After a soft start to his racing weekend, the ending was a hard one for Bryce Steiner as he was spectacularly eliminated from the NZ Welding School World Invitation Superstock Championships.
The Rotorua Superstock star was one of only two New Zealand drivers who had pre-qualified for the World Championship Finals, so had a quiet practice session on Friday night.
But on Saturday, in front of a record crowd at Paradise Valley Raceway, Steiner won the second race of the finals series, to be sitting in second place and well in contention for the World title.
But from the start of the third race it was clear that he was the number one target for the strong Palmerston North contingent, as he was hit and blocked a number of times, before being driven at full speed into the concrete wall by Kerry Humphrey.
The big hit wrecked the front of Steiner's race car, eliminating him from the title chase.
The stalling tactics of the Manawatu-based drivers proved effective, as one of their own once again claimed success. Just two weeks after winning the New Zealand Championship in Nelson, Shane Penn's hot form continued winning his second World 240's title six years after he won it for the first time in 2007.
His win came off the back of a three top-4 placings over the three heats, managing to score a comprehensive 6-point victory ahead of Stratford's Phil Ogle and Nelson's Shane Harwood.
Fellow Rotorua finalists Scott Hewson, Lance Ashton and Ross Ashby had average nights. For Hewson, who had looked impressive in topping his qualifying group on Friday night, it was especially disappointing. His championship hopes were dashed in the very first corner when he was involved in a multi-car pile up which saw him retire with damage. While Ashton and Ashby managed to finish races, they failed to make major passes during the competition, and faded from contention.
Like Hewson, three of the overseas driver's title chases ended early in the first race, including 3-time winner Frankie Wainman Junior. His younger brother Daniel Wainman went on to be the highest placed overseas driver, finishing 12th equal.