2 months ago

The Star: March 16, 2017

46 Thursday

46 Thursday March 16 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi The Star Sport THE WEEKEND’S Battle of the Stocks at Woodford Glen will feature 16 North Island drivers. In fact, more drivers will cross the Cook Strait to compete than any other superstock meeting in the country. The Battle of the Stocks format sees 16 cars from the South Island matched up with a North Island car as its partner, and aggregate points over the weekend determines who will be the champion pair. There’s also a trophy for the individual who earns the most points on their own. A quality line-up of drivers has been assembled with no less than three past New Zealand champions including Malcolm Ngatai, Wayne Hemi and Shane Hardwood. Current number two and three ranked NZ drivers Jordan Dare and Adam Joblin have made the BATTLE: Former New Zealand superstock champion Wayne Hemi will be amongst the favourites at Woodford Glen this weekend. ​ Big entry for Glen event cut and with five drivers from around NZ making their debuts, picking a winner is extremely difficult due to the calibre on display. The winners will possess a mixture of speed and endurance, able to outlast their opponents while working as a team and making the most passes. Last year’s winning combination is back for the 24th running of the event, and Palmerston North’s Peter Bengston and Nelson’s Blair Cunningham will be keen to win. Support racing comes by the way of the mighty V8 winged modified class who are racing for the Canterbury championship. Expect plenty of action from the stockcar and streetstock classes and on Friday night check out some of speedway’s future stars in the annual youth ministock challenge. The action starts from 7pm both Saturday and Sunday. Ruapuna host to GT racers THE COUNTRY’S quickest GT cars will line up at Ruapuna’s Mike Pero Motorsport Park on Saturday for the New Zealand Endurance Championship The NZ championship title will see the top cars from both the South Island endurance series and the North Island endurance Series compete in a single day, winner takes all title. This is the second running of this format after the inaugural event was hosted at Hampton Downs last year. The two tracks have a 10-year agreement with Motorsport NZ that will see the event run in alternate islands annually. With the top 20 cars invited from each series’ one-hour and three-hour races there is a vast array of machinery set to take to the circuit. “Not only are there titles at stake for the big guns, but there is a NZ championship for each of the four classes we have, so rest assured that the little guys are taking this just as seriously as the big boys,” said South Island endurance series secretary Chris Dunn. The field for the three-hour race includes Johnny McIntyre, who will be out to defend the title he won 12 months ago and CONTENDERS: The Carter brothers will fancy their chances in their Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3 which took out the South Island endurance series event at Ruapuna in October. PHOTO: EUAN CAMERON ​ will team up with Mark Gibson in the Tulloch Motorsport Camaro GT3. Other favourites include Sam Fillmore and Danny Stutterd in a Ferrari 458 GT3, Neil Foster and Johnny Reid in an Audi R8 LMS GT3, the recently unveiled Audi R8 LMS of Simon Evans and Gene Rollinson, and the Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3 piloted by Matt and Dwayne Carter. The Carter brothers have extra reason to fancy their chances on Saturday after taking out two rounds of the South Island series, including the race at Ruapuna in October. The one-hour race will start at 11.40am followed by the threehour race at 2.20pm. BHUJA LEIGH HART JASON HOYTE YOUR DRIVE HOME 4PM - 7PM WEEKDAYS

The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday March 16 2017 47 What Blues must do to end drought against Crusaders • By Patrick McKendry AFTER THE Blues’ dreadful performance in losing to an injury-hit Highlanders team last week, here are five things they must change before their match against the Crusaders tomorrow night (bearing in mind they have lost their past five matches to the red and blacks). 1. Win their own ball. Their first task is self-explanatory, but Mary Westwood M 021 557 731 P 03 347 4711 Four Seasons Realty Ltd Licensed Agent REAA 2008 Why not put me to the test As I do stand out from the rest If you’re ready to sell then so am I So go ahead give me a try!!! their lineout was a shambles against the Highlanders – they lost five lineouts on their own throw. Some of it might be a lack of combinations, as this was hooker James Parsons’ comeback from a concussion suffered in September last year. But they can’t afford to continue that against a Crusaders second row featuring All Blacks Sam Whitelock and Luke Romano. 2. Hang on to it. The Blues Four Seasons FORCE & STORMERS, Realty BYE coughed up 24 turnovers at Eden Park. They couldn’t build pressure and were therefore easy targets for the Highlanders’ defence. The Crusaders base a lot of their attack on the counter – so that’s another dangerous trend to continue on. 3. Use their attacking weapons. Rieko Ioane. Rene Ranger. George Moala. Even Matt Duffie. They are all dangerous on the carry and must get their 2017 SUPER 18 TiPPing ComPETi T ion RoUnD 4 March 17 th -18 th CRUSADERS V BLUES REBELS V CHIEFS BULLS V SUNWOLVES HURRICANES V HIGHLANDERS WARATAHS V BRUMBIES LIONS V REDS SHARKS V KINGS JAGUARES V CHEETAHS BREnT JEffERiES A1 Auto CRUSADERS CHIEFS BULLS HURRICANES BRUMBIES LIONS SHARKS JAGUARES BRoUghT To yoU By ThE ChRiSTChURCh STaR hands on the ball more often. Preferably in space. 4. Direction. Coach Tana Umaga suggested a change might be coming at No 10, with Piers Francis a possibility to replace Ihaia West. But whoever plays first-five must navigate his team around a track where the Blues have struggled for years. And if that means kicking the ball, then kick wisely – deep or contestable. 5. Attack, attack, attack. The Crusaders have won two on the bounce at the death, backing up their thrilling finish against the Highlanders with another against the Reds in Brisbane. They are clearly a very fit team, but there is a sense that their opponents have sat back slightly once building good leads. 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