Woodford Glen - 29th March 2013
Ryan Berry has been having all sorts of trouble sorting his 23c Monaro since the big crash earlier in the season. He was hopeful of getting the engine back in for a run tonight however when that didn't happen we offered Ryan the use of 811 instead. As this was the final meeting for the season and only a few super saloons were running off the back of the A Grades, what harm could be done aye! We also used tonight as an opportunity to try eliminating some components to rectify the ongoing engine missfire. Well in his second heat Ryan was starting to go real good albeit with the engine still not performing to it's potential. But all this was about to turn to custard because in virtually the identical spot on the track to his Canty Champs crash the rear axle snapped on 811. This sent the car left forcing the right rear wheel including the remainder of the axle along with all the right rear shock and suspension under the car. Then "boom" this assembly dug into the ground bouncing the car into the air and a double rollover. Luckily the rollcage just brushed the ground so the impact was basically on the suspension each time it hit the ground and this minimised the force transferred through the car. So Ryan although being shaken up again got away without injury and the car although looking very second hand has also got away without major chassis damage. I felt really sorry for Teresa and the boys as they really don't need to be seeing this sort of incident again so soon after the last one. I dunno whether this guy is jinxed or if he is just getting rid of all the bad luck at the start of his speedway career but would like to think he can keep the wheels on the ground from here on.
So that's it for this season and although we have a lot more work to do in the workshop than anticipated, I still gotta say it was a HUGE success for us. Check out the workshop page during winter as I will keep it updated as required throughout the off-season re-build.
Cheers for now ... Flash
North v South Supernats - Wellington Speedway - 22nd & 23rd March 2013
WHAT A WICKED WEEKEND IN WELLINGTON ... an absolute BUZZ to be part of this awesome event. Although I headed up there on my lonesome it was great to meet up with sister Fiona who got stuck in and helped out with the car at the track. Just as well too thanks sis cos there was no way I woulda got all that squishy clay off 811 by myself on the friday. First heat and I was off the back of the grid on a less than ideal track which was just too sticky for most of the cars. We never improved however we finished and then Fiona and I spent most of the time remaining just de-mudding the car. The second heat was a vast improvement and 811 returned a 4th placing finish which I considered to be very good indeed considering the environment we were among. This put 811 starting the feature on grid 15 for the feature (if only I'd managed to improve in that first heat things could have been far better). However things were about to get better for us anyway and the carwas improving as the meeting progressed and liked the surface so much that we finished a very credible 10th overall. STOKED AGAIN !!! And we started having other teams and some of them north island teams come over to congratulate us for the effort. Awesome stuff and very proud to be associated with the whole event.
Saturday saw Fiona and I prepping 811 at the track during the afternoon and also got some assistance from Steve Templeton and Craig Petrie (thanks heaps guy's).
Tonight was the sprint type format with four car by four lap races followed by ten car by ten lap races then a 30 lap all in final.
The track was a whole heap better than the previous night and 811 was leaving from grid two outside last years NZ champion 5b Steve Flynn. Now this is where things just got a whole lot better for us cos not only did I manage to get ahead and into turn one before Steve but also went on to win the race. After this race I was astonished by the amount of praise and congratulations we received from other drivers and team members from all over the country. This race alone to me made the whole season entirely worth the hard work we put into our car day after day. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC !!!
I couldn't repeat the achievement in our second heat but did however follow Steve across the line for a very satisfying 2nd place. In the ten lap race we finished around 6th place after making hurried repairs to a deteriorating rear brake (thanks for the help again boys). At the start of the 30 lap feature 811 was involved with a bit of contact and we lost a bit of track position but regathered to start challenging the lead pack. Although I tried and tried for many laps I just could not make a pass on 24w Martin Halcrow although I did manage to get alongside a couple of times. This still rewarded us with a 5th place finish overall which is a HUGE achievement considering the class of the field.
