Tauranga racers Rodney and Cole Wood achieved a rare father-son 1-2 result in Saturday night’s Bay of Plenty Sprint Car Championship at Baypark Speedway.
Rodney Wood had to chase down top qualifier Keaton Dahm (Tokoroa) to take the lead just before half distance in the 20-lapper to win his second feature race of the summer.
With 10 laps complete, Dahm spun in lapped traffic, and the restart allowed Cole Wood to pass former national champ Jamie McDonald to grab second spot.
“As a team, it doesn’t get any better, and I’m pretty proud of Cole. It was a good drive from grid five to finish second,” says Rodney Wood.
There was plenty of action deeper in the pack with Dahm able to restart at the tail of the field and power his way back to third place and set the fastest lap of the race.
There was another impressive drive from Ayrton Hodson. The Katikati teenager bounced from the high of a career first feature race win a week earlier to the low of crashing in his opening heat race last night. But Hodson’s team repaired the car in time for the feature, and he raced forward from last on the grid to grab fourth place with a final lap pass on McDonald.
The other highlight of the Sprintcar competition was the debut of a new top-8 Shootout staged in three segments of four laps. Keaton Dahm earned pole position with a slim 0.058s win over Rodney Wood after an exciting elimination contest.
Rotorua’s Damian Orr, who alternates his racing campaign between Super Stocks and Super Saloons, produced a polished drive to win the BOP Super Saloon title.
Orr made his move past leader Steve Cowling with a well-judged inside pass with five laps to go and stayed out front to achieve his Super Saloon main event win.
“Once I’d passed Steve, I stayed down on the inside, so he’d have to pass me around the outside,” said Orr.
In the closing laps, it was a fast-closing Dan Pollock who was Orr’s main threat. Pollock passed Cowling with three laps to go and was just 0.615s behind Orr at the chequered flag.
Auckland’s James Earl made it back-to-back feature wins at Baypark to claim the BOP F2 Midget Car title. Earl was the early leader but had to race his way back past Corbin Anderson in a mid-race duel before clinching the win in his Honda-powered racer.
Baypark drivers Robert Sidwell and Bryan Fraser were the heat race winners in a 23-strong grid contesting the BOP Youth Mini Stock title. A close-fought feature race saw Rotorua’s George Crawford control the race with a narrow lead, with Taranaki’s Bronson Pierce taking second spot and Fraser completing the podium.
The next meeting at Baypark Speedway on Thursday, December 28, features the Hokey Ashby Memorial Super Stock event and International Midget Car competition.
Words & Images: Supplied