Taipa Queens Birthday 20003
I lost count of how many races I saw over the two days of
Taipa'a Queen's Birthday meeting but I'm willing to speculate that it was
in the region of 110 or more .
Racing on the Saturday ran from noon to dusk and on Sunday
an extra hour of racing was had by starting at 11 am .
Roughly that's eleven hours of racing @ ten races per
hour . That means if the average Saturday night track runs for three and
a half hours we should regularly get to watch around thirty five races
each meeting . I wonder if that has ever happened .
No two minute bell , no wasted wheel packing laps , line
them up on the back straight and let them go as they exit turn four for
the Mods and higher grade saloons and for the rest the green was dropped
where they were .
The pits were overflowing both days and more than a few
race cars finished up pitting in the public carpark which meant by the
time the large numbers of spectators had arrived the place resembled a
Pak'n Save carpark on paynight .
The race track was a beauty that didn't dust up despite
the mostly summer type weather that Northland provided . The whole surface
of the track was available to the skilled and daring of whom there were
plenty . A bit of a hole developed in turn two on the Sunday so 10 - 15
minutes was spent fixing that up .
Classes on hand were several grades of saloons . There
were Supers , Ltds , B grades , C grades , Productions , Youth Escorts
Plus there were Modifieds , Stockcars , Streetstocks
and whatever others I've forgotten to mention . .
Every class had mens and ladies divisions plus there
were all in events that mixed the classes in a way that would have the
average SNZ steward or referee seeking solace in a bottle .
I mean imagine Saloons , Modifieds and Streetstocks running
in the same event at your track , imagine Streetstocks attacking saloons
or even worse saloons attacking Streetstocks . Well it happened at Taipa
The only disappointment I felt was when the clerk of
the course removed the Std Stocks that were lining up on the grid for a
couple of the mixed events , he must of lost his bottle somewhere .
Roy Walker was Clerk of the Course for the weekend and
he did a fantastic job over the two days . He kept the meeting moving and
things under control even down to picking up the rubbish in the public
area on Sunday morning .
Too much happened to try and relate race by race action
but I will offer some of my observations .
Streetstocks : 3 cars only fronted and that was
a disappointment initially but a few Production Saloons decided they wanted
to play rough and joined the class for the weekend .
Contact involving the Production Saloons on the Saturday
was fairly gentle although the black 8g managed to get rolled over . Another
tinge of sadness when the 12 Streetstock was trailered away from the venue
after just one event . The two remaining Streetstocks 91a and 11? put on
a good show spinning each other and generally having a ball . Come Sunday
and the 12a was back ,and a few more Production Saloons joined the fray
The class from then on was the action attraction class
of the weekend and really they stole the show along with the incident of
the weekend when 12a rolled the 8g Production Saloon and finished up perched
on top . A couple of the other production Saloons took a pounding as well
and in between times the proper Streetstocks attacked each other
with gusto and showmanship.
The crowd appreciated the show greatly and now I'm figuring
that every Streetstock event from here on in should include a Production
type saloon or two to be used as cannon fodder .
I think we started the weekend with nearly twenty cars
. They were all Std Stocks with just one that could be classed as an Agrader
76a Ritchie Wright was on a winning mission in the first
couple of events on Saturday , smashing his way through the field
at full noise taking no prisoners . It was all too much though and while
he won the second race the car was a smouldering sorry sight and unable
to even begin it's victory lap . Exit 76a .
Whangarei's Mike Burrows in the splendid looking agrade
No 12 performed well while the rest of the field traded blows and wins
The stockcar ran a last car moving event as their last
of the weekend . Rules were invoked that stopped it taking forever to finish
and reduce damage . Simply put if you got spun , pushed onto the infield
or put up the wall you were out . Simple really . Mind you in Taipa's case
the daylight was fading fast so the last two still in the running shared
the win .
The ex 77s of Blondie Chamberlain was the centre of attention
. New owner Nigel Livermore took it out for a run in the first event and
struggled to keep the beast under control , not surprising considering
his lack of experience . Lance Jennning had some consulation for his own
car packing a sad by piloting the now 77a several times and that made everyone
take notice .
Auckland ltd Saloon driver Nigel Ross who's own 46a was
sidelined for most of last season with engine woes also got to have a steer
of the 77a and quite simply stunned everyone watching . Full noise from
the off and running wide , inches from the dirt wall , he did the best
impersonation of Blondie or Skinny I have ever seen .
If new owner Nigel Livermore ever needs a stand in driver
for 77a he won't have to look far .
