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  Huntly 19/11/06

What a strange weekend!

All the bad weather over the weekend put paid to any tracks running on Saturday night so we thought that was us for the weekend until Foxy got a phonecall Saturday night from Red at Huntly.

Now as a rule we do not run Sunday afternoon meetings unless we have too for championship reasons, mainly down to the proven fact that the tracks are normally slick dust bowls. Unfortunately that is what we got on Sunday. Now don't get me wrong I am not having a go at the track because in reality their hands were tied and they could have done very little differently. It is just unfortunate that day meetings always seem to end up that way and probably always will (hence my statement above about not doing them).

What disappointed me the most about Sunday was the hornets nest we drove into on arriving at the track with Foxy, in effect, being told by some individuals that the Auckland guys were not welcome and might not be allowed to race. It became clear that this anger, although directed at Foxy, was in fact earmarked at me for comments I have made public with regard out of town guys running at Auckland. Why these people didn't direct their feelings towards me is unknown but to be honest it is all a storm in a teacup and maybe there has been a misunderstanding of what I have been saying. Before I go any further I think it best to clarify the following points with regard Auckland's running of the class and our supporting of other clubs:

1/ We have never, and will never, be arrogant enough to turn up at any track expecting to be able to run as of right. Before we attend any out of town meeting we either contact the appropriate person at the track to get permission to attend, or, which is the most common occurrence, we get contacted and asked to attend as was the case on Sunday.

2/ We had no intention of running at Huntly on Sunday and only did so as a personal favour to the Club President / Promoter of Huntly Speedway who is a friend of Foxy's and who has always been supportive to us. To be initially treated in the manner we were is unnecessary and extremely disappointing.

3/ I have never stated that no out of town drivers will be able to attend Auckland's clubnights. What I have said is that Auckland have implemented a policy that they do not want any more than 16 cars racing on club nights to avoid excessive track damage and to limit unnecessary damage to cars that can happen in large fields. If Auckland gets 16 locally registered cars wanting to attend then we can not host any non-registered Auckland cars. This is no different to the announcement made on Huntlys own site with regard their out of town policy.

4/ If out of town drivers want to attend meetings in Auckland they need to phone Paul Blakeley, not Frank or anyone else. Paul is in charge of the mods in Auckland and as such is the only contact person with regard Modified matters. Paul will then have a list of out of town drivers and if, after the Auckland guys have been contacted, we have the ability to host visitors they will be contacted and asked if they would like to attend on a first come, first served basis.

I am sorry if the policy has upset people, as that is not the intention. It is great that the class is growing and this current situation is unprecedented in our class but I have been warning people on and off since last season that this was a real possibility so no point getting upset about it now. Auckland's responsibility, first and foremost, is to its own registered competitors and so if people have chosen to register elsewhere that is not their problem. If some of you would prefer to see your tracks not host the Auckland guys then I suggest you talk to your committees and make your feelings known. We have no problems in not racing where we are not wanted.

Thanks to Red, Nigel and Mintie who always make us feel more than welcome at Huntly and we are happy we were able to help you by supporting your meeting.

Now to the racing.

13 cars fronted for heat 1 and that is due in a big way to the commitment made by the Ward Brothers (Craig and Paul) to haul all the way up from Stratford on Sunday morning. Contrary to some reports they were not in Auckland as we had been able to advise them early enough not to come. They made the trip up from Stratford on Sunday not 100% sure if the meeting was going to go ahead so good on you guys, it added a bit more to the field.

Foxy drew grid 4 for heat 1 on the outside of Scotty and it wasn't long before Foxy was in the lead and Scotty was running second. By about ? way thru the race the track was all ready starting to go off and I think it is fair to say Scotty's set-up was better than ours as he was able to start catching Foxy. It was in this heat that Scotty became the 2nd guy to go under 14 seconds at Huntly and broke Foxys lap record from last season. Well done Scotty!
Although Scotty looked quicker at times there were also laps where he lost time thru the turns. The only incident in this heat was when Foxy nudged the wall attempting to lap a backmarker who seemed intent to make it as difficult as possible (after the comments on another website we would hope that this was not intentional and we will give you the benefit of the doubt first up).
Foxy carried on to take the win with Scotty coming home 2nd.

Heat 2 and the track was pretty well stuffed. Foxy drew grid 10 in this one and in all honesty the race was a mess with guys spinning, banging and crashing everywhere. There were not many driving to the track conditions and there were a lot of casualties. We were not there to prove any points and Foxy just went about his business quietly and tried to stay out of trouble. At about ? distance, and a few cautions, Foxy found himself in 2nd behind 55s, Paul Ward. The only passing line was down low and Paul did a good job protecting the inside line until with about 2-3 laps to go he ran wide entering turn 1 and Foxy took a dive to the inside. Contact was made between the two midturn and this resulted in Paul spinning. As the purpose of the meeting was to put on a show and there being little else on it, Foxy waived Paul back in front for the restart and the battle continued. Paul didn't make the same mistake again and protected the inside line to the finish with Foxy coming home 2nd.

Heat 3 we made some pretty extreme changes to the car just to see what would happen on the slick track and they seemed to work pretty good with Foxy comfortably wining the race from grid 6 and Scotty coming home in 2nd.

All in all a meeting that we never planned to attend went pretty well. We went away with little damage (which is always a bonus) and with the added benefit of having learnt a few things. I think it is fair to say that we hope the track isn't as bad as this when we return in two weeks time to defend the Waikato Champs title we won last year (assuming we are invited!!). We have no doubt that given normal circumstances and normal Saturday night conditions the track will return to the drivey surface we enjoyed last season.

This weekend we are back in Auckland for the aborted Demolition Derby meeting from last Saturday. We expect a full field of locals to front and it will make for good racing. Good luck to the guys competing in the BOP Modified champs this weekend and we will await the result with interest.

See ya at the track

Team Fox


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