2016-17 Season Opener

Cromwell’s Peter Dickson shows he’s the driver to watch

Peter Dickson, a name that won’t be forgotten by fans after Saturday night’s season opener at Heavy Trax Hire Central Motor Speedway. The second Super Saloon race of the night saw Peter in a brand new racecar he built with his Hypermac Racing boss Shane McIntyre slam down the gauntlet to last minute entry, current 1NZ Mark Osborne.

For 12 laps the pair were at loggerheads, the pace fast and furious, but not only did Peter beat Mark to the checkered flag, he also come within a nanosecond of breaking the track’s super saloon lap record. Unfortunately for both drivers, mechanical faults saw them as early withdrawals from the 15 lap feature race, honours going to Cromwell’s Ray Stewart (34t) in his brand new ‘Built in Cromwell’ Hypermac.

Watching Peter Dickson’s performance was for many a déjà vuexperience. At last year’s season opener, the then 26 year old former modified sprint champion started his first ever season in the Saloon Class by wheeling out a racecar he had self-built under Shane’s watchful eye. He immediately blitzed the field. Beginner’s luck? No way. Peter raced his way through the season to become Cromwell’s first ever Saloon 2NZ. During the 2015-16 season he also planted his driving shoe on to the accelerator of a Super Saloon competing in Paul Wright’s car in the 2015-16 Super Saloon title in Napier where he finished a creditable 7th

Although still current Saloon 2NZ, it came as no surprise when over winter Peter sold his Saloon to build and race a Super Saloon for the 2016-17 season. A further incentive for him moving to Super Saloons is the 2017 Super Saloon Title that on Jan 6 and 7 will be decided on Cromwell’s clay.    

Someone who couldn’t have been happier with Peter’s performance is team mate and mentor Paul Wright who with wife Debby is owner of Mainfreight Cromwell. Racing in the Mainfreight blue and white, Paul (12t) and Peter (11t) made a distinctive pair on the track. Maybe it’s having Peter as part of the team, Paul showed that this could be his season at the pointy end.

The next race for Cromwell Super Saloon ‘t’ drivers Peter Dickson, Paul Wright, Daryl Ainsley and Ray Stewart is Round 1 of the 2016-17 Vertex Super Cup on Invercargill’s Riverside Speedway on Friday, November 4. 

‘The Fastest Family Show on Earth’ delivered on Saturday night. Big time! There were a few moments of rusty driving among the 60 competitors racing, but overall all classes put on a great show.

Biggest disappointment in the Productions was for Sabrina Bain when her new car suffering a catastrophic engine failure.  New drivers to the class and a couple of visitors made this a great field to watch.

Of the 6 six shooters, three were newbies, not that it showed in the racing which was fast and close. Young Josh Buchannan confirmed that his family’s racing blood flows through his veins. After watching son Brayden race last season, Sean Couper took Ray Buchannan’s six Shooter for a run. Whether he will take the plunge is still up for debate. 

Always popular, the Sprintcars thrilled but didn’t spill.  Former Club Promotor Jason Scott showed he still had what it takes in his winged demon.

In the Saloons visiting drivers from Invercargill helped swell the field to 11. After some close, and at times hairy racing, Ivan Murdoch came away the night’s winner.

They’re the youngest drivers on the track, but that didn’t stop Ministock drivers aged between 12 – 16 showing considerable skill and maturity behind the wheel. A number of drivers and their parent crews came up from Dunedin to contribute to a good turnout of competitors.

With the season opener done and dusted, the next meeting is Saturday, November 12 where a big attraction will be a visiting swarm of Modified Sprints. With their 1000cc motorcycle engines, these midgetised Sprintcars are often called the ‘Winged Hornets of Speedway’. They don’t just sound fast, they have a real sting when it comes to speed, getting around the track just a few seconds slower that their big brother 900hp Sprintcars. Gates open at 4pm and racing starts at 6pm.

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