Jayden Fraser just too good in Modified Sprints

Steve Dryden (33)  gets drilled by Shya McHardy in the Streetstock runoff. PHOTO: DEBRA RACE
Steve Dryden (33) gets drilled by Shya McHardy in the Streetstock runoff. PHOTO: DEBRA RACE
Invercargill's Jayden Fraser went into last weekend’s Southland Modified Sprint Championship at Aotea Electric Riverside Speedway as the reigning champion.

However, being the only car from Riverside, he had to fight off the best drivers from Christchurch, Nelson and Dunedin to retain the title.

Fraser was also the reigning Brett Cooper Memorial Champion, and South Island Modified Sprint Series Champion.

This meeting was round three of that four-round series as well as the Brett Cooper Memorial.

Fraser made tough work of heat one on a rough track, but got up to sixth place with the win going to Christchurch driver Liam Astle.

A delay due to track maintenance was just what Fraser needed, with the local driver blitzing his opponents to claim a win in race two, putting him back within a few points of regaining the Brett Cooper Memorial.

Fraser needed to win the final heat to grab that honour and hope his nearest rivals did not finish well; unfortunately he only got to third place with the eventual race winner Harry McIntyre, of Christchurch, winning the title.

This result did give Fraser a row two starting spot for the feature race, a chance to win the Southland Championship. Fraser sat in third for most of this race, eventually slipping past Astle to get up to second before setting his sights on McIntyre, who was leading. With just a couple of laps to run, Fraser slipped past McIntyre and raced home to win the round and the Southland Modified Sprint Championship.

Streetstocks were also racing for the Best Pairs Trophy, where drivers are randomly put into teams of two, the top points scorers winning the overall trophy. Newly crowned New Zealand champion Allan Finch, of Dunedin, won two of the three races, with Invercargill’s Steve Dryden also claiming a win.

Finch and Phil Johnston, of Invercargill, secured enough points overall to win the Best Pairs Trophy, while Dryden failed to win a run-off for second, handing it to Dunedin’s Shya McHardy and Invercargill’s Chris Illingworth, while Dryden, with clubmate AJ Lapsley, finished third.

The third event was the Pits Media Challenge, with Riverside hosting round two of three. Race one saw Riverside’s Cayden Race win by almost half a lap, while in race two it looked as if Joshua Richardson, of Riverside, would take the win, only for his car to strike mechanical issues on the last lap, handing the win to Dunedin’s Max Kemp.

Race then battled hard with Kemp in race three, taking the win, meaning the two young drivers finished on equal points and had to go for a runoff.

Race showed his class in the two-car race, coming home to win round two of the series, Kemp second and Richardson third.

In stockcars, Peter Knight, of Invercargill, won three races from as many starts, as did Joshua McIntyre in Tier Two Youth Saloons.

Other race winners were Dave McKenzie, Hayden Skilling and Aven Erskine in production saloons, Danny Livingstone, Jake Shearing and Harrison Brown in Six Shooters.

 - By Daryl Shuttleworth