Hope you all have a great Christmas, enjoy the holiday break and hopefully the weather plays it's part and you manage to get in some speedway meetings too. If anyone is feeling particularly Santa-like, I'd love a copy of the programme from the NZ Superstock title in Christchurch, unfortunately my budget doesn't stretch enough to cover going but I'm sure it will be a fantastic meeting as always, quite possibly the best chance for a Mainlander to do what only Craig Boote has managed and get that elusive 1nz.
Even though he gave us all a good scare this year, big thanks go to Macgor for running the best website around, not a day goes by without checking out what's happening in the speedway world and obviously the opportunity to link to his site and be involved is quite a buzz for me too.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Auckland Saloon & Sidecar Champs
Usually this meeting is abandoned rather than taking on the 'Christmas in the Park' celebrations, not this year though. The pits were full of cars including a few new ones but as expected the crowd was on the lighter side. Was a pity too as WP started the meeting with a hiss and a roar, Superstocks, Stockcars and then Modifieds as the first three races was pretty impressive with big fields for all. The meeting raced along at a good pace and I thought this is such a pity that more people aren't witnessing a decent meeting at WP. In fact there wasn't a single disappointing class, big numbers and great racing in the featured two classes (Saloons and Sidecars) with the eventual winners being 48a Phil Towgood and the 49p Sidecar from Palmerston North.
The only downer of the whole night unfortunately was the 'Girl Power' stockcar racing as some sort of tie-in to a TV show, it took up alot of time and was boring to say the least. It happened right after the completion of the first round of racing and after the girls had their painfully slow race the track was watered (too heavily) which caused the cancellation of the Ministock race just as they were about to line up only to be sent back to the pits. The saloons were then brought out to circulate then have their second heat. Suddenly 30 odd minutes have passed with no racing and a meeting that was humming went pear shaped. Thankfully things were brought back on track (excuse the pun) and the night finished well. Good signs though as far as competitor numbers go and any club running Superstocks, Stockcars, Modifieds, and Saloons on the same night are on to a winner in my opinion, basic speedway done well, just leave the TV stuff for another night...
Meeting rating : 6.5/10
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Put off by the idea of paying money to see 'boyracers' doing burn-outs at WP (I get them in my street at 3am in the morning and it's annoying but free at least) an opportunity to stay with friends who have moved to Papamoa and a posting on Macgors mentioning heaps of Stockcars for the Gold Cup meeting at Baypark made my decision easy. Baypark is one of those tracks that seems to exist with little or no profile on the internet, although recently a few people have been putting up photos and small reviews of the action, it is a shame as the facility is one of the best in New Zealand and as I found out they can run a damn good meeting with huge numbers in most classes - exactly what most people want to see - AND in three hours with no delays! Isn't this something they should be shouting from the rooftops?
22 Saloons, 30 Ministocks, 5 SuperSaloons, 19 Sprintcars and 32 Stockcars were in the pits for a night supported by the Fredrickson family to honour Harry and Ron Fredrickson, avid supporters of Baypark (the old track and the new Baypark) who had recently passed away. For the Stockcars race one and two were to get grid positions in the final heat for the impressive gold cup. Heat 1 had a lot of dnf's with major damage to 56r and plenty of Rotorua cars being taken to by the Mount cars particularly 1nz and 291r. 109r Jason Brown took an emphatic victory. Heat 2 had more of the same and 109r lead most of the race until a puncture 2 laps from the end dropped him back heaps of places. The 1nz when not being attacked showed plenty of pace but gave a glimpse of how hard his title is going to be to defend in Wellington later this season. 8m Scott Fredrickson's chances weren't helped with a spin into the front straight wall leaving him stranded for a while. 81r Damien Orr taking the win. There were noticeably more hits in this heat - great stuff.
Heat 3 was the big final with a front row of 81r, 82m and 35m. With so many cars on the track it is hard to know where to look so I stayed with the leaders who for most of the race was 82m Brent Haynes. 48m + 46m did most of the stirring and it wasn't until 2 laps from the finish that 97m Stacey Keach was spun infront of the leading three cars only to be punted into the wall heavily by 82m gifting the lead to 14m Graham Keatinge. Half a lap later and reds were activated for the ailing 97m. Upon the green a slow start cost 14m his lead and 82m pounced and held it for the gold cup. 82m, 14m, 86r, 46m, 35m, 8m, 81r, 109r, 29m and 31m Ivan Parrish in 10th.
In the supporting races 66m Skinny Colson was unbelievably fast taking all three heats in the sprintcars, absolutely stunning to watch. A nasty rollover for Shay Oliver in the feature. Three wins also for 84m Ryan Smythe (11 wins from 11 starts according to the commentary team this season) in the Ministocks, and 61m Mark Orchard winning all the SuperSaloon races. Saloon wins went to 15m, 46m and 2nz. It's been years since I've been to Baypark, but last nights racing was great, starting on time, running smoothly and a great nights racing means it wont be long before I venture back down. A hidden gem.
Meeting rating : 7/10
Sunday, November 23, 2008
A few photos from todays first "club day" at Waikaraka Park which had pretty good numbers in most classes including visitors from Huntly, Baypark and Rotorua. Saloons had 17 cars present and provided the best racing, also about 23 Ministocks and 12 Stockcars. I hope this idea takes off, was a casual relaxed atmosphere and was great up in the stand on my third day of speedway in a row... perfect end to the weekend.