Sunday, January 31, 2010

NZ Superstocks Kihikihi Day 1


The only thing that could really ruin this meeting was going to be the weather. Such was the preparation that you couldn't help but be impressed in the transformation of the Kihikihi speedway. Constant postings on Macgors re costs, competitors, format, ticketing and anything else (take a bow Greg M and the rest of the team) that it just seemed incredibly unfair as you looked at the state of the track surface after the first practice run had finished. Unfortunately the weather had done its bit pre-meeting and no amount of first aid was going to reverse it. In fact the track became the dominant factor and talking point on what otherwise would have been a well run qualifying night.

Fortunately for me I happened to see a mate of mine in the Michelin corporate tent and was able to enjoy the meeting in corporate style along with 23k Rick Taylor, Graeme 'Mintie' Mead (who ate the fastest meal I've ever seen - well he was a busy man Im guessing) and Bruce Robertson amongst others during the course of the night. I could get well used to this style of speedway, quite a turnaround from my usual hotdog and chips on the grass bank. The set-up was first class and a credit to whoever organised this side of things. I am always available to test out this feature at any future meetings and I do it voluntarily at NO CHARGE so just thought I would mention that.

A few of the big names we all expected to qualify fell pretty early, 55r FWJ and 591p Wayne Hemi of course, although firm favourites like 7p, 52p, 72p and the reigning 1, 2 + 3nz made the cut. 85h Wade looked the most impressive and a few dark horses getting through to what will be a very exciting final 26. I loved the fact the 95p Clive Elliot got through comfortably and a couple of surprises in 19r, 10b and 24h Warren Burkhart winning a runoff with local hope 6k Kerry Remnant. Also of note was 7n Craig Boote who looked very capable of adding that 4th NZ title to his name...

The Kihikihi website will have all the results and points of the first night that you need and as I write this the forecast for tomorrow is looking a bit grim (damn that weather) so it's all a bit up in the air as to what will happen. Cross your fingers for a break in the rain and give the club their chance to shine because its obvious they have done the hard yards.

Meeting rating : 6.5/10

UPDATE: Day 2 of this meeting has been rescheduled for February 27th, start time of 5pm.


Well racing has been postponed for today (Sunday) now hopefully to be completed tomorrow at 2pm

Qualifiers as listed on Macgors discussion board:

1nzc Malcolm Ngatai
2nzn Dale Ewers
3nzn Brendan Higgins
4b Joe Faram
7p Shane Penn
7n Craig Boote
10b Sam Bartholomew
10p Peter Rees
19r Andrew Harvey
24h Warren Burkhart
31p Andy McCabe
32p Graeme Barr
35h Dion Fraser
37r Ken Hunter
39s Michel Willemsen
52p Scott Joblin
58p Peter Bengston
64p Kevin Smith
66r Steve Hampton
72p Simon Joblin
85h Jared Wade
89r Dale Robertson
92r Kyler Fraser
95p Clive Elliott
135r Scott Hewson
414h Warwick Ansty

Runoff for Red Group 6th
6k Kerry Remnant vs 24h Warren Burkhart

Runoff for 2nd Highest Point Scorer
66r Steve Hampton vs 57p Dave Tarrant

Track Breakdown
Palmy = 9
Rotorua = 6
Huntly = 4
Nelson = 3
Hawkes Bay = 2
Christchurch = 1
Stratford = 1

Review and photos coming soon...

Thursday, January 28, 2010


This is just a test of a new feature in Photoshop CS4. Even with a cheapo camera like mine you can take a series of photos and then place them on top of each other in Photoshop as layers then highlight all the layers and go to EDIT > Auto align layers and then photoshop will search for similar items in the images and align them to make one picture. Then under EDIT > Auto blend images and it will remove the colour changes and make the picture even. Almost like having a panorama option on an expensive camera!

This shot was made up of five images of Waikaraka Park.

