Waikaraka Park - 13th November 2009
Short one this week.
As expected a combination of dicey weather and daunting traffic issues resulted in a smallish crowd fronting on Friday at the park. I would suggest that the trial of running a Friday night was a failure and, outside of big two day meetings, one that will never be repeated.
Numbers in the pits were still pretty good in most classes but the mods themselves only mustered 8 cars, 7 locals and one Huntly car. Thanks to Bruce Watt in the 4h machine for fronting. Locals were 6a, 7a, 11a, 29a, 36a, 56a and 64a. 78a Ray Chatfield was out due to a driveline failure last week in Rotorua. A couple of other guys who have been “next week, next week” guys failed to show once again. Let's hope they make this week!
Again limited prizemoney was on offer so the format agreed to by the drivers was marble draw 1st heat and championship grid draws for the remaining two. 4h elected to run off the rear all night so that left an effective grid of 7. Foxy drew marble 7! Typical!
Heat 1 had Brian in the 6a machine jump to the lead early from his grid 2 start and he was never headed. Foxy slowly moved his way through the field and a great battle with the 56a machine of Paul Blakeley eventuated before Foxy cleared Paul and the pack and gave chase to Grant Harris in the 64a machine who was running 2nd. Foxy caught him with a few laps to go but could not find a safe way past (no point trashing the car on a club night!). Finishing order was 6a, 64a, 11a, 56a.
Heat 2 we were off grid 4 and Foxy made short work of getting to the lead followed quickly by Brian and Paul. Not much to say about this one with Foxy slowly extending his lead until the finish.
Heat 3 and it was our front row start. Foxy led away followed by Paul in the 56a machine and Brian in the 6a car. Not much between the guys in this one with Foxy winning from Paul and Brian. Foxy won the night from Brian, then Paul and Grant Harris in the 64a mod. Foxy also set the fastest times on the night, but not by much.
The meeting ran like clock work and for the first time, in what seems like a lifetime, the mods got a 4th race! When we first started racing 4 races was the norm but as more classes have been added this has been a rare occurrence. As this was just an add on race we agreed to a handicap start in Indian file. Foxy winning for the night left from the rear behind Paul and Brian. I think it was supposed to be Paul, Brian and then Foxy but it doesn't really matter. Brian jumped out early from grid 5 and quickly got to the front (coming off turn 2 I think!). Foxy had another fight with Paul but after making his way past him quickly moved into 2nd from his grid 7 start. By this time Brian was miles up in the distance…. Race over!
This weekend the real racing starts with the Gold Cup being run. At least 6 Stratford mods are expected and we will finally get to run in a reasonable size field with numerous competitive cars. Hopefully numbers will be in the 16-18 range and I believe a format similar to the Dirt Cup will be the used. The Gold Cup itself will be on the 20 lap final race. This may change yet and it is not official but this is what we have been told is the likely format. We now have 7 big meets in a row culminating in the NZ champs in Christchurch, it is the important time of the season to get some momentum going and we will be giving it heaps!
See you at the park!