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Waikaraka Park - Gold Cup - 21st Nov 2009

One for Molly!

Are we glad last week is over. It started out ok but turned pear-shaped on Wednesday with the news that Foxy's dear old mum Molly had passed away at the ripe old age of 80. When people get to this sort of age it is always sort of expected but when it actually happens it still comes as a bit of a shock.

When we found out what had happened, and realised that the funeral was going to take place on Saturday, I suggested to Foxy that we should pull the pin on racing at the weekend but he seemed determined that he wanted to run. I wasn't so sure it was a good idea but left the final decision to him. I told him if, come race day, he didn't feel up to it then that was fine.

With Foxy being the oldest in the family he had plenty on his plate to get things sorted for the funeral and the boys in the crew jumped in and took the responsibility of getting the car ready to run. The funeral service on Saturday morning was a fine send off for Molly and went without a hitch; some of the stories told explain a few things on how this Fox family lives their lives and how they know how to party! Molly was still a regular at the RSA at the age of 80 while being confined to a wheelchair! How's that for dedication!!

Rest in peace Molly and you will be missed by all that knew you.

Right to the racing. A slightly disappointing field of 13 cars fronted for this years rendition of the Gold Cup. The event has been run using different formats over the last few years and the club this year decided to use the exact format from the Dirt Cup. She was going to be a hard old night! Thanks to the Stratty boys who ventured up to make it a show and although low in numbers, the class on display was evident. The 1nz machine of Jacko fronted as did the 3nz machine of Bunter. Throw in the remaining 2 Terminator team boys of 8s Sean Rice and 121s Stuart Rose and you will see what I mean. All 4 of these guys were on the pace. Thanks also to our loan Huntly visitor, that being 4h Bruce Watt. Bruce seemed to have a few issues early on but he survived to the end of the 25 lapper and should feel pleased to have done so.

Format was simple. Heat 1 marble draw, reversed for heat 2. Top 6 would then have a pole shuffle with the winner having choice of starting position for the 25 lap Gold cup feature race. Foxy wandered off when he was needed to do the marble draw so I stood up to the mark and did it for him. I can never give him a hard time again about how bad he is at pulling a good grid as I pulled grid 14 in a 13 car field!! How bad is that? It was soon sorted and we knew we were off the rear in heat 1.
Heat 1, full grid starting from pole, was 29a, 3nz on grid 2, 64a, 121s, 6a, 4h, 8s, 1nz, 78a, 7a, 36a, 56a and 11a. As expected Bunter in the 3nz rocket jumped out to the early lead and was never threatened. Stuart in the 121s machine quickly moved into 2nd and Brian in the 6a Pacific Urethanes mod was on his bumper until a broken torque arm ended his race. This moved the 64a machine of Grant Harris into 3rd. Back in the pack Foxy had managed to clear the 78a, 7a, 36a and 56a machines and was chasing down Jacko in the 1nz machine. Pole sitter Wadey in the 29a mod was doing enough to hold up the 8s car of Sean Rice and this was hampering both Jacko and Foxy who were trying to find a way thru. Foxy and Jacko swapped positions a few times and it looked like Foxy was going to able to come out on top when we went to the outside of the 8s car exiting pit bend. The plan was to slingshot past both the 8s and 29a cars at the same time. Didn't work! Sean got a little loose off the turn and forced Foxy out to the wall, this left a gap down the inside big enough to drive a bus thru and Jacko gratefully accepted, passing Foxy, Sean and Wadey at the same time. Bugger! This moved Jacko up to 4th. Both Sean and Foxy eventually found a way past Wadey and although Foxy tried a few times to pass Sean, he couldn't make it stick. Finishing order: 3nz (grid 2), 121s (4), 64a (3), 1nz (8), 8s (7), 11a (13), 29a (1), 56a (12). Foxy was the biggest mover. Fastest time set by Brian in the 6a car 15.17 sec.

