Event Calendar
<Apr 2004>

Auckland Stock and Saloon Car Club News


Latest Newsletter

The Auckland Stock and Saloon Car Club Annual General meeting is to be held at 7-30 p.m. May 26th in the Waikaraka Speedway club rooms.

The pre AGM special meeting will now be held at the same venue on May 12th.

The scheduled pre AGM special meeting that was scheduled for May 5th had to be postponed as only 48 financial members (as well as a solid body of non-financial club supporters) were in attendance. The required quorum is 50 financial members.

The promoter is working on the calendar for the 2004-2005 season. Updates planned for the facilities at Waikaraka Speedway over the off season include the insatallation of an electronic lap scoring system, upgarding computers, refreshing the track surface with the same type of material as is was used last season (up to 300 cubic metres of clay will be required!), concrete wall and gate repairs. Noise baffles, the complete dismantling and rebuilding of all bleachers and putting a roof over part of the pit area. please refer to a previous newspetter item tiltle 'The season is over for Waikaraka Speedway'.

Prizegiving details can be viewed in a previous newsletter item titled 'Prizegiving 2004'.

The tentative meeting planned for Queens Birthday meeting will not take place as the long range forecast for the Saturday suggests showers during the day, although clearing over night. The possibility of rain showers on the Sunday is also higher than is worth the risk.

Latest Meeting Results

John Webster Memorial
John Webster Memorial.
Waikaraka Speedway
April 17th 2004-04-18
Review courtesy of NZDTR

It was billed as the Best of Speedways. There were three open wheeled sections that normal race at The Springs Speedway and three sections from the other side of town, Super Stocks, Super Saloons and Stockcars. The annual John Webster Memorial was the final meeting of the season in Auckland.

At Sundown the Showdown began. The Open wheeled cars all came out of the pits for their warm-ups and at 6 o'clock the green lights went on for hot laps. It was pure John Webster. Something like 50 cars on the track, different sizes, and all on the hammer. It has never happened before, but John Webster would have asked "why can't you hot lap a heap of experienced skilled drivers at the same time?" So at the John Webster Memorial the track was full of hard charging, spectacularly noisy, gleaming racing cars. What happened was that the crowd went 'Wow". Those few laps had more entertaining than some club meeting's down country manage to produce in a whole meeting. It the set the tone for what was to be an absolutely fantastic meeting.

The TQ's were the smallest of the wheeled of the sections and the TQ's were the
First of the visiting classes to take to the track.

Hawkes Bay visitor Steve Todd eventually came home first ahead of the rookie sensation Josh Franklin (31a). But the race was one of dices throughout the 20-car field. The dices were not follow the leader, pass you if you slip wide racing. Cars were going into corners at different speeds, on different lines, in different attitudes. Even the cars that eventually got lapped were having dices for positions on a track that even that early in the night was obviously very special, very racey and going to be very entertaining. The track stayed great all night, nary a hole, practically no dust and plenty of grip.

The other winners in the TQ races on the night were Paul Le Cren (14a) and the other Hawkes Bay driver who has supported this meeting since it's inception, Graig Todd (8b). Overall in the three race series Steve Todd with 57 points took home the biggest trophy, Graig Todd with 51 points was second and Le Cren 50 points earned him third. Shane Speedy (88a), Steve Sutherland (6a) and Lawrence Baker (5a) were 4th, 5th and 6th on points.

There was a pair of out of towners in the Super Saloon class, plus a limited to make a field of 15 cars. Skinny Colson was racing but his heart wasn't in the Saloon, he also had a run in a 2003 Maxim Sprintcar courtesy of Phillip Game. 66s and 77a SprintcarsColson won the Super Saloon series with 43 points. Lance Jennings (96a), Stu Harker (79a) and Colson won the individual races in a series on a track that allowed the Super Saloons to pass or alter their lines without letting a freight chain of over anxious, over driving, competitors smash body work to make up spots.

