Team GB take 2nd in New Zealand 2010 Superstock Team Championship

In only their second ever venture into the crazy world of New Zealand Team’s Racing, Team GB (The British Lions) have achieved the amazing feat of coming 2nd overall. An improvement on last years début where they had surprised many with a 3rd place finish.

Due to the way in which the Team Championship is scored, the 2nd place can be considered to be a much greater achievement than just one spot higher on the podium. The Championship is run over two nights, the first night (Friday) being the qualifying rounds, followed the next night by the Finals. In 2009, Team GB finished the qualifying night outside of the top 4 teams, and therefore did not qualify for the semi-finals, leaving them only eligible to race the other non-qualifiers for the highest runners-up position of 3rd.

This year, Team GB, lead by Frankie Wainman Jnr, with Tom & Mick Harris, and teams racing rookie Craig Finnikin had much better success in the qualifying rounds winning both their battles, finishing the night 2nd overall in the points and therefore qualifying through to the Semi-Finals in the big Saturday night extravaganza.

The British Lions would face-off against the Waikato Wanderers in the second Semi-Final of the (Saturday) night. A superb text-book performance saw them dispatch with most of the opposing team before the race was even over. Some fantastic blocking by Father and Son; Mick & Tom Harris, allowed Craig Finnikin to take the win with FWJ performing some fantastic front and rear guard action.

So defying all expectations, the British Lions had done the unthinkable, and in only their second year of NZ teams racing, had got themselves into the Superstock Team Championship Final.

The match would be against the particularly on-form Nelson Tigers, who had qualified from their own Semi-Final in spectacular style, completely dispatching the reigning Champs for the last 4 years, Palmerston North Panthers, and romping home uncontested, with non of the Pathers finishing the race.

The Lions put up a brave fight against the Tigers, with Mick & Tom once again trying all they could to disable and spin the Tigers while FWJ and Craig got on with trying to grab the victory. Unfortunately luck was not on their side and very quickly both Harris cars were retired with damage leaving Frankie and Craig open to attack, and shortly after Craig too was taken out of the race leaving Frankie left chasing down the race leader from 3 laps down.

Overall it was a remarkable and memorable performance from the British Team, and one that will no doubt leave an impression on the regular New Zealand Teams.

Team GB 2010 (left to right) Frankie Wainman, Tom Harris, Mick Harris, Stuart Smith, Craig Finnikin, Daniel Wainman.

More detailed reports can be found on the Palmerston North website:
Qualifying Night Meeting Report and Finals Night Meeting Report

Keep and eye on this post over the next few weeks, we’ll update it with links to the Speedbox TV highlights if they become available.

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