| Season end review.
The King of the Park meeting set down for the 28th April is no longer being run. The rainout last weekend of the John Webster memorial meeting has resulted in the need to schedule this meeting on the 28th instead. With a full program of cars, there is no room to add the mods so we are done for the season.
This season has been a strange one and has felt a bit disjointed. Early season rainouts, coupled with extensive breaks during the season, have made it difficult to get on a roll. We are happy with the performance of the car this year as it has proved to be reliable and as quick as last year. On various surfaces, where we have traditionally struggled, we believe we have made massive in roads and this should put us in good stead for next season.
With having raced now for in excess of 20 years our expectations are pretty high when we head into any season so it is fair to say that, by our standards, our results this season have been a tad disappointing. We went into the season knowing that we had done everything we could to carry on the form of last season and give Foxy a competitive car to campaign. Luck was always going to play a major part in deciding the major meetings this season and, as it turned out, we ended up having none. We must have used it all up last year!
The season started off well for us with Foxy taking out the Taranaki Champs for the first time on our second outing of the season. This was quickly followed up by sharing the Huntly title with Craig Ward a week later. So far so good.
A four week break after this meeting did nothing to help us build momentum and resulted in very few meetings being available prior to the champs, especially with there being another 2 week break in January prior to the title.
With the NZ title ran at our home track we were confident of doing well but things didn't go our way on the day. The fact that we didn't win has to rate as the biggest disappointment of the season for the team. The way Foxy fought back from the dramas in the 1st heat to post a 1st and a 2nd in the remaining two heats to put him on the podium was satisfying to watch and we could only leave the track wondering what if.....
The behind the scenes dramas of the Dirt Cup a week later was also a low point of the season but to take out the title, even in the reduced format, was some compensation after the champs. I know Foxy is chuffed to have won it for the 4th time and now have his name on the trophy more than anyone else. After the Dirt Cup we sat on our hands for another 3 week period before we contested the NZGP at Huntly. Apart from a disastrous runoff things went according to plan in this meeting and Foxy passed more cars than anyone else did. We thought that on the night, runoff excluded, we had the better of the field and deserved to win the title but it wasn't to be. The GP remains the only major meeting that Foxy hasn't won and it will be contested in Rotorua next season.
February soon became March and we headed down to Wellington to try and defend our North Island title. The meeting didn't start well when a part of our car was deemed to be illegal due to it “giving us an unfair advantage over the others as they never had one!” A strange justification for implementing a non-existent rule but there you go.
A reasonable draw had us making good inroads in heat 1 from our rear grid start until fate played us a raw deal again and we got taken out by an incident on the track, destroying our chances of taking the title again. Once again Foxy went out in heats 2 and 3 for pride and with no chance of winning. He again showed what might have been with some exciting wall riding antics. There was no doubt that Foxy was the quickest on the track and he was driving on a part of the track where others seemed either reluctant or unwilling to. Although coming away again empty handed we won over a few fans at the Wellington track and learned a lot about the place which will hopefully put us in a good position next year for the title event.
The remaining of March was spent racing at home with Foxy retaining his Auckland title and getting the better of both 1nz and 2nz in the meetings that all three attended. It was disappointing that they both could not attend the 2nd round of the Auckland champs but with the meeting being set as a 2 day affair at the start of the season the rules were set.
This brings us up to what has ended up being our last meeting for the season and that was out trip to Christchurch. A hell of a long way to go for 1 night of racing but that is unavoidable. This was the only meeting we attended all season where we can honestly admit that we were beaten by a faster car on the night. We had the car going reasonably well but had no answer for the 29c car of Glen Leech on his home track. A night 2 might have been interesting but we will never know. Even thou we were a distant 2nd we were not overtaken by anyone on the night and this was not a rare occurrence over the season, in fact excluding race starts where anything is possible, we were only over taken once all season and that was by 1nz on his first night out when traffic came into play. This tells us that we still have a competitive package and leaves us with a great deal of optimism looking forward to next season.
Thanks to our sponsors, families and fans for their continued support. We hope to do better next season at the major meetings and will keep striving to keep the car at the sharp end of the field. If some of the rumours are true about machinery upgrades etc that some are getting this will be a challenge in itself.
The car will be stripped down shortly and the engine sent back to Engine Dynamics for a season rebuild. We will also be asking the question of what is required to squeeze a little more performance out of the power plant as another 20-30hp could be important next season. With the motor away until October we will use the time to update a bit of gear, give the diff and the steering box a freshen up and look into some areas of reducing some weight from the car. This, coupled with the engine should give us a little more performance next season.
The updates on this site will be a bit further apart with the off season being here but rest assured we will try to keep you updated with important info as it becomes available. We hope to have a tentative race calendar for next year completed by late June once race dates are available.
All the best for the off season and take it easy on the roads. See ya at a track near you next season.