Nigel Ross also took a limited saloon for a run and that
was spectacular too as he bled every bit of pace out it lap after lap left
front lifting high . God it was good to watch .
How many Saloons? , I don't know because there seemed
to be a lot of mixing and matching going on . Good racing though and not
a lot of damage done . Furthest traveler was 41m Neville Stewart who was
on the winning pace . I saw 25h Don Gallettly pick up a good win too .
Production Saloons seemed to number in the mid
twenties and ranged in manuafacture from the Holden through to Toyota Mr2
and everything in between . Many of them were raced two up with the passengers
weight probably helping to hold the left side down .
Presentation ranged from the superb to the wonderment
of how 'that thing' is still managing to move . The class ran most of the
weekend with around twenty four cars on the track at any one time .
I mused about how this wide mixture of cars and abilities
could run such high numbers and remain relatively incident free when 10
good handling Super Saloons with well experienced drivers don't usually
manage it on an average Saturday night .
Biggest incident in the Production Saloons was on Sunday
when one clipped the back straight wall and did a bit of a cart wheel .
Out hopped a one legged dude over to prop himself up on the bank and wave
to the crowd . Lots of ribbing directed towards this local driver by the
local crowd about his missing leg was a laugh and good natured . One youngster
seemed a bit concerned though and will probably consider speedway to be
a hell dangerous sport when a leg can be lost just like that .
I think there was eight that turned out initially although
31a Mike Periwiti couldn't get his running for the first two events . The
class was made up of normal SNZ Modifieds plus Waiheke's Ron Salter
in his Sprintcar , A Huntly registered Minisprint with new owner getting
some track time and a Waiheke Modified called Mud dog . Racing was competitive
and although the Sprintcar was dominant the wins were all worked for .
The last Modified race of the weekend was particularly good with a modified
coming through the field to pass the sprintcar on the last lap .
Half a dozen or so joined by a ministock which looked
like the ex Shay Oliver car with new owner . Racing was pretty clean although
one earned a black flag for dealing to the ministock on saturday . The
irony was that the ministock carried out a payback on Sunday and never
got caught by the ref . Nice one .
Special mention here of the lady that does the calling
at Taipa . She obviously has a ball doing it but she also puts a lot of
effort in .
Starting on the mic well before the start of each race
day she not only called the racing but handled the pit announcements too
By the end of the second day she was starting to sound
a little hoarse , quite understandable after something like eleven
hours of calling . A job well done and appreciated . Good sound system
I can't believe how good the weather was for the weekend
, a light 2 minute shower on Sunday was the worst it got .
Obviously the prize giving on saturday night was a good
one judging by the talk of hangovers on Sunday morning . Many of the cars
were left at the track over night , most under tarps and many still that
way half an hour before racing was due to start . Slowly the stragglers
turned up looking the worse for wear and I suspected many were regretting
the night before .
First annnouncement over the P.A. on sunday was to the
effect that those whose stomaches had recovered may like to know the food
wagon was up and running . That turned a few faces green .
I don't know whether the dribble above has conveyed the
character of the weekend's racing but believe me there was much more to
it than what I have manage to type and you should be there next year to
experience it for yourself .
Well done Taipa , I'll be back .
|96a done went and broke a crank on the Saturday
||111 Nigel Bree was a player
|Sometimes these cars were Production Saloons....
||... and sometimes they were Streetstocks
|41m Neville Stewart with new plain Jane look that
didn't slow him down none
|Lance Jennings hard out in the 77s Blondie car
that now sports an A after the 77
|I bet it wasn't just my heart that threatened to
stop a time or two though
|I not 100% about who was driving the 99 macca
but the performance was stunning .
|This car goes well always but in the hands of
Nigel Ross it was awesome
|Two up and a bit of a prang to give the
passenger something to remember
| saw the red car .....
||.....but not the red flag .
|welcome to stockcars John Carter
||R=Rotorua , D=dargaville , T = Taipa
|Bunny hopping RX7 style
||The old E Type just keeps on winning
|Owner of 77a Nigel Livermore would probably
rather forget his first drive in 77a
|No mud at Taipa for this winning Dog with the
glorious exhaust note
|Ron Drake came back stronger from this first
|Stockcars were raced for fun and that's what
stockcar racing is meant to be , isn't it?.
|Crowning incident of the weekend .....
|....but you've got to feel for the poor wee
|The earth moved when the stockcars played
||Fast and furious was the way Ritchie Wright
raced but the good looking 76a was knackered
after just two races