Long way to go for a beer!
Saturday had us making the long haul down to Stratford for the 2nd running of the King of the Mountain modified title. Our original plan was to pull the pin after Rotorua at Easter but the boys in Stratty have been fantastic this year in supporting our Auckland events and we felt that the least we could do was to make the trip down to support theirs. We were supported in waving the blue and white flag by fellow Aucklanders Mark Wade in the 29a mod and Paul Blakeley in the 56a machine, thanks guys.
The weather was never going to be an issue with this event as the sun shone all day without a cloud in the sky. This did however result in a very cold night! Considering how cold it was, the crowd size was pretty reasonable I thought.
The 3 Auckland cars supported the 8 local boys, being 4s, 5s, 8s, 10s, 12s, 55s, 67s and 71s. This made 11 cars for heat 1. Format was your standard championship griddraw with front, middle, back starting positions. Foxy drew grid 6 for heat 1. We were really looking forward to the meeting as the new surface laid a few months back looked like it would offer more drive than what has been available for many a year at Stratty and this would mean more passing opportunities.
Well, things did not go to plan and the night ended for us after about only 2-3 laps in the first heat. Foxy got a great start and after a little battle with Jacko and Bunter, Foxy was able to break clear and start passing cars. Exiting turn 2 Foxy went to the outside to make a pass on the 29a machine of 29a Mark Wade for 3rd, Wadey got a tad tail happy and Foxy rode a wheel attempting the pass. The result wasn't pretty with Foxy slamming into the wall severally damaging the front end and smashing the Jacobs ladder. Without knowing the extent of the damage Foxy tried to continue but it was soon obvious that all was not right, with the diff floating from side to side the car was a handful, and he became a chicane to everyone else on the track. He made the decision to pull infield. On returning to the pits we quickly set about throwing a new front end into the car with the full intention of heading back out for race 2. On completion of fixing the front end damage we moved to the back to replace the Jacobs ladder and this is where the damage we found finished the night. Not only had we smashed the Jacobs ladder, we had also smashed out the lug on the chassis that holds the ladder. With the title being decided over 3 heats we decided it was not worth doing welding repairs to the car to micky something up to get back out when we had no chance of taking the title. If we had, and the repair had not worked, we may have got more damage and it was simply not worth the risk.
Although disappointed at the time we can't really complain as this was the first time all season we have had any damage at all. We have been extremely lucky all year and although we would have liked to finish our season on a high, it wasn't meant to be.
Congrats to Jacko, Sean Rice and Dicko for their placings on the night and we look forward to getting back into it again with these guys next season. Thanks for making us feel welcome (and the free beers Jacko!), hopefully next year we can make you work a bit harder for your wins!
That is it for us for the season and we would like to thank all our sponsors who have assisted us in making this year a successful one for the team. Roger at CSL Containers has bent over backwards in helping us this year and we were wrapped to be able to reward him for his perseverance over the years with winning the 1nz tag back. Brian at BDC Engineering is another guy who has been with us forever through the good runs and the bad, thanks Brian. Big thanks to Robbie at STL Linehaul for getting the car down to Christchurch this year, without him helping us out we most likely would not have gone down so thanks mate it is greatly appreciated.
Other guys to help this year in various ways have been Roger Nees from Racing.org.nz, Phil Game from PG Hydraulics, Ron Salter from Salter's Cartage, Clint from Headcase Designs and most importantly Tony Marsh from Marsh Motorsports for a very strong engine! Thanks to all you guys.
To all our supporters, especially Big Kev and Allison, thanks for the support both here at home and away, it really does help lift the performance on the night and winning the events we have this year is as much down to you guys and girls as to anyone else. To the crew, Berg, Bandsaw and Needle, thanks guys awesome effort this season and let's look forward to an even better one next season! To the WAGS thanks for letting the boys have their fun and putting up with their bad moods when things aren't going well!
Well that's it for me for this season to folks, thanks for taking the time to read our reviews. Expect the next update in September/October when we have something to report. We have a busy off season rebuild to get underway and we have some exciting combination changes to decide on to try and make the 1nz modified even more competitive than what it currently is. Who knows, we may even have to think about trying the diesel option! LOL!
See you in the summer!