Heat 2 and we were off grid 1. Paul in the 56a mod was off 2. This would be no easy start with Paul being the pacesetter. 36a was off 3 followed by 7a, 78a, 1nz, 8s, 4h, 6a, 121s, 64a, 3nz and 29a off the rear. Plan was simple, win the race, hope that Paul held on to 2nd and that Bunter finished no better than 6th. For most of the race this looked to be working out, Foxy won the start and streaked away from the field. Paul was comfortable in 2nd and although falling further behind Foxy, he was never threatened by anyone for his spot. Jacko was having his own issues getting thru the field and it seemed he wasn't going to be a factor for the pole shuffle points. All eyes were now on Bunter and Stuart back in the pack, how far up could they get. Lap after lap wound down and it seemed we were safe as both Bunter and Stuart seemed to be stuck too far back to get the points they needed. All this changed with a lap or so to go when Jacko got a flat right rear tyre. I am not sure how he got it as I didn't see what happened but in the resulting ducking and diving Jacko lost a few places and this assisted Bunter and Stuart in getting the points they needed to tie with Foxy after the two qualifying heats. Final places: 11a (1), 56a (2), 8s (7), 6a (9), 121s (10), 3nz (12), 1nz (6), 64a (11). Biggest mover was Bunter in the 3nz car. Fastest lap was Foxy in 14.99 sec (over ½ a second quicker that anyone else)

Once the points were added up we had a 3 way tie for 1st with Foxy, Bunter and Stuart all having 35 points. Next best was the 8s car of Sean Rice on 34 (great result for his first trip to Wacky Park!), Paul held 5th with 32 points and we had 64a and 1nz tied for the last spot with 31 points. A coin toss decided that the 1nz machine would take the spot in the pole shuffle. Foxy, Bunter and Stuart had to draw marbles for the shuffle positions and we have worked out a way for Foxy to get a good draw. Don't draw one at all and take the one left!! Bunter drew first and he drew 2. Stuart therefore had a 50/50 chance of taking 1 but he drew 3.

Shuffle #1: Jacko off 1 and Paul off 2. Pacesetter, being Paul, got the jump and all over. Jacko out.

Shuffle #2: Sean being the higher qualifier chose 2 leaving Paul with 1. Bit of inexperience at the start cost Sean and Paul took the win.

Shuffle #3: Stuart chose 2 again leaving Paul with 1. First attempt no go as contact between two gave a false start. Under way 2nd attempt and this one was a doozy! Stuart jumped to the lead but Paul chased hard. Coming off turn 4 for the run home Paul got under Stuart and the two were neck and neck at the finish line. Win was given to Stuart by a whisker!

Shuffle #4: Bunter on and chose grid 2. Stuart had no answer. Bunter posting a 15.52 sec lap to take it out.

Shuffle #5: Foxy on and chose grid 2. Good clean start and neck and neck down home straight for 1st time. Foxy got his nose in front going into turn 1 and streaked away off turn 2. Bunter had no answer. Foxy wins easily with a fastest lap of 14.89 secs to Bunters 15.48. Over ½ a second quicker and in these cars that is a lot.

Gold Cup 25 lapper. Foxy chose grid 2 as the winner of the shuffle. Bunter left from 1. Balance of grid in order was 121s, 56a, 8s, 1nz, 64a, 6a, 29a, 36a, 4h, 7a and 78a,
Foxy dominated the start and in the first 4 laps was over 1 full second a lap quicker than anyone else (running in the high 14s where as everyone else was in the high 15s). This gave Foxy a massive buffer and he was able to pick his lines with out worrying about what was happening behind him. Bunter was holding down 2nd pretty easily without making ground on Foxy. Paul had a shocker at the start and got engulfed by guys coming thru. He eventually retired with a flat right rear. Brian in the 6a machine was on a mission early on and made some good aggressive moves while Jacko too started to shine. Foxy was into lapping traffic early on given the speed he was travelling and when a yellow did eventuate he had some buffer with lapped cars in between him and the chasers. On every restart he just pulled away again and it was only late in the piece that he lost some momentum trying to find a clean way past Wadey in the 29a machine. This allowed Jacko who had moved his way into 2nd to close the gap on Foxy a bit but once Foxy got past Wadey he started to pull away again.
Final result: 11a, 1nz, 3nz, 121s, 6a, 64a, 8s.

In conclusion a great end to a long emotional day for Foxy and one I am sure he will remember for a while. Foxy was the only guy to get into the 14 second bracket all night and he did it consistently. Things are looking good at the moment with the car and we are sure we have more speed yet once the fine tuning is finished. He would like to thank all the people who passed on their condolences and he appreciated all the support he received on the night from the other drivers and in particular the many fans who came down to see him after the meeting.

In hindsight it ended up being the right decision to run and special thanks to Phil Game from PG Hydraulics for his “inspirational input” all night. With out him getting into Foxy's ear after every race things may have been different. Thanks Phil.

Thanks also to Roger from CSL Containers who came to the party for some new rubber etc for this weekend. If any of you ever need a container then he is your man. Without these guys we would not be running.

This week we are off to Rotorua for the BOP champs. Let's hope the meeting is well supported.

See you at the track!

Team Fox



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