North Island team

NI  Team

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challenge format

Format

Saloon Challenge format explained...

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South Island team

SI  Team

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welcome  to  the

North v South Saloon Challenge

The North v South Saloon Challenge brings together the cream of New Zealand's Saloon drivers for two nights of exhilarating action as they race for bragging rights.

In November 2007, an initiative of Steve Williams saw a six-car North Island Saloon team travel south for the inaugural Interislander North v South Saloon Series where they raced three rounds and triumphed comprehensively over a South Island team comprising of five A Grades and the South's only Saloon spec car.

November 2008 saw Steve again journey south for the Interislander North v South Saloon Series, this time with an eight-car North Island Saloon team, where they raced four rounds and triumphed in a much closer contest against a South Island team comprising of four Saloons and four A Grades.

The following month Mark Newall, Tony Williamson and Dave McCallion became the first South Islanders to venture north for DHL Saloon Speedweek, an indicator Saloon racing in the south was on the rise, further emphasised later that season with Dave McCallion coming away from the New Zealand Saloon Championship at Waikaraka as 2NZ.

November 2009 saw the first full-blown Saloon series in the South Island, when the six-round DHL Southern Saloon Series was contested over six consecutive nights by a twenty-six car field that included sixteen South Island drivers, a series dominated by the northerners, with Craig Shaw the highest placed southerner, finishing in tenth place.

November 2010 saw DHL Interislander South Island Speedweek raced over seven rounds in nine days by a thirty-one car field that included eighteen southerners, where three southern drivers finished in the top ten, with Daryl Ainsley the highest placed in third, eleven points behind series champion Scott Lansdowne and two points shy of series runner-up, then current 1NZ Steve Williams.

The following season DHL Interislander Speedweek returned north and a twenty-seven car field including ten southerners contested a rain disrupted five of seven scheduled rounds where two southerners finished in the top ten, and Daryl Ainsley again the best placed, finishing fourth.

DHL South Island Speedweek returned south in 2012 and a twenty-six car field including sixteen southerners raced five rounds, with four southerners finishing in the top ten, the best placed being Adam Gent in fourth.

2013 saw Speedweek again held in the south and a rain disputed DHL South Island Speedweek was contested over six of seven scheduled rounds by a twenty-two car field including nine southerners, three who finished in the top ten, the best placed being Paddy North in fourth, a mere 1.5 points behind third placed Nigel Ross.

2014 saw Speedweek remain in the south, again disrupted by rain, with only six of eight scheduled DHL Saloon Speedweek rounds being contested by a twenty-six car field including eleven southerners, three who finished in the top ten, with Peter Schouten being best placed in third behind the Cowling brothers, runner-up Chris separated by two points from champion Steve.

2015, and Speedweek returned north following a three year hiatus, and six southern drivers headed north for the twenty-one car Valvoline Saloon Speedweek, raced over six of seven scheduled rounds, with fifth placed Peter Dixon the only southerner in the top ten.

Four South Island drivers headed north for the 2016 Valvoline Saloon Speedweek, a six-round series dominated by the northerners, with two southerners finishing in the top ten, Paddy North ninth and Josh Boulton tenth.

March 2017 saw the inaugural North v South Saloon Challenge, the first ever head-to-head clash between Saloon exclusive teams representing the North and South Islands, and following two nights of close and intense racing the challenge was the North's with a 62 point win, 1 238 to 1 176.

While the North took out the inaugural challenge, interestingly the top three drivers on individual points were southerners Rob Flood on 220, Paddy North on 217 and Ryan Marsden on 214.

Southerners Paddy North, Graham Williamson and Ivan Murdoch headed north for the eighteen-car 2017 Holden Trade Club Saloon Speedweek, and in what had become a familiar pattern over recent years, the series was disrupted by rain, with two of five scheduled rounds rained out, and in this abbreviated series, Paddy North triumphed, becoming the only South Island driver to win Saloon Speedweek.

Unfortunately the scheduled two night 2018 North v South Saloon Challenge at Eastern States Speedway was cancelled compliments of persistent rain in the days leading up to the event, then rain on the Friday and Saturday, intermittent enough to give everyone hope racing may be possible but heavy enough to curtail attempts to prep the track.

Venue:Eastern States Speedway
Address:Pak Lims Rd, Renwick, Marlborough
Phone:03 572 9142
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