Lance Jennings had a solid lead in the 20 lap feature, although Colson was sniffing the fumes right behind. Jennings was staying low but the car was very sideways whilst Colson was working the cushion mid track. Both cars were finding the traction to dance their left front wheels into the air. At one stage Jennings put the 96a out on the cushion and Colson dived underneath. The two cars went down the back straight side by side and into the next turn with the 66s on the inside and definitely nose in front. Jennings rode wide and retook the lead. As the race was closing down there were lappers being closed down by the leaders. Colson may have been bidding his time, awaiting the moment, but the lappers were dicing. Jennings was wide, there was a bit of ducking and diving, a bit of incidental contact, an exhaust dropped on the track and Jennings was slowing with a cut right front tyre.

The exhaust had fallen from the Doug Torrey car. If Colson's heart was in the Sprintcar Torrey was lucky to have one. He had risen from his sick bed, (he had a virus infection affected the heart muscles) prepped a borrowed car (the 29a of Reece Jones) to chase points for the season. When the final tally is made he may have done enough, as a first season Super Saloon competitor, to make a clean sweep of the winners trophies at the ASSCC awards.

At the John Webster Memorial the three series was won by Colson with 43 points from Gavin Hinsley (who drove the #58a in the feature without power steering) 36 points and Stu Harker 34 points.

Colson in a Sprintcar was always going to be entertaining. First out he banged the wall and did the right rear suspension, next out he finished last then in the feature he finished 5th. How did he go? John Webster would have said

"When Goody had his first run in BB's Sprintcar at Kihikihi you knew you were watching a potential New Zealand Sprintcar Champion. Skinny's first run in a Sprintcar gave you the same impression."

Individual race winners in the Sprintcar class (10 cars strong) were Ossie Sokol (#47a), Kerry Brocas (#21a) and Phillip Game (#77a). Overall those three took the series trophies. Game, Brocas and Sokol third. Phillip Game however took home the biggest trophy of the meeting.

At the John Webster Memorial there is a trophy for the entertainer of the night. The most spectacular driver, drive, incident. It could have gone to a wheel stander, and Midget driver 77a Shaun Insley Shaun Insley Wheelstandpulled a mighty one that left a groove in the track from a back bumper jammed in the dirt so high were the front wheels. It could have gone to a wheel to wheel dice in any of half a dozen races. It could have gone to Steven Currie (69a) for an unbelievable pass into bend three in the second race. Another contender for the award was the driver of the #3 Midget. The car was brand new, the frame still unpainted. The #3 is the Danny Lendich midget and the motor was last used in the Graig Brady (Australia) car in the internationals. The driver was joking refereed to as Graham Earnhart, misread as G. String, but it was the recently retired Graham Standring having one more run at Waikaraka. Standring, in the second midget race, was spectacular and very entertaining. His driving was a thrill to watch. He is Mr 100%. In that race Standring wanted to win. He wasn't going to follow anyone. He raced without biffing and barging, but he raced in a pass at any cost mode. Alas the referees pinged him a couple of place for passes on the grass on 16a Mark Cullum and 12a Matt Thompson. Passes that on the grass at other tracks would have gone unnoticed. It was Standring on a mission and it was the crowd who gained the pleasure. Drivers have to retire at some time, but if Graham Standring Graham Standring and three otherscould reinvent himself as Mr 75% and keep Midget racing his entertainment value would still be more than 999 other SNZ registered competitors, combined! The sight of the #3 charging in the second race, particularly the dice with Steve Currie in the later laps, is going to stay a very special memory. Currie and Standring top scored in the Midget races and started from the back of the field in the handicapped feature that carried the trophies. Alas in that race Standring's motor popped.

There were 22 midgets racing the John Webster Memorial meeting and they provided excellent entertainment value. Phillip Game ran the #1 midget of Michael Kendal and had a reasonable run, until the feature, when he jumped the cushion, had the car go ugly, and saw the world go topsy turvy.

Heat winners were 91a Bryce Townsend and Steven Currie (69a). Jimi Quin, son of former Super Saloon New Zealand Champion, Mick Quin, grabbed a handy lead in the Jim Clarke owned #75a but spun away the win. Tony Josephs in a fired up, literally later, Mazda powered black #76, ran some very fast and hot laps in front of a pack that were racing inches apart at times and seemingly always on the throttle. But as the race settled into the laps it was Scott Buckley, who decided to make Waikaraka his track. The son of the promoter at The Springs Speedway drove a flawless race, hampered only by a clouding helmet visor, to take home the biggest trophy in the Midget section. Behind the pack fought out an enthralling battle, with several car standing on the gas coming off the turns and pawing their front wheels in the air. Second place went to Matt Thompson, third to Shaun Insley with 87a Lance Beale and Currie in the same pack.

