Sunday, November 30, 2008
Bay Park Gold Cup Stockcars
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