Meeanee Maulers have track time on side
Meeanee Maulers stockcar team manager Andrew Powell reckons his lads have had the best buildup to their national teams championship during the five years he has been at the helm.
As usual Powell is bang on. In terms of races the Maulers could not have had better preparation to the 12-team event which begins in Wellington on Friday night and ends on Saturday night.
They lost to their Whanganui and Palmerston North counterparts at a Palmerston North-hosted meeting early in the season. The Maulers then won a Tri Series in the capital which also involved national champions Wellington and the Palmerston North Pumas.
Their other outing involved two races against the Pumas at Meeanee where the Maulers recorded a win and a loss.
"The boys also did a lot of work together here at the New Zealand champs last month which was also beneficial," Powell explained.
"We're going down to Wellington with one thing on our minds. If you're not thinking about winning the national title you should stay home," Powell said.
"There are no learners in our team ... they're experienced now and they aren't going down there just to race," Powell said.
His troops finished third at the Auckland-hosted national teams event in 2018. The previous year they were fourth and the last two years luck has eluded them.
Powell agreed defending champions Wellington, Stratford and Palmerston North will also arrive in the capital with big reputations.
"You can't take anyone lightly. You know Wellington are serious again when they go out and recruit Jayden Ward," Powell said referring to one of the country's most successful superstock team racers.
"To be the best you have to beat the best of the rest," Powell stressed.
He has been impressed with the work captain Brett Loveridge (pictured above) has done to get his car ready after the smashing he took from Stratford's William Hughes at last month's Meeanee-hosted nationals.
"Our boys have also learnt a lot this season about what to take in terms of extra parts. We know we've got more experience and more reliability than previous seasons ... we can give the title a decent crack," Powell added.
The Meeanee Maulers team for this weekend is:
Brett Loveridge (captain), Regan Penn, Cameron Swift, Brandon Symes, Daniel Melling.
Sixth driver: Gibson Tout.