Clubbing can be fun!
Saturday had Team Fox at Waikaraka for a club night. Nothing on offer for the mods apart from season points but a great opportunity to try a few things before a run of title events in the coming weeks.
11 mods fronted with 9 locals and 2 visitors. Thanks to Kevin Shannon in 81h and Jason Kalin in the 12s mods for fronting and bumping up the numbers on the night. Auckland mods to front were 3nz, 19a (Bradley), 21a, 25a, 29a, 33a, 36a, 56a and 64a. Format was marbledraw heat 1 and front/middle/back starts. Foxy drew grid 6 for heat 1 which gave us grid 1 heat 2 and grid 11 in the feature.
The track at Waikaraka at the moment is challenging, there is a smooth poleline but by far and away the quickest way around is the highline. The problem with this is that although it is fast, it is very rough and there are many ruts and ridges. Hit one at the wrong time and boy can it get messy! It seemed on Saturday night that none of the other guys running, apart from Foxy, were prepared to take the risk of running this highline and this gave Foxy a clear run in most races. There is no doubt that if you intend to run out wide you need to set your car up a lot differently to what you would if you intended to run the poleline so it can be a gamble. On Saturday we got it right and got the rewards.
To be honest it all looked too easy but I can tell you it was far from it! Heat 1 had Foxy running the highline and hitting the front on lap 1 from his grid 6 start. Being a 12 lap race gave others plenty of time to get to the front but no one really had the car speed to catch Foxy let alone pass him. By the time of the first caution Foxy was over half a lap in front and even the cautions didn't help the other guys keep up. As soon as the race went green again Foxy just pulled away leaving the rest to fight over the minor placings.
Heat 2 was more of the same, after a bit of biff and bash at the start of the race Foxy headed into the first turn in front and race over. Once again he just slowly pulled away from the field and was soon into lapping the backmarkers. Again a couple of yellows closed the field back up but it made no difference. 2 from 2 for the night.
Heat 3 was always going to be the biggest ask. By now the track was pretty worn out and we were off the rear of the field. With Grant Harris in the 64a machine leaving from 1, we thought we would be racing for 2nd. Far from it!! Foxy was on a mission and he started carving his way through the field. About 4-5 laps in he caught up to 33a and 21a who were dicing it up for 2nd and 3rd. Foxy entered the battle running the highline and after a couple of close calls he simply drove around the outside of both of them through cemetery bend in one go. From where we were watching it looked a rather risky move and with a cloud of bust being kicked up it wasn't until we saw the 3nz mod exiting turn 2 in front that we knew it had worked. Once clear of these two, Foxy set his sights on the 64a mod who was leading; once again Foxy just went to the highline and simply just drove around the outside through turns 3 and 4. Once in the front he was gone and if not for some late cautions he would have lapped most of the field based on the difference in the laptimes between him and the rest. This was a 15 lap race and the pace we were carrying throughout the race was impressive, even a slowly deflating right rear tyre didn't slow him down and this bodes extremely well for the meetings ahead.
We really seem to have finally got the car sorted and we go back to the 3rd qualifying race at the NZ's for the turning point. Before then the car looked average at best but our 3rd heat, and the 20 lap final of the NZ title, were where we really noticed a change in the car performance. Since then we have shown solid performance in a 19 car field in Stratford coming out on top and now impressive speed at Waikaraka, sure some of the faster cars were not there but what is important is the car speed and the laptimes laid down on Saturday were pretty impressive given the track conditions. We can't wait to see how we go from here!
We now have a week off before heading to Huntly on March 5th to try and defend our Waikato Champs title. Foxy has won this title the last 3 years in a row and we are going for 4! I am not sure that this has been done before but we will be giving it our best shot. At the time of writing this there were 14 cars confirmed for the event with Foxy being joined by 67s Bunter Pierce and 4s Mark Dixon as the boys to watch. This will be no cake walk and it is good to see that the caliber of the field will make this a meeting not to be missed.
March 12th will see us back at Waikaraka for night 2 of the Teams Nationals. The Auckland Modified Champs have been added to the program as support. Foxy is also the current Auckland champ after winning his 5th title last season so we are going for title #6. Once again our Stratty boys have stepped up to support this event and so far we have 18 mods with the following guys confirming they will be starters: 3nz, 4s, 6a, 7a, 12s, 18a, 19a, 21a, 25a, 29a, 33a, 36a, 55s, 56a, 64a, 67s, 81h and 226s. We are still waiting to hear back from a couple of others as well so 20-22 mods could be on the starting grid. This will be no easy Auckland title to win!
March 26th is the big one for the Modified class with the rescheduled Dirt Cup down to run. The change of date has buggered us up with getting some of the South Island boys back due to a congested calendar but we have 1 guy confirmed and we hope to get 26-27 mods on the track for this big event. Superstock numbers are also looking good for the Olly Browne Memorial to be run on the same night. We are aiming for no fewer than 30 so fingers crossed this eventuates. Remember folks this is a night where we have 4 events for 4 classes. Each class will have a minimum of 4 races. Minisprints and Streetstocks will be the other classes running for titles so an action packed program is guaranteed, only problem will be when do you go to get your hotdog as you won't want to miss anything!
See you at Huntly on March 5th where we try for 4 in a row!