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Auckland Modified Champs 2010 - 23rd January 2010

Saturday night had us back at home for our first run since winning the NZ title a fortnight ago. Main event for us for the night was the 30th running of the Auckland Modified Champs. The title was first contested back in the 1980/81 season and the first ever winner was 77a Phil Game. Geoff Ward took 2nd place with Jean Cooke rounding out the top 3. Thanks have to go to Gavin Evitt (aka Pallmall) for supplying this information as the ASSCC records department is severally lacking any records!

A field of 10 locals turned up to contest the title with no out of town cars at all. As mods were not running anywhere else on the night in the North Island this was pretty disappointing. The format for the night was 2 heats (marble and reverse) and then a 15 lap winner take all final race with highest points off the front. As this has been the format at just about every event we have contested this year we were more than familiar with it! There is no doubt that this format reduces the impact that bad luck can have on the final result as compared to the 3 heat format but people do get a bit tired of the same format week in and week out. Thought needs to be given to what formats are used, and when, so as to keep the racing interesting for the drivers and public alike.

With only 10 cars in attendance it was decided that the heat races would only be 8 laps. Foxy drew grid 6 for the first heat which gave us grid 5 for the 2nd heat. We expected the main competition to come from the Pacific Urethane team of 6a Brian Jesen and 56a Paul Blakeley. Paul was down to leave from grid 1 and Brian from grid 4. We knew that getting these guys in heat 1 would go along way to putting us in control of the nights racing as we would be starting in front of them in heat 2.
Foxy got a great start and within the first 2 laps he had passed both Brian and Paul and taken the lead. Foxy extended his lead until the end of the race, winning comfortably.
Heat 2 was messy. Foxy was jammed on the inside of the grid behind the 21a car of Gary Parker for the start. When the flag dropped a massive gap opened up on the inside for the run down to the 1st turn. Foxy couldn't resist, but should have known better, as this line was unlikely to remain open long enough to pass all the cars in front, it didn't! As they all closed in to turn 1 Foxy got squeezed down more and more as the corner beckoned and the result was that he ran up over the poleline in passing the 21a car for the lead. He knew this was not good but he had no where to go with out hitting other cars. He was kicking himself when he came in as he knew he had put himself in a position on the track that limited his options and that he really had not needed to. Most of the faster cars started behind us and we know we have a car that allows us to pass the guys that did start in front of us, cleanly and fairly. Foxy went on to win the race by near on ½ a lap but was expecting on the return to the pits to be relegated. Sure enough the call came to head up to race control and the decision was made that he should be relegated back to 2nd in the results; there were no complaints from us as it was justified.

Even with the relegation in heat 2 we comfortably led the points after the 2 heats giving us lane choice for the title race. Foxy chose grid 2. 21a Gary Parker lined up on grid 1 with 6a Brian Jesen on 3 and 64a Grant Harris on 4. Gary must have been still a tad testy about race 2 because as they were coming around for the race start he started banging into Foxy to try and push him up the track. He then duly went on to jump the start! Lol!! This made the run down into turn 1 tighter than what might have been expected but Foxy still had the speed and line to power into the turn with his nose in front. Coming off turn 2 for the first time he had pulled out a 2-3 car length lead. Foxy then quickly started pulling away. As the race went on Gary started to struggle and Brian was able to pass him for 2nd and even though Brian looked to be carrying more car speed in the later laps than Foxy he ran out of laps and finished about the length of the straight behind Foxy at the end. Gary held on to 3rd.

This was Foxy's 5th Auckland Champs title and continues our purple patch at the moment. Foxy is now the current Taranaki, Waikato and Auckland modified champ.

We are now about 2/3rd's of the way through our race calendar for this season with 11 meetings having been scheduled, 9 meetings successfully run and 2 unfortunate rainouts. So far the season for us has been a successful one with the only blemish being the SNZ official's bulls up at the North Islands which has cost us the opportunity to have a 100% record for titles this season. Outside this one event Foxy has won all the titles that we have contested.

Night 1 Waikaraka, 2 wins (incl feature) and a 2nd. Winner overall points for the night.
Night 2 Rotorua, 1 win and 2 x 2nds. Winner overall points for the night.
Night 3 Waikaraka, 2 wins (incl feature) and a 3rd. Winner overall points for the night.
Night 4 Waikaraka, Gold Cup. 2 wins (incl Gold Cup race) and a 6th. Also won pole shuffle.
Night 5 Rotorua BOP champs. Rained out
Night 6 Stratford, 1 x 5th, 1 x 4th and a 1st. Winner of Taranaki Champs. 3rd Ginge Heywood Memorial from rear of field.
Night 7 Waikaraka, NI title. Enough said!
Night 8 Woodford Glen, Modified shakedown. 2 x wins (including feature) and 2 x 2nds.
Night 9 Woodford Glen, NZ Champs qualifying. Rained out.
Night 10 Woodford Glen, NZ Champs 2 x 1sts (incl title race), 1 x 3rd and 1 x 6th (really finished 3rd but relegated to 6th!)
Night 11 Waikaraka, Auckland champs. 2 x 1sts (incl title race) and 1 x 2nd.

We have to be happy with our seasons work but we still have a few big ones to go. Upcoming events that we will be attending are:

February 13th Waikaraka, club night
February 27th Waikaraka, CSL Containers Modified Super Dirt Cup 30 lap final race! South Island cars confirmed!!
March 13th Waikaraka, Teams Champs. Club night for mods
March 20th Waikato Modified Champs. Foxy going for 3rd Waikato Champs title in a row.
March 27th Waikaraka, John Webster memorial meeting
April 3rd Rotorua, BOP modified champs
April 4th Rotorua Easter Champs
April 10th Waikaraka, King of the Park.

As you can see we still have a lot to race for this season and we are especially looking forward to this years Dirt Cup. Thanks have to go to our sponsor CSL Containers for coming on board to make this event a must see modified spectacular! 20 plus cars are expected with a strong contingent of South Island's best making the trip. Can they stop Foxy from taking Dirt Cup title #6!

See ya at the track

Team Fox



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