The Marlborough Express
North places fourth in Speedweek
Blenheim speedway driver Paddy North ended up fourth overall when the DHL Saloon Speedweek wrapped up in Ashburton on Saturday night.

North held a narrow lead following the opening two rounds at Eastern States Speedway, near Renwick, and Christchurch the previous weekend. Two-time defending champion Chris Cowling was close behind, though, and claimed the overall lead after round four in Invercargill last Wednesday night. The series then visited Dunedin and Cromwell, with Tauranga driver Cowling extending his lead and his brother Steve also entering the equation.

In the seventh and final round at Ashburton, the Cowling brothers were able to take advantage of slick single-lane racing, while North struggled in slower traffic. Following the final feature race, Chris Cowling became the first driver to collect top honours for the three years running. Steve Cowling was second and Aucklander Nigel Ross third, with North just 1.5 points back in fourth.

An event with a 10-year history, the DHL Saloon Speedweek has appealed to North over the past few years, and this time he was able to compete with the assistance of Darfield car builder John Lovelady.

"Having built a trusting relationship with Lovelady Race Cars in the super saloon class, it was a logical choice to call on John with my intention to run on the Speedweek tour," said North.

Happy with the result of his first saloon experience, North is looking forward to taking part in DHL Speedweek next year and possibly other events if the opportunity arises.

Fellow Marlborough driver Paul Cambie also competed in his Ford Falcon saloon, but unfortunately had to withdraw after round five in Dunedin when his car's crankshaft failed. .

- The Marlborough Express
19 December 2013