Stockcar ace Hamish McLeod (667p) expertly slams Graeme Munn against the wall at Robertson Prestige International Speedway on Saturday.

Supplied/Peter Paltridge

Stockcar ace Hamish McLeod (667p) expertly slams Graeme Munn against the wall at Robertson Prestige International Speedway on Saturday.

On a night where the action was as much off-track as it was on-track thanks to the Tag Team Champions Draw, the highlight was a brilliant Manawatū TQ Championship Final won in force by Auckland’s Aaron Humble.

On Saturday, a massive field of 24 top competitors from across the North Island, led by a large group from Western Springs, created the best TQ Midget race seen at Robertson Prestige International Speedway.

Twenty-three of the championship’s 24 starters lined up for the 20-lap final, with the race not even stopped for an accident despite a close race.

Streetstocks are rarely seen at Palmerston North, with Manawatū’s title up for grabs in their only race of the season.

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In a tightly contested three-round championship, Hawke’s Bay’s Darren Melling’s consistency finally paid off.

A win in the opening round followed by two top-four finishes gave Melling the title by three points from teammate Brent Redington.

Palmerston North driver Glen Shepherd finished in the podium places, a rarity for a local in recent years.

All six shooters raced at Palmerston North for the first time in three years, with Mount Maunganui’s Luke McClymont winning the last two races, including the final, after race one was won by Roydon White.

The Superstock races were particularly brisk, with drivers preparing for the Teams Championships over the Anzac weekend.

The star of the evening was Jayden Ward, from Palmerston North but under contract to Canterbury Gleneagles, who roamed the pitch in the feature film.

Home to Palmerston North, but Canterbury Gleneagles contract star Jayden Ward won the superstock race at Robertson Prestige International Speedway on Saturday.

Supplied/Peter Paltridge

Home to Palmerston North, but Canterbury Gleneagles contract star Jayden Ward won the superstock race at Robertson Prestige International Speedway on Saturday.

Other races were won by Jordan Dare in one of his first appearances in his new car, while Gisborne Giants team driver Jamie Hamilton won the first race and showed plenty of pace in both others.

Wayne Hemi finished top of the points on the night in his new car, while Rebecca Barr and Nic Davey also performed well.

Kyle Rowe was in fine form in the stockcar class, winning the first race before coming back from last in the next two races to finish second.

Barr and Taylor Lampp won the other two races.

Former Hawke’s Bay national title holder Steve Flynn won the opening super saloon race before it was time for the ladies to shine, with Ashleigh Halcrow taking victory after Rachel Bradbury took the second race.

Danielle Halcrow also showed good form to clinch two second-place finishes.

The highlight of the evening for many was the Team Champions Draw, which takes place Saturday and Sunday at Anzac from 5pm each evening.

The superstocks go five wide on a turn at Robertson Prestige International Speedway on Saturday.

Supplied/Peter Paltridge

The superstocks go five wide on a turn at Robertson Prestige International Speedway on Saturday.

The top four from last year – Rotorua Rebels, Canterbury Gleneagles, Gisborne Giants and Wellington Wildcats – were seeded in each of the four groups, with the remaining eight teams drawn in each group.

All four groups look even, with the Gleneagles drawn to face the vastly improved Palmerston North Panthers and Stratford Scrappers.

The defending Rebels also have a tough group, meeting the Whanganui Warriors and a solid Auckland Allstars.

The Giants drew the Baypark Busters and Hawke’s Bay Hawkeye in Pool Three, while the Wildcats will meet the mighty Kihikihi Kings and Manawatū Mustangs in Pool Four.