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The opening round of the Barry Butterworth Memorial Trophy Midge Car Serieswas contested at the Mag and Turbo Ruapuna Speedway on Saturday nightwith the 13 car strong field producing some excellent racing as the driverslooked to gain an early advantage in the series.Nelson’s Nevil ‘The Bullet’ Basalaj took out the opening heat after a titanicbattle with Nick Donaldson, who was making his return to the track aftermissing most of last season’s racing. Current South Island Championship,David Kerr, who finished in third place, was never far from the action, and hada great duel with Basalaj during the early laps. Nick Marquet (Nelson) thedefending series champion took out the second heat but was pressured all theway by Kerr with Dunedin’s Gavin Wilkie finishing third, from locals GrahamSharp and Glen Durie. Car problems forced Basalaj out of the race with fourlaps remaining while he was holding third place.Basalaj was back to winning form in the third and final heat after he passedthe hard charging Donaldson on lap three, however the slick racing surfacemade passing difficult and several drivers spun their cars while battling thewind affected track. Durie claimed second spot from Mike Moulin with Kerrfinally edging out Steve McCallum for fourth place.Kerr from Southbridge heads the points table on 33, with Durie three pointsadrift with Basalaj 26, heading a log jam mid pack with McCallum 25, Marquet24, Sharp 23 and Wilkie 21. Wilkie took out the Feature from McCallum andDonaldson. The Sprintcar racing was keenly contested with Matt Honeywell winning theopening heat from former cricketing Black Cap legend Nathan Astle. FormerInvercargill driver Brent Gaudion crossed the line in third. Ray Baughan wonthe next heat from Honeywell and Astle. Baughan continued his impressiveform to log his first feature race win of the season, heading home Gaudion andHoneywell. Astle had finished second but was relegated two places for jumping his starting position. There were five different winners in the Three Quarter Midget Car section withKate Warren, brother Blair, Ben Tiplady and Jeremy Webb all claiming heatwins with Gareth Bindon winning the Feature with Dick Webb second from hisson Jeremy.Sixteen Six Shooters took to the track producing racing right throughout thelarge field with Matt Anderson (Dunedin) and Andrew Marker claiming heatwins before Barton Dick of Dunedin took out the chequered flag in the Feature. The Harris family dominated the small Modified Sprint field with Darryl Harrisfinishing third and first in the two heats before having to settle for secondplace in the Feature behind his son Kieran Harris, with Jimmy Doyle in thirdplace. Doyle had also won a preliminary heat race.Newcomers Mike Warwood and Nick Chase won both sidecar events. BenMorgan was the pick of the Quarter Midget class winning two of the threeraces with Liam McCoubrey also having a good meeting with two seconds anda third.

Race Results (Competitors f rom Christchurch unless Stated)Midgets
Barry Butterworth Memorial Series – Round 1
Ht 1. Nevil Basalaj (Nelson) 1, Nick Donaldson 2, David Kerr 3.Ht 2. Nick Marquet (Nelson) 1, David Kerr 2, Gavin Wilkie (Dunedin) 3.Ht 3. Nevil Basalaj 1, Glen Durie 2, Michael Moulin 3.Points: Kerr 33, Durie 30, Basalaj 26, McCallum 25, Marquet 24, Sharp 23,Wilkie 21, Moulin 17, Everett 14, Donaldson 12, Chadwick 0, Brian Barclay 0,Scott Millar 0Feature. Wilkie 1, McCallum 2, Donaldson 3.
Ht 1. Matt Honeywell 1, Nathan Astle 2, Brent Gaudion 3.Ht 2. Ray Baughan 1, Honeywell 2, Astle 3.Feature. Baughan 1, Gaudion 2, Honeywell 3.
Three Quarter Midgets
Ht 1. Kate Warren 1, Marcus Doocey 2, Brian Fridd 3.Ht 2. Blair Warren 1, Lindsay Bailey 2, Kyle Glover 3.Ht 3. Ben Tiplady 1, Ben Gilmore 2, Blair Warren 3.Ht 4. Jeremy Webb 1, K Warren 2, Rachel Melrose 3.Feature. Gareth Bindon 1, Dick Webb 2, J Webb 3.
Modified Sprints
Ht 1. Jimmy Doyle 1, Josh Wells 2, Darryl Harris 3.Ht 2. D Harris 1, Kieran Harris 2, Josh Wells 3.Feature. K Harris 1, D Harris 2, Doyle 3.
Six Shooters
Ht 1. Matt Anderson(Dunedin) 1, Todd Hay (Invercargill) 2, Barton Dick(Dunedin) 3.Ht 2. Andrew Marker 1, Ben Smit 2, Kieran Stevens (Cromwell) 3.Feature. Dick 1, Kurt Hawkins 2, Shaun Ashton 3.
Quarter Midgets
Ht 1. Jayden Bradley (Nelson) 1, Liam McCoubrey 2, Jay Basalaj 3 (Nelson) 3.

Ht 2. Ben Morgan 1, McCoubrey 2, Hunter Rowland 3.Feature. Morgan 1, Brad Shearman 2 McCourbrey 3.
Ht 1. Mike Warwood/Nick Chase , Lester Schroder/Simon Bryant (Blenheim) 2,Clint Warwood/Paul Auton 3.Ht 2. Warwood/Auton 1, Warwood/Chase 2.