Waikaraka Park - Opening night - 31st Oct 2009
What a great crowd!
The new committee at the park has to be commended for a very positive start to the season. Full pits, full programme and more importantly a full house!
Little subtle changes have been enough to give the whole venture a much needed facelift and I must admit I like the new programme format (not a bad front cover either!). Leading up to opening night I think people were a little concerned about how things would go, but excited about getting things underway. There is little doubt that starting the season with the annual fireworks display gets things started in the right direction, you are pretty much guaranteed a large crowd. This proved to be the case once again.
Flicking through the Herald on both Saturday and Sunday it was refreshing to once again see adverts for Waikaraka Park. These have been lacking in the last few years due to cost but it does give the feel that the track is serious about promoting itself to the public. Sundays surprised me the most with an advert for the derby in 2 weeks time being displayed boldly? well done!
8 mods for opening night with 6a, 7a, 11a, 29a, 36a, 56a, 64a and 78a making up the grid. A championship format was used for the night with the prizemoney paid out on total points. Foxy drew grid 2 for the opening race which gave him two grid 6 starts in heats 2 and 3. Results for the night were 1 st heat 1. 2 nd heat 2 and 1 st heat 3. Looking at these you could be forgiven in thinking it was a doddle on the night but to be honest it was far from it. Heading into heat 3 it was still wide open with Foxy only enjoying a 2 point advantage over the Pacific Urethane cars of Brian (6a) and Paul (56a). Both these boys were down to leave in front of us. Knowing that this was the money race the start was pretty frenetic and both Paul and Brian were pushing hard to clear the 36a and 78a machines that started off the front row. Unfortunately things went a bit pear-shaped here when Brian tangled with the 36a car of Crumpie and came off second best, dumping the old girl pretty heavily. This made it a 2 horse race with Paul leading the restart and Foxy running second. Foxy got under Paul at the restart and went on to win with Paul coming home second.
The changes we have made to the car seem to have made a difference but it is early days and we will see over the next few weeks if we are on the right track. Lap times were not overly flash but were comparable to the times being done in last years Dirt Cup. The track was not conducive to fast times and if the club have one area to work on it is the track surface. Nothing has been done about this now for the last few years and it is starting to tell with very little surface making for a very slick race track. With the North Island champs a little more than a month away, the club has some work to do to produce a track with more grip. This will make for better racing.
Thanks to Graham Hughes from www.sportsimages.co.nz for the great photos supplied from Saturday. Check out his great website as there are some really fantastic photos available. This man knows how to use a camera!
Team Fox will be travelling down to Rotorua for this Friday nights opening night as it was a promise we made to Sonja and the team earlier in the year. We are looking forward to getting out and trying their new race surface. Their opening night is promising to be another ripper so if you are in the neighbourhood I suggest you make the effort to support the meeting.
See ya at the track.
Thanks to Graham Hughes from