Tuesday, January 03, 2006

NYE Modified GP

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NYE is a strange time to hold a meeting in my opinion but as the meeting was supposed to be a quickfire one with a fireworks display which I intended on missing so I could go out after the meeting I thought I'd check it out.

The 'Grand Prix' in most classes seems to have lost some of it's lustre over the last few seasons and the Modified version proved this with a mere 14 cars entered. The programme ambitiously had 32 drivers listed but I think that may have been wishful thinking. In fact the field was almost the same as the previous meeting on Dec 27 which gave it a bit of an 'Auckland club night' feel to it, which was a bit disappointing. I'm taking nothing away from the drivers who were there and as it turned out the racing was top notch and quite dramatic if you included the 1NZ rollover, but with 10 Auckland cars, 1 Huntly and 3 Rotorua drivers it was never going to be a true Grand Prix meeting.

I really think the time has come for SNZ to address the problems with Clubs scheduling these meetings to suit themselves. The NZ, North, South and GP titles, the 'Big Four' should all be run on static dates every season so that there is no overlapping or poor scheduling and so competitors know that the NZ title is the first Fri/Sat in February every season for instance. I dont know how workable this is but it's got to be better than holding a GP on NYE? I don't want to take away anything from Allan Haigh's win but had he beaten the field of drivers listed in the programme that would have been something special to remember I'm sure. Two drivers I noticed who seemed to step up a level for this meeting were 66a Chris Picknell and 22r Glen Lloyd who both were super competitive at various stages.

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Looking at the programme and the previous winners in this title Jamie Fox must be wondering what he has to do to win with yet another 2nd this time round missing the title by three points and previous finishes in 2004 3rd, 2003 2nd, 2001 3rd, 1999 2nd and 1996 3rd! Still that's an awesome record of podium finishes any driver would be proud of.

As for the rest of the meeting, the saloons were contesting their TelstraClear DHL Series and managed to put in some hits the stockie boys would be proud off. 48m Phil Towgood won this particular round.

The stockcars were entertaining although understandably down in numbers with 441a Andrew Weir providing most of the entertainment as he had no intention of racing for any flags. 99a Grant Littlewood picked up most of the wins.

As I mentioned I didn't hang around for the fireworks and the meeting was running later than I had expected but I still managed to make it to my next destination at 11.40pm with a whole 20 mins to get ready for the big countdown.

Meeting rating: 4/10

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