By Pete McNae

It’s been more than two months since the high-winding V8s have chucked clay at the Milestone Homes Top of the South Speedway but the superstocks are back on a chokka programme for Nelson’s multi-headed race meeting on Saturday, March 23.

With the season rapidly nearing an end and rain costing the Nelson club an important meeting last Saturday (we all wanted more moisture, just not on a Saturday!), time is running out to complete the calendar. The answer is to pile promotion on top of promotion for a speedway grand slam in nine days from now.

A couple of the classes impacted by last Saturday’s postponement shift across to the 23rd.  The Ricks Tyres and Autos South Island sidecar championship has been rescheduled, although the field looks likely to be reduced to a more manageable 16 bikes. There’s also room in the March 23 programme for the third and final round of the production saloon club championships.

And that’s when things get hectic…

Already marked down for Saturday week was the Nelson Marlborough Waste Youth Ministock Mania, which already has entries from Christchurch and Blenheim alongside the Nelson field.  At their best, the class is close and competitive and still provides a pathway to a multitude of adult classes.

Then there’s the Sturgeons Superstock Stampede. Nelson speedway fans have been starved of the class since the Westmeat New Zealand Grand Prix drew a big field and large crowd on January 12. Since then, teams race meetings, class stand downs and a meeting where the local drivers couldn’t attract the numbers to race have created a superstock dry spell. The Sturgeons Stampede — which doubles as the club championship — is for a cash prize over three races with the club working with Christchurch to top up the field.

Nelson Speedway Association president Wayne Martin said: “The Nelson crowd like their superstocks and for all sorts of reasons we haven’t run them for a while now. The couple of grand cash should help us entice some drivers, plus there’s a club title at stake.”

Add in a streetstock hit to pass, two heats and a feature for the TQ midgets and round out the programme with the ever-popular demolition derby and it’s a big night at the track.

In light of that, the committee has decided to increase gate prices for the meeting with adult entry $25, members and pensioners $12, children 5-15 $10 and under fives free. A family pass for two adults and three children will be $50. These prices apply for this meeting only.

“We went back to the GP prices for the same reason — we have two meetings being crammed into one, really,” Martin said. “Instead of paying $20 last Saturday for sidecars and the productions and $20 next week for ministocks and the derby, you will get the whole lot for $25, with the bonus of the superstock promotion as well.

“[Putting up the price] isn’t something we do lightly because we are aware of peoples’ circumstances but it’s a double meeting for five dollars more.”

Fans save on fuel and food, making just one trip to the track, while the club recoups a little of the costs lost with last weekend’s postponement.

“It’s a full night, we will be pushing races through and it will be pretty constant entertainment,” Martin said.

  • March 23, Milestone Homes Top of the South Speedway. Sturgeons Superstock Stampede, Ricks Tyres and Auto South Island Sidecar Championship, Nelson Marlborough Waste Youth Ministock Mania, production saloon club championship round three, streetstock hit to pass, three-quarter midget open races and a demolition derby to close the night. Racing from 6pm. Admission, adults $25, members and superannuitants $12, children 5-15 $10, under fives free, family pass (two adults, three children $50).

Phil Krammer photo by Tom Laney,