Rotorua 6th Nov 2009
Rotorua put on a great show for their opening night last Friday night. The fireworks display was impressive to say the least and I should think the massive crowd got more than their monies worth.
The club has spent time adding new material to the track and this has improved the race surface. Rotorua is always a tight track to negotiate and passing opportunities are normally few and far between for the classes who don't have the luxury of a front bumper to use! This is still the case when running with only a few cars, once they get up to speed it is very difficult to make passes. It will be interesting to see if this changes in a couple of week's time, when we venture back down for the BOP champs, as the field will be bolstered by Stratford visitors. A 12-14 car field on this new surface should result in a little more passing for the crowd, let's hope that pans out to be true.
5 cars fronted in the mods, all with an “a” on their car. 6a, 11a, 36a, 56a and 78a. Standard grid draws came in to play with heat 1 having 56a leaving from pole, 36a from 2, 78a from 3, 11a from 4 and 6a from 5. Crumpie in the 36a machine elected to start off the rear instead of his grid 2 designation so that left the 56a machine of Paul Blakeley on the front row by himself. Having the front row to him self seemed to confuse Paul a bit and he ended up starting the race from grid 1-3/4 (I am sure that this had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Foxy was starting from grid 4….. LOL!). Anyway, at the race start the plan worked to a degree and Paul was successful in holding up Foxy, what he didn't expect is that because he was doing all he could to block us he left a massive gap down the inside and the 78a mod of Ray Chatfield gratefully took what was on offer and powered down the inside of Paul into the lead! Don't you hate it when that happens!! Ha!
Heat 2 has us leaving from grid 2 with 78a from 1, 6a from 3, 56a from 4 and 36a from 5. A false start first time up due to a bit of banging eventuated but the boys got away clean second time round. Foxy shot to the lead and Brian quickly moved into 2nd, Ray in the 78a machine had a mechanical problem about ½ way in and stopped on the track bringing out the yellows. Restart order was 11a, 6a, 56a and 36a. Foxy jumped away on the restart and was never challenged, eventually winning the race by a dozen or so car lengths. On returning to the pits we learned that Foxy had broken his own lap record 3 times in this race and eventually lowered the mark by a remarkable ½ a second. The new lap record for the mods is now 14.363 sec. This is a reflection on the improvements made to the track so the club have to be congratulated.
Heat 3 had us leaving from 3, 6a from 1, 36a from 2 and 56a from 4. 78a was out for the night. Not much to report in this race with the times not being as impressive as heat 2. Brian shot out to the lead followed by Foxy and Paul. Crumpie chased hard in 4th. This is also the way they finished.
Night 2 of our season done and dusted and so far from 6 races we have had 3 wins and 3 seconds. Sounds great but we are really looking forward to running in bigger fields so we can start to see how we will go in traffic. At the end of the day this is what will count come champs time.
This Friday we are back at Waikaraka for the Black Friday Biff and Bash meeting (hope that only applies to the stockcars!). It will be interesting to see what sort of crowd fronts as moving around Auckland on a Friday night is a nightmare and may turn some people off attending. Hopefully a reasonable crowd will front.
This is our last “nothing” meeting left until after the NZ champs with all dates after this week having something up for grabs. The first of these meetings is on Saturday 21st Nov when Waikaraka will be running the modified Gold Cup and visitors from Stratford are expected. This meeting could have in excess of 16 quality cars so will be our first real test for the season. The following week we will be back down in Rotorua for the BOP champs and likely racing all the same cars again. We then head to Stratford at this stage for the Taranaki Champs / Ginge Heywood memorial meeting for our 3rd head to head with the Stratty guys in a 3 week period. She is going to be all on!
See you at the track!
Thanks to Graham Hughes from www.sportsimages.co.nz for the Images