Monday, October 27, 2014

And so it begins again...

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Meeting 1
Waikaraka Park
October 25, 2014

The off season whizzed by pretty quickly I thought, maybe its because of the 'access all areas' world of Facebook where we can see what's happening in sheds all over the country and 'from the horse's mouth' updates from drivers and crews. Sometimes its a good thing but I do miss the surprise of a new car you've never seen or an unexpected return of a driver from past days on opening night. I have to say, as I wandered around the pits on Saturday I fairly much knew every car apart from a few new saloons although there were plenty of rumours of interesting machinery that should be turning up in the next few weeks...

Overall numbers looked good although when you split them into their actual classes some were a bit light, Superstocks 5, Modifieds 5 and Streetstocks 8 will need to get their act together if they want to provide good entertainment. Superstocks have been rebuilding over the past few seasons but with Paul Vasey, Sean McKenzie and who knows who else leaving during the break, its a blow to the class.  29a Scott Tennant the pick of the bunch showing his continuing climb up the ranks and will be one to watch this season. 316a Greg Mitchell driving the car Scott had last season a welcome addition also. I hope Bruce can weave his magic and entice a few more to the Park. Modifieds look as though they will have good numbers (on paper) and provided some great racing on the night, Ray Chatfield in particular driving like a spring chicken for a win and two second placings. Jamie Fox as always all class in the renumbered 99a Mod for this season. Streetstocks thankfully had a few visiting cars making up numbers but this is one class that could be so good, but has been struggling for ages its seems.

Ministocks 20, Stockcars 25 and Saloons 13 (including some supers) on the other hand had strong numbers and provided most of the entertainment. The ELS system was down so any results we got for the night were via the old fashioned manual lapscoring, commentator Mike Howe did an awesome job getting results through to the public which wasn't easy considering some scum have helped themselves to some of the sound system. I heard Rosebank Speedway has suffered the same fate too. Anyway, the commentary all night was great (thats $10 bucks thanks Mike) keeping the freezing punters entertained and informed when you are flying blind with no computer system to speak of. As far as I could tell 651a Troy Power, 5a Mike Harris and 69a Dave 'Flag Racer' Seymour took out the wins although there were a few cars showing their hands early with the 98a Eustace car showing good pace and 23a Che Takarua testing out the bumpers guest driving the Tony Baldwin car for a few meetings. 44h Anthony McNeill the only visitor bravely fronting, but I think he only made it out for heat one, placing 2nd.

A brief burst of fireworks ended the night, the crowd size seemed okay for a holiday weekend when most of Auckland leaves town. The place looked like it always looks, no obvious make overs that I could see but with the "super city" council coming up with absurd ideas for it's stadiums, you have to wonder why anyone would invest money in WP when you have no firm indication of its future. I hope it has a future as I love this place but if the Western Springs operation does get moved to Mt Smart I would be surprised if two speedways were run at either end of Neilson Street. Funny how the residents of Onehunga (me being one of them) have been told the new speedway could have up to 25 meetings a season whereas currently they have about 12 at Western Springs. I would like to know why they can have more at one stadium than the other as they are similarly surrounded by residents?

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