The Burger King Pro Dirt Super Saloon series opener kicked off at the ASB Baypark Stadium on November 4, with 33 cars entered from all over the North Island, and even one from Christchurch — Josh Boulton, in 891C. That’s dedication!
The weather wasn’t looking good, though, with rain covering most of the island. The sky was pretty grey with light showers falling once everyone began to arrive at the track. Competitors kept coming in and hoping the rain would go away.
Luckily, the Burger King Pro Dirt series also sees a souvenir caravan at every event, where competitors can sell their T-shirts, stickers, banners, and other merchandise, often enjoying a roaring trade.
They need to as well, as there’s never a shortage of these at a meeting — depending on track condition, you can use an outside right in one heat!
The fields in the Burger King Pro Dirt series are split into three groups of 11 — group A sponsored by The Moving Company, group B sponsored by ITM, and group C sponsored by Edwards Transport Ltd.
Racing is similarly divided into three separate heats, with two races per group. Heat one comprises of group A and B, heat two comprises of group C and B, and heat three comprises of group A and C.
After the three heats, all the drivers’ points are tallied up, and the top 12 automatically go into the main. The rest must run in the B main, and top 12 of these will go into the feature making up the 24 cars.
All up, we were looking at 23 cars in the feature — all the top dogs managed to make it, but how many would make it to the end? Not as many as most would expect … or eight, to be exact.
Before the main takes place, all 23 cars line up across the track four abreast, for one lap to salute the crown. Then it’s all on!
It was more like a demolition derby out there, as turn two took out six cars, turn one had both the ‘hamburger’ cars out.
A few laps later, the only other burger car was left without his battery — a nasty hit, and maybe the nuts need to be glued on next time!
Steve Flynn (5B) and Mark Osborne (16R) ended up sideways together on turn one — the end of the burger cars.
Josh Boulton (891C), all the way from the South Island, unfortunately made himself another casualty of the main.
Heat three winner Sam Waddell (18H) came all the way from grid 14 to take the win, followed by Terry Corin (41M) and Craig Cardwell (8H). In heat two, it was Ben Harding (24A) in first, then Steve Flynn (5B), and Dean Waddell (81H). And, in heat one, we saw Mark Osborne (16R) take it out, followed by Grant Flynn (6B), then Mark Putcher (9W).
Coming in first was Craig Cardwell (8H), with Scott Haywood (92M) in second, and Terry Corin in third. In the B main, it was taken out by Ben Harding (24A), followed by Kristen Vermeulen (12A), then Josh Roberts (43K).
As you read this, it’s likely there will be a lot going in sheds and workshops to get the cars ready for Saturday night in Wellington.
Top 10 so far
Craig Cardwell (8H) — 360 points
Mark Pitcher (9W) — 322 points
Scott Hayward (92M) — 322 points
Sam Waddell (18M) — 314 points
Grant Flynn (6B) — 268 points
Steve Cowling (37M) — 224 points
Steve Flynn (5B) — 215 points
Dean Waddell (81M) — 209 points
Chace Rodda (33B) — 194 points
Mark Osborne (16R) — 159 points