Season #28 preview ... 31st August 2013
That’s right folks; the 2013/14 season will be Foxy’s 28th season racing a modified! Time sure fly’s when you are having fun!!
Last years dramas have been put behind us and we are concentrating on the season ahead and the challenges this will being. Like last season we will be campaigning a limited schedule this coming season and focusing pretty much on the main events only. This strategy worked last year with Foxy picking up 7 titles out of the 9 title events we contested, include a 2nd placing at the NZGP and it can’t be viewed in any other way than a successful plan to try and emulate.
There is no doubt that this seasons biggest challenge will be the NZ title in Christchurch early January. The South Island mod boys are all fizzing at the bung at the moment and the mod class is going through something of a revival down there. Rumor’s abound of no fewer than 6 new cars being built / prepared down in the shaky city including their #1 man fronting a brand new state of the art Lovelady machine (couple this with a brand new American built power plant) and no one would disagree that Luke will start as the hottest of favorites for this seasons title. Time will tell if the machinery updates for the other guys will inch them closer to running with Luke week in and week out or Luke will just dominate again like he did last season at home. The decision to run with a brand new chassis / engine combination is an interesting one. Sometimes it can take time to get the real benefits of the change but the confidence around John’s know how and Greg’s experience should see Luke get the best out of the new gear pretty quickly,
By all accounts the club hasn’t invested much time and effort into the track in the off season and, all things being equal, conditions should be similar to what they were last season at the Invasion. This could make life very interesting with passing extremely difficult, time will tell.
Team Fox are approaching things a little differently than these guys down South. We are sticking with what we have. Foxy has made some alterations to the body and the Anglia has had a bit of a modern facelift! We are replacing some tired running gear like wings, front suspension, shocks etc and pretty much just giving everything a bit of a birthday. Fine tuning is our mantra, not radical change. We were happy for the most part of last season on how we were running and feel pretty comfortable we can get the old girl back to fighting it out at the pointy end of the field this season as well.
We have 14 meetings penciled in for this season and our season will start on October 19th in Huntly. Foxy want’s to support their 25th Anniversary meeting and who am I to argue. Let’s hope the weather plays the game this early in the piece. Night 2 for Team Fox will be at Waikaraka on November 2nd (assuming mods are on the program). This is fireworks night and always draws a great crowd.
Night 3 for us will be our first title event for the season and is back in Huntly on November 30th for the Waikato Champs. Foxy in the defending champion and will be going for 5 in a row (although the title hasn’t run for a couple of years). We are looking forward to getting back to the Waikato to see if a very rare 5 peat can be achieved. Next up is one of our favorites for the season and one that rated up there for one of the most enjoyable runs last season. I am of course talking about the Baypark Modified Champs on December 14th at Baypark. Last year no one who was there will forget the final race where Foxy and Scotty went wheel to wheel for all but the last 2 laps when Foxy was able to eek out a narrow win. This is a true modified track where there is no where to hide and the guys absolutely love it. This will be the third year the mods have been invited with Foxy winning the first two events. 3 in a row would be nice!
Night 5 and 6 is the big one for the year, the NZ champs in Christchurch on January 3rd and 4th. We will head down with the aim being to concentrate on our own performance and not worry to much about what others will be doing. This worked out for us the last time the title was held in Christchurch when Foxy was able to dominate the event. We still have the same car and arguably a better engine package so we see no reason why we won’t be there or thereabouts this season if we get our fair share of luck on the night. The format is the 3 x 20 lap championship races so luck will play a bigger part than the 1 race final format over a longer distance. This may act as the evener for the event, get your lucky break in the heat with the expected carnage and you will be hard to catch. Quite often the guy who wins in this format didn’t necessarily pass the most cars on the track, that is just the way it is.
Night 7 sees us in Rotovegas for the first time in season 2013/14 to compete in the Bay of Plenty Modified Champs on January 18th. Once again we will be attempting a 3 peat for this title as the 2 x defending champion.
After a month off we are back at Waikaraka on February 22nd for the 2014 running of the prestigious Dirt Cup. After 3 years of sponsoring the event we are looking forward to the opportunity to just concentrate on the racing and hopefully winning someone else’s money!! Foxy has an enviable record in this event and will be going for an unprecedented 7 Dirt Cup titles. Early word has it that a fair few Christchurch registered competitors are keen to head up and give this event a shot so if this ends up being correct it will make it no walk in the park! This meeting still ranks in most mod guys books as 2nd only to the NZ title as the one they would like most to win and this is obvious when you look at the class of the field that normally enters. Last year more guys entered this event than the NZ title itself! This will be one of our top priority meetings for the season.
This brings us to night 9 of our season and this will be the Auckland Modified Champs at Waikaraka on March 8th. Foxy is defending champion and will be going for Auckland Champ title #8. Another impressive record and one we want to continue to improve on.
Night 10 will be the NZGP meeting at Rotorua on March 22nd. This will be the first of a hard 2 weeks with the North Island title the week after at Waikaraka. At the moment the GP is down for 2 nights on March 21st and 22nd but if previous years are anything to go by I expect it to be a 1 night deal only. If it isn’t then we will end up doing 15 meetings for the season not 14! At last years NZGP we got shown up a little by Luke at Wellington. An easy run through the earlier heats had us feeling pretty relaxed heading into the 1 race final with a front row start and Luke back in 6th. Complacency is not something we normally are guilty of but in this instance we were. The result was that Luke was able to slip past us and control the race. We should never have given him the opportunity and all endeavors will be made to make sure this does not happen again. Finishing 2nd is no disgrace but if you finish 2nd because of your own mistake then this is never a nice feeling. We look forward to trying to reclaim the NZGP crown, that we held in season 2011/12, in March.
As mentioned above our next meeting will be the North Island title at Waikaraka on March 29th. Foxy is the defending champion and will be going for title number 5. If we achieve this then we tie Murray Gordges all time record for North Island title wins. Plenty to play for in this one.
This brings us to meetings #12 and 13. This is the Easter Champs weekend at Rotorua on April 19th and 20th. This is pretty late in the season for Rotorua and the weather may be a bit of a lottery so we hope this won’t be an issue this coming season. Last year we were in Christchurch and missed this normal Easter ritual so we are looking forward to once again supporting one of the best Easter meetings around. Sonja and her team always put on a great event and make sure we have a good time. We expect nothing less this season.
This leaves us with one more run for the season and this is back at Waikaraka on April 26th weather permitting. The event is the King of the Park meeting and is the last hooray for the season. We have a pretty good record in this event as well and will head into it as defending champion.
So there you have it folks, a run down of where, and when, we will be running. For ease I have listed them all down below and we look forward to catching up at one of the venues listed in the coming months.
Let’s get it on!!