Giants second in epic contest

BATTLE ROYAL: The Gisborne Giants fought hard till the end against the Palmerston North Panthers on Sunday night in the ENZED superstocks final in Palmerston North. Gary Davis (31G) gets close attention here from two Panthers cars. The Giants finished runnersup in what was called one of the best ever superstock teams finals. File picture

THE Gisborne Giants finished runners-up in an epic contest in the ENZED Superstock Teams Championships in Palmerston North at the weekend.

The Palmerston North Panthers limped across the finish line first to end a brutal final in front of a capacity crowd at the Robertson Holden International Speedway on Sunday.

Giants drivers Peter and Ethan Rees (10G and 126G), Gary Davis (31G), Nick Vallance (45G) and Jason Long (41G) fought to the bitter end.

Long and Ethan Rees finished third and fourth in the final after Davis was rolled and Peter Rees had part of the front end of his car ripped off.

The first two opposition cars were driven by 3NZ Jordan Dare and 1NZ William Humphries.

“The result didn’t worry us, we were all just so stoked to be involved in such a tremendous battle,” Peter Rees said.

“It was just a huge finals night and it will go down in superstock history as one of the best, if not the best, finals ever.”

Rees said Long was a big addition to the Gisborne team.

“He put us in as hot favourites for the final against Palmerston.”

Lost tyres

Both Rees and his son Ethan lost some tyres in the first lap of the final.

“That put us on on the back foot a bit, but we kept going.

“Jason (Long) was leading at the last corner, when he unfortunately lost track of the leading Palmy car, and Dare shot past him to win it.

“In hindsight, Jason should have just fired ahead and taken the chequered flag.

“In the end there was only 20 metres in it after 15 laps.”

Rees said the whole Gisborne team contributed.

“We shared the jobs out on the track. We all got runs and no one made mistakes.

“We just didn’t quite have the luck in the end. But what a final it was to be in.”

In their semifinal, Long had the satisfaction of crossing first to knock his former team, the Hawke’s Bay Hawkeyes, out of the competition.

Gisborne cars finished first, third, fourth and fifth.

The Giants finished second-top qualifiers on Saturday night with 305 points, behind the Great Britain Lions (330) but ahead of the Hawkeyes and the Panthers on 300.

That night the Gisborne team were clear winners over the Waikato Wanderers with a 1-2 finish, then cleaned out the Nelson Tigers with a 1-2-3 finish.

Rees said all the Gisborne drivers came through uninjured and the cars were in good shape.

“We’ve got a little bit of repair work to do, but you’d expect that, given how fierce the fight was.”

The Giants now prepare for the national championship superstock meeting at Waikaraka Park in Auckland on March 3 and 4. It is a title they won last year.

“That weekend Jason has rugby commitments but we hope he can drive with us again.

“The rest of us are raring to go.”

THE Gisborne Giants finished runners-up in an epic contest in the ENZED Superstock Teams Championships in Palmerston North at the weekend.

The Palmerston North Panthers limped across the finish line first to end a brutal final in front of a capacity crowd at the Robertson Holden International Speedway on Sunday.

Giants drivers Peter and Ethan Rees (10G and 126G), Gary Davis (31G), Nick Vallance (45G) and Jason Long (41G) fought to the bitter end.

Long and Ethan Rees finished third and fourth in the final after Davis was rolled and Peter Rees had part of the front end of his car ripped off.

The first two opposition cars were driven by 3NZ Jordan Dare and 1NZ William Humphries.

“The result didn’t worry us, we were all just so stoked to be involved in such a tremendous battle,” Peter Rees said.

“It was just a huge finals night and it will go down in superstock history as one of the best, if not the best, finals ever.”

Rees said Long was a big addition to the Gisborne team.

“He put us in as hot favourites for the final against Palmerston.”

Lost tyres

Both Rees and his son Ethan lost some tyres in the first lap of the final.

“That put us on on the back foot a bit, but we kept going.

“Jason (Long) was leading at the last corner, when he unfortunately lost track of the leading Palmy car, and Dare shot past him to win it.

“In hindsight, Jason should have just fired ahead and taken the chequered flag.

“In the end there was only 20 metres in it after 15 laps.”

Rees said the whole Gisborne team contributed.

“We shared the jobs out on the track. We all got runs and no one made mistakes.

“We just didn’t quite have the luck in the end. But what a final it was to be in.”

In their semifinal, Long had the satisfaction of crossing first to knock his former team, the Hawke’s Bay Hawkeyes, out of the competition.

Gisborne cars finished first, third, fourth and fifth.

The Giants finished second-top qualifiers on Saturday night with 305 points, behind the Great Britain Lions (330) but ahead of the Hawkeyes and the Panthers on 300.

That night the Gisborne team were clear winners over the Waikato Wanderers with a 1-2 finish, then cleaned out the Nelson Tigers with a 1-2-3 finish.

Rees said all the Gisborne drivers came through uninjured and the cars were in good shape.

“We’ve got a little bit of repair work to do, but you’d expect that, given how fierce the fight was.”

The Giants now prepare for the national championship superstock meeting at Waikaraka Park in Auckland on March 3 and 4. It is a title they won last year.

“That weekend Jason has rugby commitments but we hope he can drive with us again.

“The rest of us are raring to go.”

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