Sunday, March 01, 2009
North Island Superstock Title
The weather was always going to be the winner this weekend but with some fortune the WP club did manage to squeeze in the qualifying on Friday night and the finals were run Sunday afternoon. I wont write much about Friday as the club cant be blamed for the weather, although they do have some explaining to do in regards competitor numbers and support programme. 33 SuperStocks were in the pits up until two late arrivals (8p and 77r) took the total up to 35 I believe. The Modifieds were a no show, ATVs raced along with a small field of Stockcars and the MiniStox. I only stayed for the first two heats of qualifying for each group before leaving, damp and bored.
The finals were predictably rained off on Saturday and so Sunday afternoon only 26 Supers were in the pits meaning no repercharges would be needed. The support programme included MiniStox (again) and MiniSprints along with a few saloons and very few Streetstocks, a fairly appalling support programme. As for the planned Superstock Stampede for non qualifiers...
This race was the first time this weekend that I got excited, it had a full field of 26 cars, rollovers and action galore. 351a Paul Vazey shot to the lead and was looking great for the first few laps. Meanwhile 31b Andy McCabe had been spun in pit bend taking a few cars with him to the wall including 1nz, 22r and 6v and as they tried to rejoin the race 351a was clipped as he passed rolling big time and bringing on the reds. On the restart 8p Miers was left stationery until 16a Headington was fed into the front straight wall rolling over and back onto his wheels, reds again. He was allowed to restart and by this stage we already had 99r, 8p, 6v, 5v all out with a few damaged cars, 45v being one of them, slowly circling. 5g Faram had the lead and managed to hold it to the finish in an action packed first heat, things were looking up!
Results: 5g 135r 515r 72p 75a 23h 15v 1nz 82s 6k 73a 11a 66r 94a 61a 22r 414a 45v 24b
22 Cars rolled out for this heat. 515r Hickey took control early and looked the goods taking an effortless win and putting himself in the prime seat leading the points going into heat three. The 8p tank finally got things going and had his best heat of the meeting finishing third. Early spins for 1nz and 66r Hampton cost them big time and also 73a Marx stuck in the pit bend for a few laps unable to find a gap to rejoin the race with the field well spread out. Less action than heat one but no complaints, it was good racing. It had been a really hot afternoon but it was at this point my blood really started to boil... yes the points and results being relayed to the public, how many times does this have to be mentioned? Once again what results we got were read at high speed either names or numbers only as they cross the line so you cant actually hear them and if you could you cant write them that fast anyway! Then there is silence as we wait for the next race and you get nothing or music from the Venga bus. Unbelievable.
Guessing these are the results: 515r 135r 8p 82s 135r 5g 45v 72p
Going into heat three Stan Hickey was on 50pts, Scott Hewson and Joe Faram both on 48pts and a gap back to 72p Joblin on 42pts. I didn't get the rest as the speedreader wasn't stopping for breath and there was no chance they would be read a second time. From what I could see as they gridded up Faram was on grid 10, Hickey on 21, Hewson on 8 and Joblin right up the front on grid 3. 20 cars fronted and on turn two both 72p and 5g were caught up allowing 135r to take the lead (well I thought he was in the lead but apparently 45v Guildford was?) 99r Decke had been bashed and spun and was facing the wrong way on the backstraight and on lap 4 the reds came on just as Hickey (who had made it up to the top five) erupted into a huge cloud of smoke, race over for the 515r who looked a cert for the win. At this stage I had 72p in 8th, 5g in 12th, 66r in 2nd and 135r leading. Upon the restart 5g made up heaps of ground and for the rest of the race it was whether he could pass 72p and 135r. He did get passed 72p and was closing on Hewson but never got close enough to challenge. Like me, 135r Hewson must have thought he had won the heat (and title) but was refused the flag - I guess as 45v had won? Anyway the title was Hewson's and well deserved. Faram grabbed runner up and 72p Joblin took third. Well at least I think that's what happened...
Results: 45v 135r 5g 72p
So there you have it, WP's last official SNZ title for some time thanks to the Smashfest fiasco. $45.00 to go through the gates and buy a programme, add to that the cost of food (if you could find an open food stand) and basically three good races for the weekend, is that value for money? A substandard presentation, poor turnout of SuperStocks, even worse attendance by the public after plenty of radio advertising during the week. If alarm bells aren't ringing after this meeting then it wont be long before even the Venga bus isn't coming to WP.
Meeting Rating : 4/10