When you put twenty Super Stocks on a fast track that has no holes the racing is guaranteed to be spectacular. And so it was for all three races. Kyle Fraser was giving his newly purchased ex-10p a run, Chris Allen had his 116a out for the first time this season, Gary Ellis had a motor back in the 11a and Ricky Mitchell's 36a was at the track and on song. Race wins went to Simon Joblin (72s) in the first (from Jared Wade 85h). Stan Hickey's #515 and 4s Lionel Penn from Stratford. Neil McCoard was super smooth with a car that handled like a dream and finished both the second heat and feature in second place. Overall Simon Joblin won the meeting with 52 points from Hickey and McCoard (both 51 points). Chris Allen was 4th overall in front of Bryce Steiner (18m).

The story of the John Webster Memorial was the drive of Phillip Game in the Sprintcar feature. He went three wide into turn one. He came out of turn four three wide. He ran the outside line. He touched the wall but if he lost one hundredth of a second doing so you'd be surprised. Phillip Game drove a race that dominated. The other cars in the race went great, they looked good, it was a fantastic spectacle, but Phillip Game was in a class of his own. He was turning sub 13-second laps. 12.7 secs was confirmed, 12.38 was dubious but the 77a was blindingly fast. If Game had been running the pole his times equated to an over 120 k.p.h. average speed per lap. But Game was taking the high road, he was covering more distance. 130 plus was a more likely average. At least 160 kph into the turns. And he was doing it without lifting. At Waikaraka Speedway as cars were going into the turns there was none of the loud flaming bangs from the exhausts heard at the end of the straight at other tracks. No big darts as drivers stood on the brakes and tossed their cars into the turns. From the sprintcars you could hear a little burp from the exhausts as a foot twitched on the throttle pedal as the big winged monster horsepowered lightweights were feed into the turn. From Phillip Game's car there was nothing. Into the turn at over a ton he was never lifting. To earn most spectacular driver of the meeting with 116 race cars in the pits, a lot of people would assume that some one would have to make a last ditch dive to win, take a huge crash, pull off a spectacular wheel stand, roll another stockcar. At the John Webster Memorial there was no doubt in the end the award would go to the driver who demonstrated complete mastery. After Phillip Game had won the feature the crowd were a buzz. They knew what they had witnessed and it was very special and it was easily worth a huge cup engraved as the most entertaining drive of the night.

28 stockcars fronted for the meeting, no visitors, just the locals who had survived a long hard season. The promotion contrived to make the Stockcar racing entertaining by paying only entertainment money and nothing for winning races but the section was over shadowed on the night by the other classes. It wasn't that the stockcars were boring, it just that they were overshadowed in the entertainment stakes by the fast cars. The Feature was an old fashioned Butcher's picnic, last car moving wins race. Trophies for three drivers, $500.00 bucks to the last survivor. $100.00 awards for entertaining, something like $800.00 available to the drivers, plus three decent trophies for the last race of the season so 20 Stockcars went on the trailers and eight came out to race, a last one standing race. In the end it came down to two moving cars. #68a Billy Neil (sponsored by The Mad Butcher) and #444 Tony Gavin (with the rival Meat company Aussie Butcher on the side). The Butcher's Picnic came down to cars advertising Butchers. Billy Neil slammed the tank into the wall and bent it's front bumper around into the wheel and thus won the dosh. Tony Gavin was second, Noel Hawthorne (#5a) was third from 44a Andrew Weir who has been a stand out stirrer all season at Waikaraka Speedway.

The John Webster Memorial had the 'wow' factor. Quite simply if every Speedway meeting was an enteratining then Speedway would be a weekly show in front of full houses at Eden Park, Jade Stadium, The Caketin, every week right through the summer.



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