at the Eastland Group Raceway.

The inaugural New Zealand Production Saloon Grand Prix title goes on the line, too.

“We expect a line-up of about 10 bikes for the Phill Law Panelbeating and Engineering-sponsored sidecar grand prix,” said Gisborne Speedway Club president Grant MacGregor.

The field will include the new 2NZ combination of Wayne Flett and Chris Chattey from Palmerston North and 3NZ John “Handbag” Hannah and Bryce Rose from Whanganui.

“Several other top North Island combinations will be here, too, along with our Gisborne crews,” MacGregor said.

Gisborne driver Rob Miller and his Hamilton swinger Raymond “Red” George go into the event fresh from their highly creditable fourth in the New Zealand titles last weekend.

They finished just a point off a podium finish and have raced together at only a few meetings.

“Red and I have got better each time we’ve gone out on the track and we want to keep that going,” Miller said.

“The more we go out, the better we are. We’re gelling well as a team.

“I think Callum Iness and his driver Jason Rees (22G) are riding well, too. So Gisborne’s got a couple of good chances.”

Miller said four of the top five bike teams in New Zealand would be here.

“It’s going to be a tough night’s racing. It’s certainly not going to be easy out there.

A push for the podium

“I think Callum and his driver, and Red and I, will have to push ourselves to make the podium.”

MacGregor said the club expected 22 cars for its first production saloon car grand prix, which was sponsored by Simpson Automotive.

“That class has been outstanding at the Raceway this season and you could throw a blanket over four or five of the Gisborne cars.”

Fraser Wright (44G) and Dave Gooch (7G) would be the leading contenders from here, along with Dave’s daughter Crystal Gooch (10G).

Lloyd Stuart (34G) and Anton McKay (17G) could also be right up there.

“We expect cars from Hawke’s Bay, Huntly, Whanganui and even as far away as Dunedin,” MacGregor said.

The support programme tomorrow night includes saloons, with the Cook brothers Daniel and Ethan (77G and 76G) back out after a road trip in which Ethan won the New Zealand Saloon Grand Prix at the Eastern States Speedway in Blenheim.

The stockcars are back, along with six-shooters and streetstocks, all racing for club points.

Brenden Gooch (10G) was sensational in the streetstocks last weekend, and Mason O’Dwyer (99G) keeps getting better in the stockcars.

Reece Lister (8G), Paul Ludeman (5G) and Chris Mackie (21G) will resume their battle in the six-shooters.

“It should be an action-packed meeting,” MacGregor said.

Gates open at 6pm and the first race will go at 7pm. A parade of the sidcears and productions saloons will be held at 6.45pm.

A “who’s who” of New Zealand sidecar racing will be in Gisborne tomorrow night for the NZ Sidecar Grand Prix at the Eastland Group Raceway.

The inaugural New Zealand Production Saloon Grand Prix title goes on the line, too.

“We expect a line-up of about 10 bikes for the Phill Law Panelbeating and Engineering-sponsored sidecar grand prix,” said Gisborne Speedway Club president Grant MacGregor.

The field will include the new 2NZ combination of Wayne Flett and Chris Chattey from Palmerston North and 3NZ John “Handbag” Hannah and Bryce Rose from Whanganui.

“Several other top North Island combinations will be here, too, along with our Gisborne crews,” MacGregor said.

Gisborne driver Rob Miller and his Hamilton swinger Raymond “Red” George go into the event fresh from their highly creditable fourth in the New Zealand titles last weekend.

They finished just a point off a podium finish and have raced together at only a few meetings.

“Red and I have got better each time we’ve gone out on the track and we want to keep that going,” Miller said.

“The more we go out, the better we are. We’re gelling well as a team.

“I think Callum Iness and his driver Jason Rees (22G) are riding well, too. So Gisborne’s got a couple of good chances.”

Miller said four of the top five bike teams in New Zealand would be here.

“It’s going to be a tough night’s racing. It’s certainly not going to be easy out there.

A push for the podium

“I think Callum and his driver, and Red and I, will have to push ourselves to make the podium.”

MacGregor said the club expected 22 cars for its first production saloon car grand prix, which was sponsored by Simpson Automotive.

“That class has been outstanding at the Raceway this season and you could throw a blanket over four or five of the Gisborne cars.”

Fraser Wright (44G) and Dave Gooch (7G) would be the leading contenders from here, along with Dave’s daughter Crystal Gooch (10G).

Lloyd Stuart (34G) and Anton McKay (17G) could also be right up there.

“We expect cars from Hawke’s Bay, Huntly, Whanganui and even as far away as Dunedin,” MacGregor said.

The support programme tomorrow night includes saloons, with the Cook brothers Daniel and Ethan (77G and 76G) back out after a road trip in which Ethan won the New Zealand Saloon Grand Prix at the Eastern States Speedway in Blenheim.

The stockcars are back, along with six-shooters and streetstocks, all racing for club points.

Brenden Gooch (10G) was sensational in the streetstocks last weekend, and Mason O’Dwyer (99G) keeps getting better in the stockcars.

Reece Lister (8G), Paul Ludeman (5G) and Chris Mackie (21G) will resume their battle in the six-shooters.

“It should be an action-packed meeting,” MacGregor said.

Gates open at 6pm and the first race will go at 7pm. A parade of the sidcears and productions saloons will be held at 6.45pm.

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