Tuesday, March 21, 2006


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This car was for sale a few seasons ago and then disappeared. I've no idea who's got it now, but it was run by Nick Valance as 19m out of Baypark and was usually involved in all the trouble.

Any info appreciated.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Auckland Superstock Teams 2006

Who would be mad enough to volunteer to compile the printed programme for the Auckland Teams Nationals each season? What a nightmare job! Who knows what teams will appear and unlike the Palmerston North event, it's not unusual for teams to pull out at the last minute. It seems to me that every year it gets harder and harder to organise this meeting and eventually it will go the way of most other teams events and the plug will be pulled.

Walking around the pits on the friday night it was still not obvious who the teams were, and even during the racing it was hard at times to make out some of the teams as the commentary and sound system at WP were both at their worst and cars didn't have much in the way of track letters or matching bodies or even an identifying flag. If people like me are struggling, what chance does Joe Public have of knowing what the hell is going on? The crowd for the Friday night was smaller than I had expected although there was a much bigger crowd for the finals.

After a delayed start, the very first race between Kihikihi (with only three cars) and the Palmerston North Panthers would provide a shock upset and immediately all the pre-meeting rubbish is forgotten, this is the reason we turn up religiously for Superstock teams racing!

I wont go into a blow by blow account of each race but I will mention the eight teams that turned up and a few other thoughts about the meeting.

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8th Place
North Island Invitation

A mix of brave Auckland Stockcars and Rotorua Superstocks thrown in for good measure. For the record they were 9r Anthony Brown, 37a Jonathon Lauder, 74a Craig Chatfield, 68r Peter Fleming and 166r Bryce Steiner. As expected they lacked cohesion but were appreciated for volunteering for a pretty thankless task making up the numbers. 9r was the standout for this team as their runner in most racers.

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7th Place
Hawkes Bay Hawkeyes

The team lacked a big hitter and 33b Nigel Cooper seemed hesitant in the running role. I've always loved the Musgrove car but something about this car just doesn't suit teams racing. It rarely finishes a race with all it's wheels and seems to falter when involved in the big hits. The team was definitely an underperformer. 31b Jason O'Brien was the standout for this team, giving his all no matter how damaged the car.

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6th Place
Waikato Wanderers

Defending champs they were, but this must have been a disappointing result for a team that on paper showed lots of promise. Just didnt seem to fire, and car reliability put paid to their hopes. 23h Ashton was on the receiving end of a 'Hammond special' but got his own back when Hammond ground to a halt later in the race. Waikato always guarantee you a spectacular race but the cowbells were keep fairly quiet this weekend.

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5th Place
Auckland Allstars

Prior to the meeting, the hosts couldn't name a team apart from Warwick Ansty. Then they have 43p Darryl Hammond as a ring in while six other Auckland registered cars appeared in other teams? Anyway, they actually performed pretty well and after night one looked a possible contender for the title. 73a Marx and 5a Ansty were the standouts although whenever this combination race I cant help but watch Hammond, you just know he's going to be in the thick of the action.

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4th Place
Kihikihi Kings

From their very first race they had the crowd behind them, and with a sublime move from 28k Mytton to stop three Panthers in their tracks to score the upset victory over Palmy they entertained for the whole two nights. Car reliability was a problem but to finish 3rd (on the night, protested back to 4th) they can be suitably proud. Their arrival on the national teams racing scene has been spectacular to say the least.

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3rd Place
Wanganui Warriors

Now this basically was an Auckland B team! I think they originally started out as Stratford but with Aucklander Rick Campbell in the team and registered to Wanganui someone must have decided that 'V' they would be. Campbell actually performed better than I've seen him drive in years and with the support of 36a Ricky Mitchell the team was actually a real chance of winning. No obvious markings on the cars made it hard in some races to identify them as a team and relying on the commentary to identify them was pointless but for the record the team was 17v, 36a, 99a Mark Decke, 5a Scott Fredrickson in Brad Ridland's car and 71a Dean Mulholland...I think!

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2nd Place
Rotorua Rebels

Easily the best presented and up until the final the obvious choice to win. In fact 66r Steve Hampton had basically gone through every race as their runner with barely a scratch. A polished performance but something was lacking, and in the final it cost them. Perhaps the ease with which they seemed to reach the final was their undoing, considering what the other finalist had to do to get there, I think they lacked passion.

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1st Place
Palmerston North Panthers

After their first race disaster, who would have thought this team would win? 6p Wayne Hemi sat out the first race and boy did they look ordinary. When he was brought back into the team his performance was head and shoulders above anyone else at the meeting and the passion that was lacking in the Rebels finals performance was so obviously abundant in the Panthers attitude. 5p Rees provided the backbone for the team and made the hits the mattered. Worthy winners. In fact Hemi gets my driver of the weekend, he was quite spectacular... just ask Tony Wootten!


Overall the meeting was pretty good, how could it not be? There was a feeling though that a few of the stars were missing. Names like Wood, Hunter, Penn, Demanser, Podjursky and Gray that you always associate with teams, and all that experience and knowledge that has disappeared in the last season or two. There appears to be a changing of the guard. Uncertain times ahead for the Auckland event although I think the Palmy Teams event is too much of an institution for it to end. The support programme was good but as always with WP it's the sound system, commentary, delays in the programme and other supporting factors that let the show down. Finally I'd just like to mention the guys that turned up to race in 'standard stocks' who fleshed out some of the teams. Without them there wouldn't have been 8 teams and then to actually get out there and be competitive and entertaining deserves a special mention.

Just an interesting side issue, a mate of mine from work went to the Friday night racing and he is not a regular speedway follower but sick of seeing my stockcar screensavers all day, thought he might check it out. He thought the meeting was action packed and exciting but a bit pricey at $20. He didn't understand the letters on the cars and was a little unsure of the teams and his only complaint was the parking, but he did arrive right on 7pm.

Meeting rating : 7.5/10

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