Contrasting meets 01/12/07-15/12/07
Video Clip Heat 1
Video Clip Heat 2
Heat 3 and we were down
to start from grid 3. 55s Paul Ward was off 2 and there
was a gap on grid 1 as 78a didnt start. Foxy was
able to get alongside Paul Ward at the start and the two
were banging off each other entering the 1st turn. Foxy
came out of this the best and inherited the lead. 56a
Paul Blakeley (from grid 4) then entered into his own
battle with Paul Ward and this resulted in Paul Ward
getting turned around forcing the yellows. 55s was deemed
to be the cause of the stoppage and sent to the rear. The
rest of the race was fairly uneventful with Foxy
comfortably holding off 56a for the win. Thru a
combination of good luck and good driving Brian Jesen in
6a did enough to work his way thru to 3rd from grid 11
and take the title. Foxy took 2nd even after his
disastrous heat 1 debacle and Jacko 71s took 3rd after a
challenging runoff with 56a Paul Blakeley.
Video Clip Heat 3 Part 1
North Island champs.
19 cars finally fronted at Waikaraka on Saturday for the running of the 2007/08 North Island Modified Champs. Being the first big major event for the class this season the drivers were pretty excited. It was disappointing to have a few no shows with 2nz doing all he could to make the big event by towing down to Rotorua on Friday night to get his one run in to qualify. Unfortunately engine gremlins let him down and this resulted in him missing Saturdays event. Another few competitive no shows were 10s, 4s and 5w.
Stratford was well represented even without 2 of their more notable stars with 11s, 55s, 71s, 77s and 121s all fronting. Tama was the sole Wellington entrant and it is disappointing that he continues to be the only Wellington competitor willing to make the effort to support the class at events outside of their home track. Closer to home we had 3 cars front from Rotorua with 15r, 16r and 18r all attending. The remaining 10 cars were all local guys with 1nz, 3nz, 6a, 7a, 18a, 29a, 56a, 78a, 86a and 99a making up the numbers.
With 19 cars fronting there was no need for qualifying so we were straight into the main event of 3 x 20 lap races (front, middle back championship format). The track was a bit of a surprise as when we arrived we could not believe how dry it was. The team looked to have done a good job getting rid of the big ruts that had been evident at the last meeting at the park, but we were concerned that this may result in a slick hard packed race surface. Giving the guys their due the track was pretty good. I cant remember seeing a Waikaraka track as dusty as Saturday nights but there were no ruts and most importantly there was more than one race line you could run.
Heat 1 and Foxy drew grid 19. To be honest we were pretty happy with this draw because we knew being last on the grid there was only one way you could go! After some debate it was decided that the best plan of attack was for Foxy to sit back at the start and let everyone sort themselves out before attempting any risky passing maneuvers, after all the race was 20 laps and we didnt want another disaster like we had in heat 1 of the NZ champs last year.
At the start the inevitable banging and crashing you expect in heat 1 of a championship ensued and Foxy just calmly played about at the back of the pack passing a couple of cars in the process. As expected it didnt take long for the first caution when a coming together of 29a, 6a and 1nz resulted in 1nz hitting the wall ending his race. This incident also ended Brains race in the 6a car as well with a torn right rear. Once the restart order was established Foxy found himself running 12th, this soon became 11th when on the first attempt to restart the race Jacko in 71s lost a front wheel while in the lead. The race was now about 4 laps old and it was on this restart that Foxy was happy enough to start making his way thru the field. After another couple of laps Foxy found himself coming up behind Tama in the 9w car but before he could get close enough to mount a challenge Tamas race (and night) came to an end with mechanical problems forcing him to the infield.
While all this was going on in the pack there was a ding dong battle going on up front with 29a Mark Wade holding the lead and 11s, 121s, 55s. 77s and 56a all dicing it up trying to get past. I was amazed that there was no major incident in this battle as cars were ducking and diving everywhere. Just as Foxy joined this battle 56a Paul Blakeley (grid 8 start) was able to break away from it by getting past Wadey and he quickly pulled away in the lead. The next few laps were nerve racking for us to watch as Foxy ran high and low to try and find his way past this log jam of cars without hanging out of the fence. It seemed to take forever but eventually he was able to get past 11s, 121s, 55s and 29a and get some clear air. He was now 3rd on the track and closing in on 77s Craig Ward. With laps running out Foxy pushed hard to close the gap to Craig and a nice inside pass resulted in Foxy moving into 2nd. With only a lap or two to run at this stage there was no time left to catch Paul and challenge for the lead but we were more than happy with a 2nd placing from our grid 19 start.
After heat 1 the championship had lost 4 of the more favored competitors including the current title holder with 1nz, 6a, 9w and 71s all DNFing.
Video Clip Heat 1
Heat 2 grid 10.
Video Clip Heat 2
Heat 3 grid 1
Video Clip Heat 3
Thanks to Roger and the team from Container
Sales & Leasing for their continued support and it
was great to have them, and Brian from BDC Eng, at the
track on the night. The aim now is to try and replicate
this type of performance at this seasons NZ Champs in
Wellington at the end of January.