Kergozou’s comeback

Chris Kergozou makes a triumphant return.
Chris Kergozou makes a triumphant return.
It was only 12 months ago that Aotea Electric Riverside Speedway Club President Chris Kergozou hung up the race helmet and went into retirement to concentrate on his son Hunter who was entering the sport.

Fast-forward to last weekend and he was back behind the wheel of a borrowed car and ready to compete in the Cecile Kergozou Memorial Trophy for Streetstock, a trophy raced in his grandmother’s honour, and one Kergozou had competed for 10 times but never managed to win.

The odds of a Kergozou winning the trophy doubled when Kergozou’s cousin Ethan also entered in the field.

Several cars were entered from Riverside as well as Beachlands Speedway in Dunedin. Kergozou struck a bit of luck in race one with Shae McKenzie, also from Riverside, leading, only to suffer a puncture, handing the win over to Kergozou for the perfect start.

He backed up his race one victory by winning heat two, but in doing this he put a target on his back going into the third and final race.

Riverside’s Phil Johnson was sitting second in points and raced off to a flying start. Kergozou was buried in the back of the pack but soon worked his way to third, before sneaking up the inside of clubmate Dillon MacHattie for second. Johnson looked to slow slightly on the very last lap, putting some doubt into people’s minds that he might target Kergozou. But Johnson took the heat win with Kergozou second, giving him his first Cecile Kergozou Memorial Trophy win, which meant the world to his family who were all in attendance.

Johnson was second overall with MacHattie third.

The biff and bash of stockcars was a highlight as they competed for the Ronnie Tree Memorial, an event that rewards the biggest stirrer more so than the cars which win the races.

Heat one saw Christchurch driver Luke Molloy take the race win, heat two was local driver Luke Fallow, while Logan McNamara, of Cromwell, won race three.

Over the three races some big hits were delivered from the likes of Riverside’s Peter Knight and Adam Naber, but it was second-generation driver Riley Henderson who won the stirrers award for the event.

New driver Aaron Rawcliffe picked up an award for rolling Knight in race three, while Naber secured grandkids’ pick of drivers for the event.

Overall results saw Fallow take the win over McNamara with Molloy third.

The final grade racing for trophies was Saloons which ran Best Pairs — a blind pairs format so the drivers had no idea who they were paired with until the points were tallied at the end.

Over the three races, Southland champion Mark Dobson, of Riverside, won race one, Jason Gold, of Cromwell, race two, and Stu Millar, of Dunedin, race three.

Once the points were added up it was Millar who won overall, partnered with Cromwell’s Phil Burgess who scored consistent results all day. Second went to Dobson who was partnered with clubmate Darren McLeod and third was Gold and Riverside’s Jamie Black.

The club also hosted the Demolition Ramp Derby which was won by Troy Dryden.

 - By Daryl Shuttleworth