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Off and running.

Hi folks and welcome to another season of Team Fox mutterings.

A big thanks in advance to our fantastic loyal sponsors. Roger at CSL Containers and Brian at BDC Engineering have jumped on board again for another season and we are extremely grateful for their continued support. Fastening Solutions are also in for another year but given I own the company that is really of no surprise!

This year we are back to a full season timetable. Unlike the last 2 seasons when we ran abbreviated schedules, we intend to run at most meetings this year with our focus being at our home track of Waikaraka. Throw in defenses of our Waikato Champs and North Island titles along with Easter at Rotovegas and you pretty much have our schedule for the year.

We are very lucky in that this season a large number of the major events are being held at home and January promises to be very busy with both the NZ title and Dirt Cup running on consecutive weekends. Throw in the Auckland champs the week before the NZ title as well and you can see we have a busy time of it!

Biggest disappointment for this year's calendar has to be the disappearance of the annual Mod meeting at Baypark. With the change of promoter down there it looks like the push for them is on the 6 shooter class which is unfortunate but given they have a big sprintcar base it doesn't really surprise. The mod boys will miss their annual skid at the mount but I am sure we will survive.

North Island title takes us to Wellington in Feb and we are due a change of luck down there. Foxy will be aiming to win his third North Island title in a row and title number 6 in total to become the sole holder of the most wins in this event, a record he currently shares with Murray Gordge at 5. This will be a hard title to win.

After last year's disappointment at the NZ title, and to a lesser extent the Dirt Cup due to mechanical failure, we are keen to really give both these events a decent nudge this season. This is highly likely to be our last chance of winning the NZ title at home. Foxy has never managed to do it and it would go a long way to cap off a hell of a career if he could take NZ title #4 at Waikaraka. Dirt cup win #7 also has a nice ring to it as well! Fingers crossed the weather plays the game and both events are well supported.

No NZGP for us this season, simply to hard to justify the travel expense and time away from work etc for the crew to head down to Greymouth. Hopefully we get another shot at a GP title sometime in the future before we hang up the helmet for good.

Numbers wise the Auckland mods look to be bouncing back a bit this season with older guys coming back and even some new blood. All up approx 18 cars have indicated they will / should be out this season and they are as follows:

6a Brian Jesen (ran opening night)
7a Ron Drake
8a Kevin Shannon (new car out before Xmas)
9a Bryce McCall (brand new car a few weeks away)
17a Nathan Robertson
19a Scotty Lane (brand new car)
21a Gary Parker
22a Glen Lloyd
27a David Bell
36a Phil Crump (hopefully out this weekend)
64a Grant Harris
78a Ray Chatfield (ran opening night)
89a Luke Brown (new boy, hopefully out this weekend)
92a Troy Vander Voorn (hopefully out this weekend)
97a Rick MacKay (out at Xmas)
99a Foxy (ran opening night)
105a Graham Webber (car ran opening night)
119a Brad Lane (new boy, new car, ran opening night)

Throw in young PJ Fergusson #18r who hopes to be ready for this weekend and that totals 19 cars if they all fronted. To be honest I think we would be pretty happy if we could muster about 12 cars for club nights for a start! Hopefully at this weekends Fireworks meeting we will have about 10 ready to go. These guys all want to run at the NZ title so they need to be out sooner rather than later if that is their intention.

Signs are good for the biggest NZ modified title ever to contest the title this season if most of these Auckland guys front. We expect a strong number to head up from Stratty, a handful to venture up from Wellington and the strongest ever contingent to cross the ditch from the South Island . Given they currently have the #1, #2 and #3 cars in the country they will be hard to repel come January. All things being equal we could have approx 40 starters come January 24 th .

This leads us nicely to Foxy. This year we are running under our old race number of 99a. Foxy ran this number when he raced for Des Clark and was the number he had on Des's car when he won his first NZ title. Des passed away during the off season and as a mark of respect for what Des and the Clark family have done to get Foxy to where he is now in his racing career we thought it would be a nice touch to run under 99a. Des's son Brian is still a major sponsor of the team and it seems right for this season.

Up until the last week or so we were not sure if we would actually be running at the start of the season. A few weeks back Foxy broke his right hand and had it in a cast up until about 10 days ago. The hand is not 100% and still on the mend which makes driving both difficult and painful but he is determined to carry on and although he was very sore after racing on opening night last Saturday he got through. After a cold beer or two the pain soon dispersed! We hope we do not get rough tracks for a while as that may complicate matters but at the moment we seem to be ok. There is no way he is going to agree to sit on the sidelines so one way or the other he will be behind the wheel.

Our next meeting is this weekend at Waikaraka's annual Fireworks event. I expect a huge crowd as always and we are looking at having reasonable mod numbers so hopefully the weather stays good and we get the meeting in. The week after we have a break and then we may be back at Waikaraka on Nov 15 th for a clubnight (TBC) before another week off and then we head down SH1 to Huntly on November 29 th to try for Waikato Champs title # 6 in a row!

See you at the track!

 

 

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