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Meeanee magic: Hawke’s Bay Champs season opener

25 October 2017



What better way to put the long weekend away than at the dirt? That’s the logic taken by the team behind the Meeanee Speedway opening meeting, held on Sunday, October 22. Hosting the first meeting of the 2017–18 Super Saloons running with the Hawke’s Bay Champs, 10 cars entered coming from Wellington, Palmerston North, Napier, Rotorua, and Auckland. The track was looking flat and slick so we were in for some good racing.

Heat one was championed by Steve Flynn (5B) in his Burger King–sponsored machine, followed by his brother Grant (6B) — another Burger King car — with Johnny Browne (6B) coming in third, in a clean sweep for the Bay boys 

They must call it fast food for a reason — Mark Osborne (16R) sure knows how to get around a dirt track in his McDonald’s-sponsored car, taking out heat two, with — once again — Grant Flynn and Johnny Browne coming in second and third, respectively. 

Grant Flynn can pedal a car, but the top spot just kept eluding him, as heat three had him coming in behind Asher Rees (126P), with his brother Steve finishing in third.

It must have been a welcome return to form for Asher Rees, who has been away from Speedway for the past few seasons following a nasty crash in his Super Stock. This was his first meeting back in a Super Saloon car, and while he wasn’t able to perform a victory lap after his heat three victory — due to a fuel tank leak that graduated to a fire — you can expect big things this season. Aside from the fire, which didn’t result in any major damage to the car, the event also proved reasonably sedate in terms of major accidents and the yellow flag was only brought out once over the course of the night. 

A final points tally had Grant Flynn taking the top honours, trailed by Mark Osborne and Steve Flynn, in an exciting way to see in the new season. So, what else can we expect in the near future? 

Well, Mick Quin has a totally new car for the season, and while he is still sorting things out, this thing is gonna fly! 

Other than that, a few of this event’s competitors will be heading north to compete in the Burger King Pro Dirt series at Baypark. Among the 30-plus confirmed entries, you can expect Nigel Mount (63A), Johnny Browne (95B), and Chase Rodda (33B). 

Words and photos: John Faulkner