For a larger version click HERE

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Auckland Champs Night


I thought rain would be the winner this weekend but luckily for us WP was able to go ahead with their Auckland champs night for quite a few classes although the Superstocks title was dropped midweek rather than running against the 248 Global Challenge in Palmy that was ironically rained out and rescheduled for Sunday. They still managed to gather a great competitor base in most classes running but Stockcar numbers were low (9) and thankfully they were combined with the Supers (12) for three great races. The feature won by 66r Steve Hampton, 73a Bryce Marx second and I think 36r Kevin Free might have made it up to third or fourth spot in what apparently will be his last appearance at WP. I was interested to see Rick Campbell piloting the 63a Marx car and I assume it was Trevor Mason in the 99a Super giving some validity to the rumoured make-up of the Allstars team for Palmerston North in February. The 9r tank of Anthony Brown had great pace in heat 1 but lost the body which was reduced to a purple smear on the track by race end and he wasn't seen out again for the night.

Somewhat stealing the show were the Super Saloons continuing the epic Jennings v Hemi battle that started in Huntly, fortunately there was no dramatic ending for them this week. 8h Cardwell and 2nz MacIntyre joined in the action (particularly MacIntyre who's night went from fantastic to over in the course of two races) but it was local hero 99a Shane McInteer who won the final from 21h Steve Williams and 96a Jennings in third. I will also mention the eloquent speech Williams gave at the conclusion of the race acknowledging Lance Jennings that was well received by the crowd. An all in Saloon final produced an upset with 48a Phil Towgood showing the Supers a clean pair of heels to cap off a successful night for him including the Auckland title he won convincingly from 74a Scott Landsdown and 27a Steven Correy in a strong Saloon field.

Newly crowned 1nz Jamie Fox made easy work of the Auckland Modified title leaving the rest of the field fighting for the leftovers. 6a Brian Jesen taking second and 21a Garry Parker third from the hard charging 64a Grant Harris. Minisprints and MiniStocks rounded out the programme on another solid night for Waikaraka Park.

Meeting rating : 6.5/10

Auckland Champs
Modifieds 1nz Jamie Fox
Minisprints 32h James Cossey
Ministocks 75a Scott Tennant
Super Saloons 99a Shane McInteer
Saloons 48a Phil Towgood

Monday, January 18, 2010

World 240's


World 240's Superstocks, Paradise Valley Rotorua

This was a great meeting last year and usually one of the best weekends of the season, but for me this years version won't be featuring in my highlights. I made it to Friday's qualifying which was pretty good. Great to see Wayne Hemi back and most of the usual suspects got through to Saturdays finals but in a field as classy as this, many big names were going to have to take out the repercharge on Saturday to book their place, a mouth watering prospect. The stockcars provided good support for the BOP title won by 109r Jason Brown. As usual, a very promising lead in to the second night as long as the weather held... I did also have the ignominy of being ejected from a 'corporate area' that I didn't even realise I was standing in! Apparently I was in the NZ Welding corporate tent zone and got given a polite 'move along please' which gave me a chuckle. Troublemaker.

72p, 515r, 591p, 2nz, 77p, 85h, 37r, 16r, 4b, 135r, 89r, 52p, 7p, 58p, 96r, 23h, 38r, 52r along with 10p and the Overseas drivers who had practice runs during the course of the night.

Saturday rolled around and as most people now know, the weather didn't hold. I sat in the stands catching up with Pallmall (which was great) but the inevitable happened, the meeting was called and we were informed it was now a 'free' meeting on Sunday. How a meeting you have paid $25 for is deemed free is beyond me but as I had plans and would not be able to attend I headed to the main gates to see if there was a rainout pass or refund. By the time I made it to the gates (along with hundreds of others heading for the carpark derby) there were no passes being handed out and no chance I was hanging round getting even more soaked. Not good. As far as I am aware there is no chance of a refund (which to be fair it does state in the programme) and the club is not responsible for the weather but never-the-less I paid my money and got nought in return. There has to be a better way than this.

Just to make it EVEN worse the review on the Rotorua website and of course Macgors tells of a brilliant finals meeting on Sunday afternoon with plenty of biff and bash. For the record, the first major win of many no doubt for 52p Scott Joblin. 4b Joe Faram and 89r Dale Robertson took the other podium positions after a runoff. 87r Pat Westbury took the automatic qualification for next seasons 240's after winning the non-qualifiers 'Superstocks in Paradise' title. Lets hope for his sake - and ours - that it doesn't rain...

Meeting rating : 6/10 Friday night only