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Season Preview. 2012/2013

Hi Folks,

Here we are about 1 month out from first practice and enthusiasm for the season is still somewhat lacking. By now we would normally be hanging out for a skid but not so this year, maybe 26 consecutive years of racing is starting to catch up on us motivation wise.
The car rebuild is well in hand, would be hard not to be given we are not really doing anything! Only issue for us this off season has been the engine. On stripping it down for our annual freshen up we realised that the wear in the bore was now such that once the block was tidied up we would have an engine that would be oversize. This wasn’t a total surprise to us as we knew last season we were getting close but we chose to save some money and go around again with a slightly tired engine that lacked a little performance without taking any reliability risks.
Rules state that the engine must be a max of 407.5 cubic inches. We figured out that if we rebuilt the engine this season with what we had we would be 407.6! This 0.1 cubic inch is a very costly 0.1 cubic inch!
Some discussions ensued with Tony Marsh from Marsh Motorsport and we were given 2 options. The first was buying a new block and bore it out to take all our existing internal parts that are fine. This would give us exactly what we had. We decided against this option because it seemed stupid to buy a brand new mega thousand dollar block and then hone it out right to the limit again to take our components, doing this would not give us any scope for extra rebuilds in the years ahead.
Option 2 was a little more attractive; take the opportunity to try something different. Technology has moved on in the last few years and Tony had some ideas about putting something together that we hope will be a step forward from what we had. This is the option we have taken; we have kept out engine block and changed the internal components to pull us well back under the 407.5 cubic inch limit. This has had the added benefit of increasing both the horsepower and the torque of the engine. Time will tell if the torque curve is in the right place to get the real benefits.

We have done some hard talking the last few weeks and we have realised that we simply can’t justify the time and money to run a full season of racing like we have always done. Last year we ran at 20 meetings and it took its toll on the wallet and the families. We have decided to get some better balance in play between racing and other interests that we hope will re-boot some enthusiasm for the sport when we do run, to this end we have decided to limit our runs this year to about 12 shows. We hope by doing this it will extend our involvement in the sport for a few more seasons.
Most of the shows we intend to run have been decided and they include the majority of the main events, these are in chronological order:

November 24th Rotorua BOP Champs
December 15th Baypark Tauranga Champs
December 27th Rotorua North Island Champs
December 28th Rotorua North Island Champs
January 11th Stratford NZ Champs
January 12th Stratford NZ Champs
January 19th Waikaraka Dirt Cup
February 2nd Wellington NZGP

This is 8 of the meetings we have chosen and it leaves 4 more to be added. At this stage we are undecided about Whangarei on December 22nd prior to Christmas and we will make a call on the meetings after the NZGP nearer the time. One meeting we have had to decline is the return visit to Palmerston North to try and defend our Manawatu title we won last season. This meeting has been scheduled to run on the finals night of the teams champs in February but we have exhausted all avenues in trying to get the accommodation we need for the team so have made the regrettable early call to pull the pin on this one. We always like to try and defend the titles we currently hold but sometimes the stars simply don’t line up.

As you can see from our proposed dates above it results in us running very few meetings at home this season. It is likely we do no more than 2-3 meetings at Waikaraka, the Dirt Cup is locked in and we will try to defend our Auckland Mod Champ title assuming a date is confirmed that allows us to front. Our third and only other meeting at Waikaraka will likely be pre Xmas if the mods are scheduled so we can get a shakedown run with the new engine. Hopefully the remaining Auckland mods step up and put on some great racing. Without Foxy there dominating proceedings it should mean that the racing will be competitive and this will result in the wins being spread around a bit more which will do the confidence of the other drivers a lot of good. The Auckland mod class needs to get accustomed to not having the 11a mod around.

That’s about it for now so we will see you around the traps come race time.

Team Fox



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