The Speedway season is now in full swing, and the first national titles are set to be competed for this weekend, with Nelson hosting the New Zealand TQ Midget Championship and Oreti Park showcasing the Under 21 Solos title.
Forty-eight entries have been confirmed for a tilt at the TQ title at the Top of the South Speedway, led by defending champion Aaron Humble, 2NZ Kayden Barker and 3NZ Terence Dorrell.
The trio face a stern test from a highly competitive grade, with the likes of 6N Alicia Hill, 57C Dylan Forsey, 56K Regan Tyler and former NZ champion Jeremy Webb having all found early form this year.
The TQ class will race three qualifying heats on Friday and two more on Saturday before a 25-lap winner-take-all shootout for 1NZ honours.
While TQ Midgets take centre stage for the event, keen eyes in Nelson will also be following American stars Brenham Crouch and Joel Myers Jnr, who feature in the New Zealand Sprintcar scene this summer.
Myers Jnr won his first Feature of the season on his first attempt at Ruapuna, while Crouch quickly got up to speed in unfamiliar territory and finished third in the same race.
The duo are joined by the likes of 46C Daniel Anderson, 15C Steve Duff Jnr, 28K Tony Uhlenberg and Hill, who runs a busy weekend doing double duties, amoung others.
Further south, Oreti Park Speedway will see seven of New Zealand’s best up-and-coming riders face off for the New Zealand under-21 crown on Saturday.
The field includes 2NZ Ben Whalley and 3NZ Finn Reed, who will face a stern test from each other and Chase Burrow, Lucas Colvin, Ryan Colvin, Hayden Brookland and Oscar Drake.
Also on the Oreti Park lineup are the Malcolm Officer Memorial Sidecars, Classic Solos, Flat Trackers and the Youth Gold Cup.
Dunedin fans can also jump in on the action, with Beachlands Speedway’s Fireworks Night set to light up the sky.
The action on track will be just as explosive, with a full field confirmed for the Otago Streetstock Champs. Youth Saloons, Productions, Saloons, Stockcars and Super Saloons also join the program for a big night of entertainment.
Saloons will also be on show in the north, competing for the North Island Championship at Stratford Speedway. A field of 28 drivers will challenge for the series’ first national title of the season on Saturday, with 1NZ Jarrod Fletcher and 3NZ Trent Amrein included in the mix.
Stockcars, Superstocks, Streetstocks, Modifieds and Adult Mini Stocks are also in action at the venue.
The Stockcar Teams Invitational on Saturday at Palmerston North’s Robertson Prestige International Speedway brings ten teams from around the North Island.
NZ champions, the Auckland Alley Cats, have made the trip south for the event and will face challenges from the Waikato Raiders, Stratford Stormers, Wanganui Vulcans, Wellington Young Guns, Gisborne Gladiators, Meeanee Maulers and three local teams: the Palmerston North Pumas 1, Palmerston North Pumas 2 and Manawatu Steelers.
Super Saloons join the lineup for what’s expected to be a big night of racing.
Teams racing is also on the cards at Huntly International Speedway on Saturday, a catchup date from the rainout at the Superstock Teams Invitation on November 18. While the decision was made to cancel the 2023/24 Teams Invitation, three outfits will return to the region for a 3×3 tournament.
It’s a far cry from the eight who had entered the rained-off event, but the Waikato Wanderers, Baypark Busters and Gisborne Development ensure local fans still get a taste of teams racing this year.
Also on the program are strong grids in Production Saloons, Stockcars and Ministocks.
Tauranga’s Baypark Speedway features the Bay of Twenty Championships on Saturday, with Sprintcars, Super Saloons, F2 Midgets and Ministocks all on the program.
A top-eight Sprintcar Shootout also sees a unique one-off trophy up for grabs.
Kihikihi Speedway is the destination of ten-time New Zealand Midget Champion Michael Pickens this Saturday, who competes for the Waipa Midget Championship alongside the likes of Brad Mosen, Aaron Hodgson, Mitch Fabish and Luke McClymont in a 28-strong field.
Sprintcar 1NZ Daniel Thomas is also back in action at Saturday’s event, while Stockcars, Ministock and Golden Oldies round out the schedule.