Not pretty but we will take it.
This weekend we were back at Waikaraka for the NZGP meeting. After the disappointment of last weeks Dirt Cup we really wanted to have a good run and get some sort of result for the form we have shown the last few weeks.
Last weeks issue was confirmed as a crown wheel and pinion issue in the diff. The issue being a few broken teeth! I wouldn’t call them missing teeth as they were all sitting in the bottom of the diff, they just weren’t where they were supposed to be!! The quickest fix to get back on the track again was to just buy a brand new diff and this would allow us time to fix the old one as a spare for next season. A big thanks to Brian from BDC Engineering who dipped into his pocket and helped us fund the new diff, cheers mate.
The forecast for Saturday was crap all week and for once the weather people were right! A back up plan was decided on early in the week with a 2pm Sunday start confirmed as the rain out date. As we all now know Saturday was a wash out and Sunday became race day.
With Harrisville running their sprintcar meeting we lost 2 of the Stratty boys from the entry list leaving us with a disappointing field of only 12 starters (4 from Stratty and 8 locals). Guys who fronted were 1nz, 4s, 6a, 8s, 11a, 17a, 19a, 22a, 29a, 31s, 36a and 81a. Format was your standard championship format of 3 heats, front/middle/back starts. To be honest we were lucky the field was so small given the track conditions. There was enough drama and carnage with 12 cars so I hate to think what would have happened if we had more.
The track at Waikaraka has been magic since Christmas offering plenty of drive and passing lanes. Sunday we paid the price of having a good track as the rain that fell on Saturday played havoc and created what can only be described as a mess come Sunday. When you have a track with plenty of surface this is the risk you take when you get too much rain. The track was rough and pretty dangerous. Try an outside pass at your peril because the risk of hanging out of the fence was real and extremely likely. On any normal day this meeting probably should never have gone ahead but I think the promoter and the club made the right call in proceeding, there simply are no more dates available that could have been used if it was rescheduled.
My report on the racing is short and sweet with no blow by blow breakdown. Foxy drew grid 11 for race 1 which gave him grid 5 for heat 2 and grid 3 for the last. He finished with a 6th, 1st and 3rd placing and this gave him a total of 29 points. We expected his main opposition on the day to come from Bunter in the 1nz machine and Dicko in the 4s, both these guys were in effect out of the running after the 2nd heat. Heading into heat 3 Foxy was tied on points with Scotty in the 19a rocket ship and Brian Jesen in the 6a mod. Brian was down to leave from the rear and Scotty was down to leave on the outside of us on grid 4. Foxy thought that as long as he beat Scotty home he would win the title. What he didn’t know is that Sean Rice in the 8s car was only 2 points behind him and leaving from grid 2. At the start Foxy got the advantage over Scotty and given the track conditions etc Foxy proceeded to drive a risk free race, happy just to keep Scotty behind him. Problem was he was only running 3rd on the track and Ricey was leading! We knew in the pits he had to pass the 22a car of Glen Lloyd to win the title outright but it was pretty obvious he didn’t! To say he was gutted when I told him he had to have a runoff for the title when he came back to the pits is an understatement!
A quick fuel up was done and out they went for the runoff with Foxy winning the toss and picking to start from grid 2. Foxy duly won the start and led from start to finish taking out the only major title that up to now had eluded him, his first NZGP title. We have waited 26 years for it but at least we now have the clean sweep. It is hard to get too excited about the result given the lack of entries and the lottery nature of the racing surface. We were no better than anyone else on the day and no worse. The track dictated the result to some degree and the racing was hardly impressive but as they say “a win is a win” so we will take it. Given the bad luck we have had this season it was nice for the cards to fall our way for a change.
Congrats to 8s Sean Rice for taking 2nd and 19a Scotty Lane for holding down 3rd.
This weekend we have the much anticipated meeting at Baypark. This is only the 2nd time the mods have been invited for a skid at the stadium with the first attempt being a rain out the first year it opened. We have been waiting to get a chance ever since. Let’s hope the weather plays its part and we finally get to give it a go down there. We hope to get about 16 cars to front so given the size of the track it will look a bit silly I suppose but if the guys put on a good show it should make up for it.
See you at the Mount!