Keen competition for memorial trophies

TOUGH TO BEAT: Gisborne’s Daniel Cook (77G) and younger brother Ethan (76G) will take some beating when they contest the saloon car champion of champions title at the Eastland Group Raceway tomorrow night. File picture

MEMORIAL night tends to be the most passionate meeting on the Eastland Group Raceway calendar and tomorrow night will be no exception as two of three coveted trophies go on the line.

In addition, the saloons and streetstocks will sort out their “champion of champions” for the season.

“The Pit Stop saloon champ of champs has attracted a dozen cars and we expect our own Ethan and Daniel Cook (76G and 77G) to lead the charge,” Gisborne Speedway Club president Grant MacGregor said.

“We are expecting visiting drivers from Mt Maunganui, Hawke’s Bay, Palmerston North and Stratford.”

The way the Cook brothers have been going it is hard to see them not being on the podium at their home track.

Ethan won the New Zealand Grand Prix title and Daniel was fifth in the New Zealand championship final.

The field for the Robert Harris Cafe-sponsored streetstocks champion of champions looks set to be around 15 cars, with visitors from Hawke’s Bay set to include 2NZ Wayne Melling.

“With Melling here, it sets up an epic battle between him and Gisborne’s 1NZ, Brenden Gooch,” MacGregor said.

“There was not a lot between them at the national championships in Invercargill and no doubt both will have a point to prove.

“I can see it turning into a Gisborne-Hawke’s Bay teams race.”

The likes of Dave “Duck” Hampton (88G) and Cody Gooch (6G) cannot be written off.

“They will be right in there,” MacGregor said.

Walsh Memorial Trophy on line

The Walsh Memorial Trophy goes on the line for the second time in the production saloons.

“That is too hard to call,” MacGregor said.

“You have four or five drivers capable of winning that.

“But having said that I feel Dave Gooch (7G) will have a point to prove after that bump that cost him the New Zealand Grand Prix title here three weeks ago.”

The Law-Cartmell Memorial Trophy will be contested by the sidecar division.

“There is only a small field for that — five bikes, and three of them out of Hawke’s Bay,” MacGregor said.

“Again, Rob Miller and his swinger ‘Red’ George (8G) will have a point to prove, after a mechanical issue cost them the New Zealand sidecar GP title.”

The rest of the programme includes stockcars, with 16 or 17 expected, racing for club points.

“James Kirk will be back out there in a new car and Sam Hughes will be out in Ben Holt’s car (4G),” MacGregor said.

The Ashley Scott Memorial for stockcars will be contested on March 10.

The youth ministocks complete the programme.

“We expect half a dozen cars to be here from Rotorua, along with some cars from Hawke’s Bay,” MacGregor said.

“It will be a solid workout for them all ahead of the Ministocks in Paradise event in Rotorua next weekend.”

Angus Briant (81G) has been the standout Gisborne driver in that class so far this season.

“The weather looks a little tricky for tomorrow,” MacGregor said.

“We will make a call on the meeting by midday tomorrow.”

Weather permitting, the gates to the speedway will open at 6pm and the first race will go at 7pm.

MEMORIAL night tends to be the most passionate meeting on the Eastland Group Raceway calendar and tomorrow night will be no exception as two of three coveted trophies go on the line.

In addition, the saloons and streetstocks will sort out their “champion of champions” for the season.

“The Pit Stop saloon champ of champs has attracted a dozen cars and we expect our own Ethan and Daniel Cook (76G and 77G) to lead the charge,” Gisborne Speedway Club president Grant MacGregor said.

“We are expecting visiting drivers from Mt Maunganui, Hawke’s Bay, Palmerston North and Stratford.”

The way the Cook brothers have been going it is hard to see them not being on the podium at their home track.

Ethan won the New Zealand Grand Prix title and Daniel was fifth in the New Zealand championship final.

The field for the Robert Harris Cafe-sponsored streetstocks champion of champions looks set to be around 15 cars, with visitors from Hawke’s Bay set to include 2NZ Wayne Melling.

“With Melling here, it sets up an epic battle between him and Gisborne’s 1NZ, Brenden Gooch,” MacGregor said.

“There was not a lot between them at the national championships in Invercargill and no doubt both will have a point to prove.

“I can see it turning into a Gisborne-Hawke’s Bay teams race.”

The likes of Dave “Duck” Hampton (88G) and Cody Gooch (6G) cannot be written off.

“They will be right in there,” MacGregor said.

Walsh Memorial Trophy on line

The Walsh Memorial Trophy goes on the line for the second time in the production saloons.

“That is too hard to call,” MacGregor said.

“You have four or five drivers capable of winning that.

“But having said that I feel Dave Gooch (7G) will have a point to prove after that bump that cost him the New Zealand Grand Prix title here three weeks ago.”

The Law-Cartmell Memorial Trophy will be contested by the sidecar division.

“There is only a small field for that — five bikes, and three of them out of Hawke’s Bay,” MacGregor said.

“Again, Rob Miller and his swinger ‘Red’ George (8G) will have a point to prove, after a mechanical issue cost them the New Zealand sidecar GP title.”

The rest of the programme includes stockcars, with 16 or 17 expected, racing for club points.

“James Kirk will be back out there in a new car and Sam Hughes will be out in Ben Holt’s car (4G),” MacGregor said.

The Ashley Scott Memorial for stockcars will be contested on March 10.

The youth ministocks complete the programme.

“We expect half a dozen cars to be here from Rotorua, along with some cars from Hawke’s Bay,” MacGregor said.

“It will be a solid workout for them all ahead of the Ministocks in Paradise event in Rotorua next weekend.”

Angus Briant (81G) has been the standout Gisborne driver in that class so far this season.

“The weather looks a little tricky for tomorrow,” MacGregor said.

“We will make a call on the meeting by midday tomorrow.”

Weather permitting, the gates to the speedway will open at 6pm and the first race will go at 7pm.

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