The third and fourth rounds of the Burger King Pro Dirt Super Saloon series was held over November 24–25 at Gisborne’s Eastland Group Raceway. The Gisborne track is a very fast track, due to its high banking, which makes for some seriously exciting racing.
Before the racing starts, they have all the drivers sitting on the cars, doing a couple of laps so the crowd can view the drivers. Seen here is Mark Pritcher (9W), the current points leader entering this event.
Heat one was going to be a good one with Grant Flynn (6B), Criss Cowling (27M), Steve Flynn (5B), Brent Emerson (7M), and Steve Cowling (37M), to name a few. On pole was the 77K car of Rossco Cresswell, with Steve Cowling (37M) in second and Darren Melling (72B) in third. Racing was hard and fast with no major incidents to the first race. Starting from fourth place, Dan Corrin (124M) managed to take the win, with Scott Hayward (92M) finishing in second, up from sixth, and Steve Cowling (37M) dropping from second to finish in third.
Heat two had another tough field, with points leader Mark Pitcher (9W), Mick Quin (23P), former number one Mark Osborne (18R), and Steve Flynn once again. Of the total 17 cars in the field, how many would finish the 15 laps? As it turned out, all of them, with plenty of fast racing and good, clean passing. Taking out the win was pole-sitter Dean Waddell (81M), followed by Mark Osborne (16R) in second, and Steve Flynn (5B) finishing in third place. Most impressive, though, would have to have been Sam Waddell (18M) who started from grid 16 and finished 10th.
Heat three, and yet another tough field! Craig Cardwell (8H) was back for a shot at pole, joined by Mick Quin, and Mark Osborne who was certainly due for a win. Starting on pole was Craig Cardwell, backed by Lance Jennings (96A) who unfortunately suffered damage and couldn’t finish. By the end of it, Sam Waddell (18M) had muscled his way to pole, from third, followed by Craig Cardwell in second, and Chris Cowling (27M) in third.
The B main represented the last chace to make it to the final, and with just 12 cars in the field, it was all on! Steve Flynn (5B) sat on pole, with Johnny Browne (95B) in second and Josh Boulton (891C) in third, and all the way up from the south. By the end of it, it was Hawke’s Bay boy Jonny Browne (95B) taking the honours, with fellow Bay driver Steve Flynn (5B) placing second, and Josh Boulton (891C) finishing third. It wasn’t Mick Quin’s day at all, as he failed to finish the race.
In the B main, Dave Speirs (62W)’s turbo Nissan six-cylinder — the only six-cylinder car racing — hit Josh Boulton (891C), but they were good to continue racing and Josh ended up finishing in third.
By the time the 30-lap feature had come around, the track was at its smoothest and fastest of the evening, promising even more great racing, with all 20 cars gunning for that pole position. Beginning on pole was Scott Hayward (92M), closely followed by the hard-charging Campbell McMannaway (492I), and Sam Waddell (18M) who’d already had a taste of victory.
Mark Osborne, Asher Rees, Criss Cowling, Craig Cardwell, Steve Flynn, and Brent Emerson all made up the ranks of those who never finished, with blown tyres and other mechanical damage taking its toll.
The eventual winner was Campbell McMannaway (492I) — a well earned pole for someone who’d never raced on this track before! He was tailed by Grant Flynn, who passed five cars to finish second, and Scott Hayward falling two places to finish third.
This season hasn’t been too kind to Mark Osborne (16R). The hard-charging driver from the south relies on his crew from up north to get the car ready for each meeting, and they do a fantastic job, as the car is always immaculate — as he gets massive air on turn two, you can even see how clean the undercarriage is!
Scott Hayward (92M) is another one that gets some massive air on turn two.
And Grant Flynn (6B) also proves that turn two is where the action at! Coming in second place in the feature puts him in the number one spot of the Burger King Pro Dirt Super Saloon series.
Most of the drivers get on with whatever has to be done to the cars, helping out the crew once they’re off the track. Here we have Craig Cardwell helping to replace a damaged lower control arm.
Suffering fuel problems, Dean Waddell (81M) was unable to finish heat one, and after giving the injectors a thorough blow-out, he fronted on pole position in heat two and never looked back — amazing what a good blow job can do!
A Quick Change rear end sure has its benefits, and it doesn’t take long to change rear end gears between rounds.
Round five takes place on Saturday, December 2 at Waikaraka Park in Auckland.
The top three after these four rounds are:
Grant Flynn (6B) — 1206
Scott Hayward (92M) — 1104
Scott Hayward (92M) — 1006