Anderson Scores War of Wings Opening Round Win
By Allan Batts
Te Anau's Daniel Anderson continued his early season dominance when he took out the opening round of the Hydraulink $100,000 War of the Wings (WOW) Sprintcar series at the Racecourse Hotel and Motorlodge Ruapuna Speedway on Saturday evening.
Twenty-eight cars took to the track with racing fast and furious with young driver, Jayden Dodge setting the meeting alive when winning the time trials with a blistering time of 13:5769 seconds, closely followed by previous WOW champions, Matt Honeywell, Jamie Duff and Anderson.
Jamie Duff won the opening heat after a great battle with Invercargill's Kyle Shearing which lasted the entire race, with Duff cutting inside Shearing on the final lap with Caleb Baughan third. Daniel Anderson took the chequered-flag in the next heat from Honeywell and Conner Rangi (Nelson).
Heat three saw a clean sweep for visiting drivers, Jason Scott (Queenstown) heading home Matt Anderson (Cromwell) and former super stock driver, Jason Smith (Nelson). The final heat saw Steve Duff junior claim the win, from Ray Baughan with Rangi third.
The B Main was always going to be a tight affair with the top finishes earning a place in the 20 car, 25 lap Feature with Smith leading from start to finish earning the win from Martin Harcourt, with Nelson's Alicia Mclauchlan having a great battle with Caleb Brooks over the closing laps.
In the Feature current WOW title holder, Jamie Duff retired before the first lap was completed and then a four car tangle forced the elimination of several other contenders. From the third restart Ray Baughan lead out from Daniel Anderson with Rangi in third place. On lap four Anderson sweep wide on the Town bend to take the lead and then opened-up a handy lead as Baughan and Rangi battled to second and third placing with Rangi holding on to a narrow lead for second place.
By lap 10 Anderson started to lap cars and five laps later Rangi smooth low line has reduced Anderson 2 second lead to nothing. For the next three laps the two leading cars were nose to tail, with Rangi briefly holding the lead come of the Town bend on lap eighteen.
With Anderson was using the high line he then pulled out a small lead to take the win with Rangi claiming a deserved second place from Honeywell and then a close finishing pack lead by Ray Baughan, Steve Duff, Scott, Luke Keegan, Matt Anderson, Caleb Baughan and Mclaughin to round out the top ten. The series now heads up to Nelson's next weekend and will return to Ruapuna on 9th December.
In other classes the Three Quarter Midgetcar section produced close fast racing with heats wins going to Kyle Glover and Liam McCoubrey, with Jeremey Webb winning the Feature from McCoubrey and Gareth Bindon.
Verdon McHaffie was unbeaten in the Modified Sprint class, winning from heats before taking out the Feature from Invercargill's Vaughan Marshall, and the consistent Courtney Jones.
Jamie Duff claimed the Garden City Classis title in the Six Shooter racing, with two wins – including the Feature and a second place with Daryl Wright and Ben Smit second and third overall.