Monday, March 01, 2010

Mixed Bag


Modified Super Dirt Cup / Auckland City of Sails Stockcars

A quality field of 28 of the best Modified drivers in the country had been promised for this years version of the Super Dirt Cup and with the promotion Jamo had been giving it on Macgors I did the unthinkable and decided to miss the qualifying for the NZ Superstocks at Kihikihi and go to my local. Also on the menu was the City of Sails Auckland championship for Stockcars which sealed the deal for me.

26 Mods turned up to play and 24 Stockcars including 3 visitors, 5h, 81h and 72s were all good chances as it turned out. The support classes for the night were looking a little thin and by nights end had most definitely worn out their welcome. In fact I'll go as far as saying the Streetstocks (particularly 51r) tried hard to entertain but with 5 cars it all looked a bit tired and sad. Minisprints and Ministocks were just plain boring. There were gaps in the programme and the night just wore on too long finishing at 11.40pm I think. Enough on that for now.

The Mods were split into two groups for two heats each, then the top 18 would go through and have a top 6 pole shuffle (I love these) and then all the non-qualifiers would go into a last chance repercharge for the final two places. Now somewhere along the way things must have gone awry, there was no repercharge, the programme was running late and Minisprints just kept coming out the gate and torturing us. Heat 1 for group 1 was a Foxy benefit, he looked awesome and my pre-meeting thoughts of who would win were being confirmed. I think he came from the rear of the field to take second behind 871c Luke Keegan who lead from the front for the whole race. Group 2's first heat was similar with 3nz (29c) Glen Leech doing the business followed home by 55s Ward and 78h Chatfield. In heat two for both groups, Group 1 featured a battle between 4s Dixon and 1nz Fox which the national champ won but I dont know if something was wrong with the car or the track conditions (dusty and breaking up in the corners) but the Fox of heat 1 was looking a little less dominant. Result: 1nz, 4s, 6a, 4c, 8s. Group 2 had problems with the track surface too and I noted "spins galore" on my scrap of paper. 56a Blakely looked very ominous and took a great win. Result: 56a, 55s, 3nz, 78h, 13c.

Now remember with this website I just put down what I hear from the commentary team, I dont go searching through the pits for results or whatever so that was how I saw it after the qualifying. I deserve a medal by the way because if you've been to WP recently, getting results is a mission. Anyway, I thought the racing had been top notch. The pole shuffle involved 49c v 6a, 6a v 4s, 6a v 871c, 871c v 8s, 871c v 3nz and finally 871c v 1nz, win going to Keegan for the pick of front row position.

The final 30 lapper had a field of 23 cars. The repercharge had gone west and going by some postings on Macgors something had gone pear shaped down in the pits. Ignoring all that, the actual racing (that's what we're there for) was great, a typical hard fought Dirt Cup. Now since I didn't write this review until today (and I'm still buzzing from the NZ Superstocks last night) I'll just put some of my manic scribblings on my trusty notepad down. Here goes "...871c, 1nz, 3nz leading... 56a + 67s into wall turn 2... 8s hits 49c on yellow light... 13c off, 78h off, 64a off... Fox passes 46c backmarker, 3nz went to pass and 4s all hit wall... 11 laps to go 3nz off... 871c keeping traffic between him and 1nz... 871, 1nz, 4s, 6a, 4c, 8s, 29a, 2nz, 21a, 77s at that stage... 6a flys past 4s, 2nz huge roll in turn 3... 55s off, 11 cars left... Keegan clears out... 1nz v 4s 3 laps to go and 4s passes Fox... Fox holds on to 3rd.." Final placings: 871c Keegan, 4s Dixon, 1nz Fox, 4c Gourley, 6a Jessen. Hope that makes some sort of sense. I'm sure a much better write up will appear on the 1nz Foxy website and it will no doubt give an insight into what was going on behind the scenes too.

The Stockcars were the other feature and like the Modifieds, turned on a great display resulting in a run-off for first place between 69a Dave Seymour and 81h Rodney Smythe, two careers at either end of the spectrum. Unlike the Mods, their championship was over three heats for points. Heat 1 finished with 81h, 34a, 69a, 72s, 441a, 14a and 96a. 24 cars came out for heat two and 34a Wearing was looking great for a win until the last lap went something broke and he coasted over the line well down the field, night over. An unfortunate spin for 69a Seymour when a fellow Auckland car went for 81h cost him dearly finishing well down. 72s won, followed home by 81h, 741a, and 14a. Heat 3 turned the action up a bit and 81h Smythe was held up by a very brave 24a, 72s had his run cut short and brought on the red lights, 84a took a huge hit into the wall and 69a Seymour came home for the win from 741a, 81h, 5h, 9a I'm guessing. Remember all results are usually read in a monotone as the cars cross the line so it's almost impossible to hear. This resulted in a tie and run-off won by 81h Smythe. Not sure who came third as we were heading for the gates!

So there you have it, a really mixed bag. The two feature classes rocked, the rest was dismal. Considering how many meetings were on, the crowd was very big so there was a good atmosphere when there was good racing. This is another rollcoaster season for WP but I hope all those people sticking the knife in realise that they got two great championships with possibly the best field of Modifieds we have seen in years but its hard to ignore there were also some problems. 'Tis a hard job being in charge at Waikaraka Park!

Meeting rating : 5.5/10

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