Wow, what a meeting this is going to be. It’s all happening from 5pm, Nov 21 with 22 of the country’s top saloon drivers competing in round one of the 2019 Holden Trade Club Saloon Speedweek; arguably the toughest series on the speedway calendar. A four consecutive days endurance challenge that stretches driver skills and fitness, and the ability of crews to handle all night rebuilds and repairs.
As if that’s not enough, NZ rally star and now Central Otago resident, Hayden Paddon will demo the Crosskart, a new class of dirt racer he’s looking at introducing to New Zealand. If all goes to plan, Hayden will for the first time in his life also get behind the wheel of an 850 plus horsepower sprint car.
The strongest field the series has ever had: Steve Williams, event organiser and competitor
He’s not only the organiser of the Holden Trade Club Saloon Speedweek, Steve Williams is a former title holder and fierce competitor. And yes, he’s Tiger’s former caddy. Steve describes the eight North Island and 14 South Island saloons as the strongest field the series has ever had, with every driver a potential winner. ‘Series events are more and more popular,’ says Steve. ‘It’s something to look forward to as an opportunity to pit talent and skills against challenging competitors. With every point counting, Thursday Nov 21 racing will be fast and furious.’
From Cromwell the action travels 230kms to Invercargill's Riverside Speedway for Friday night racing, then there's a 200km dash to race Saturday night at Dunedin's Beachlands Speedway with the final in Sunday some 300km away at Ellesmore Speedway. Phew!!!
So much fun to drive
Looking a bit like a scaled down dune buggy with streamlined body panels or a rear engine speedway midget given a style makeover that includes a roof and rear wing, European WRC drivers use these 750cc lightweight (300kg) fliers to practise their gravel sliding skills. It was while driving a Crosskart that Hayden could see their potential in New Zealand as a fast, exciting and relatively inexpensive race car for hill climbs, auto cross, car club events and very possibly speedway.