Sunday, November 15, 2009
Baypark Gold Cup Stockcars
Last year this meeting was worth the trip down to Tauranga, so with the usual amount of Baypark promotion (none) it was good to see about 33 Stockcars in the pits. The breakdown of cars had about 16 locals and the rest visitors from Auckland, Huntly, Rotorua, Meeanee and Kihikihi. The format was two heats for points and then most points off the front for a grand final winner take all.
Heat one was okay with most cars having a good run and grabbing as many points as they could. Major casualty was 291r Chris Brown who started from pole postion only lasting about 1 lap before retiring. 109r Jason Brown looked good for a win but a spinning 66a Peter Church cost him vital seconds and he settled for second behind clubmate 81r Damian Orr. 8m Scott Fredrickson took third from 84m Ryan Smyth and a hard charging 17b Aaron Iremonger rounding out the top five.
81r, 109r, 8m, 84m, 17b, 82m, 218h, 48m, 81h, 13r
Heat two was a humdinger! Any local car who hadn't performed well in the first heat went into stirring mode and best of them was 24m Ian Daniel. At various stages of the race he managed to spin, hit or eliminate 98r, 218h, 109r, 66a and made a general nuisance of himself - top stuff and his battered car just kept on circulating. At the front of the field it was 29m Ryan Hunt for most of the race until a problem saw him head for the infield leaving a fantastic tussle between 95a Gary Lonergan, 81h Rodney Smythe and 82m defending champ Brent Haynes. Lonergan looked to have it until the last corner when Smythe managed to half spin him but fortunately Haynes tucked in behind righted the 95a and kept him moving forward for the win.
95a, 81h, 82m, 48h, 8m, 81r, 35m, 98r, 84m, 26m
For the 15 lap Fredrickson Gold Cup feature race the three-wide front row consisted of 81r, 8m and 82m. What followed was one of the best stockcar races I've seen in a long while. Hits going in left right and centre with the overall theme of the race seemlingly to eliminate whoever was at the front! One by one every leading car seemed to be taken out. 81h spun, 109r puncture, 95a spun, 8m spun, until a red light stoppage 5 laps from the end showed that 82m defending champ Brent Haynes was leading from 81r Orr and 17b Iremonger. Upon the restart the carnage continued and it looked like Haynes was home for the money until he clipped Scott Fredrickson's rear bumper while he was taking a car into the wall sending the 82m heavily front first into the wall. At this stage the teamwork from the Mount cars paid dividends and 35m Graham Keating inherited the lead taking the win from 84m Ryan Smyth and I believe 81r Damian Orr grabbed third place.
The rest of the programme included 15 Sprintcars, 22 Saloons, 8 Supersaloons and 38 Ministocks. I will mention that the only real problem of the night was the continual dust coming off the track - maybe there is a special place to sit because during the Sprintcar and Saloon races you could hardly watch such was the red dust cloud and if you were foolish enough to be eating food it got a few extra spices even the Colonel wouldn't touch. When I got back to my friends place in Papamoa I almost had to be hosed down outside before I could go in the house - I kid you not! Anyway, dust aside it was a step up from last years meeting and definitely a stockcar meeting worth venturing to Baypark for if you love heaps of contact. Outside of a teams meeting you wouldn't see this much action at most tracks.
Meeting rating : 7/10