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Gone with the wind: Burger King Pro Dirt hits Wellington!

17 November 2017


Round two of the Burger King Super Saloons Pro Dirt series took place at the Wellington Family Speedway in Te Marua, on the Saturday of November 11. Once again, the weather wasn’t looking good with rain in Wellington and a black sky overhead, but things stayed dry at the track. Cars that had sustained damage the previous week were looking brand new again, and the long nights and hard work had paid off with 30 cars entered.

Heat one had Kirsten Vermeulen (12A), and the only female competitor in the field, starting on pole, but with the flying Mick Quin (23P) in second, that wouldn’t last for long. Mick Quinn ended up winning, with Kirsten coming in third, and Campbell McMannaway (492I) in second. 

Heat two saw Mark Osborne in his 16R McDonald’s car on pole, but he unfortunately came off second best after a run in with the wall on the back straight. The win was taken by Mark Pitcher (9W), with Scott Hayward (92M) in second, and Rossco Cresswell (77K) in third. 

Heat three, and the win was taken by Grant Flynn (6B) in his Burger King car. After starting in fifth, he moved his way through the tough field, closely followed by Aucklander Ben Harding (24A), who started in fourth. Third was taken up by Steve Cowling (37M) who slid back a place after starting in second. 

The B main was the last chance to make the feature, and Steve Cowling (37M) started in pole and was never passed, taking the win. Lance Jennings (96A) finished in second, up from his fourth place start, and Sam Waddell (18M) moved down from second to finish third.  

The feature which would be run over 30 laps with 20 cars, and with memories of the carnage that unfolded the week before, racers were hopeful things would be better this time around.  Mick Quinn started on pole and things were looking good, but after a little argy bargy, he was relegated to the back of the field. The two Burger King cars were fighting it out with Mark Pitcher (9W), who was eventually passed by both — 9B and 6B, both brothers, but the track is wherer that ends! By the end of it, Steve Flynn came through in first, followed by Grant Flynn and Dan Corrin. 

Finishing in third, Dan Corrin didn’t have much trouble getting the wheels up! 

And Scott Hayward also aimed sky high, catching some serious air on turn three.

While waiting to return to the pits, Kirsten Vermeulen suffered a bit of a drama, as unburnt methanol out of the exhaust resulted in a tyre fire — while it looks serious, the fire boys got it under control, and she managed to place eighth in the feature. 

Mark Osborne is not having a great run in the series so far. The first heat he managed to hit the wall and sustain major front end damage. The crew worked hard in the pits to repair the car and made it for the B main, where he started at the back of the field and ended up finishing sixth, qualifying for the feature.

Steve and Grant Flynn are brothers who have both been competing for a long time. There is no love lost between the two when they are on the track, and they are both hard chargers. Grant is the man behind the Burger King Pro Dirt series, and a lot of hard work goes in behind the scenes to put this together.

Round three of the Burger King Pro Dirt Super Saloons will be taking place on November 24 in Gisborne, with round four taking place the following night at the same venue.  

TOP 10 (after two rounds)
Mark Pitcher (9W) — 635
Grant Flynn (6B) — 590
Craig Cardwell (8H) — 536
Steve Flynn (5B) — 528
Scott Haywood (92M) — 495
Dan Corrin (124M) — 398
Sam Waddell (18M) — 393
Kirsten Vermeulen (12A) — 377
Lance Jennings (96A) — 362
Asher Rees (126P) — 329

Words and photos: John Faulkner