To say I was estatic after the weekends efforts is an understatement. To have a reliable car, plus do so well in that evironment is very encouraging. A big congratulations to everyone involved over the weekend for putting this event together and thank you to Bryan Comerford for his generous support of the event. And given the opportunity again 811 will most definitely race in Wellington again in the future. Was great to catch up with my Wellington relatives too but just never enough time when you are racing a double header.
So that's it for our race season and just when 811 was going real good. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into next season. Meantime we will carry out the odd workshop page update during the off-season.
Cheers for now ... Flash
Elf Super Cup - Rounds 6 & 7 - Cromwell/Dunedin - 15th & 16th March 2013
Prior to this meeting I received a very welcoming phone call from Graham Williamson of X Factor Cars in Invercargill. He very generously offered to provide support for these two meetings which was very much appreciated thank you Graham. Just goes to show what a little extra effort can achieve and I hope we can continue to promote X Factor Cars in the future.
Now onto the racing ... I was quietly confident of a reasonable result prior to our run at Cromwell although I never let on to anyone. Last season 811 was going real quick on this track (until I got it all wrong) so I was really looking forward to giving the track another go. And this quiet confidence didn't disappoint either ... I drew a grid 2 start for the first heat and although passed by a couple of the "guns" 811 finished 5th. In the second heat we started from the rear row of the grid and managed to make several good passes.
These combined results saw us in the Top 8 Shoot-Out for the second time in the Elf Super Cup and again challenging 2nz Richie Taylor LOL. I managed to stay along the inside of Richie for a good portion of the first lap but just couldn't get turned into turn 3 however very happy to be starting the final from grid 8. And in the final we had a great dice with 12n Shane Carey and finished mid-pack but still collected a good amount of points to finish 9th overall in the points table for the night.
We stayed overnight with Aaron's parents in Roxburgh (thanks heaps for your hospitality) and we even prepped the car there before heading off to Dunedin in the morning. It proved to be a lot tougher here and a crappy grid 9 draw for the first heat and another crappy grid 10 draw for the second heat meant the night was always gonna be a struggle. Got 811 flyin' in the hot- laps again but just can't seem to transfer that onto the heat races for some reason (need bigger balls maybe LOL). Contact with 12n Shane Carey hindered our progress in the first heat too as the diff shifted and jammed sideways in the car. Aaron repaired this and although we started the feature minus the left hand side panel (thanks to 17c Kane Lawson during the second heat) we made up a heap of placings from our grid 14 start to finish 7th. So after a tally of all the series points we had finished 10th which is a HUGE improvement from last years effort when we were virtually last. Plu adding to that we had made the team for the North V South Supernats to be held in Wellington next weekend ... OH YEAH, absolutely stoked !!!
Elf Super Cup - Rounds 4 & 5 - Ruapuna / Woodford Glen - 1st & 2nd March 2013
Yes ... Ruapuna Speedway were hosts of round 4 of the Elf Super Cup series on the friday night and then back to our home track on saturday for round 5. This was the first time that Super Saloons have raced at Ruapuna Speedway in such an event so it was always going to be a great spectacle. And it was great for us in the sense that we led for the first lap of the first race (see video clip). We had some reasonable car speed at Ruapuna however 811 broke the left front coil spring mount which saw the suspension collapse forcing us to lose several placings. After repairing the suspension we ventured out for heat 2 and we managed to make up a lot of ground in this race.
After a point count up 811 was into the top 8 shoot-out for the first time. This was new territory for us which had 811 facing up against current 2NZ Richie Taylor. Although we lost that battle it was very pleasing to be part of the shoot-out and to be starting the feature from grid 8. And although we were involved in a bingle during the race (damaging the new front panels again) we progressed thru to finish a very credible 5th place. So an extremely good night for the team and well deserved with the amount of work we have been doing on the car recently. This even advanced us up to 9th overall in the series which is a huge improvement on last seasons effort.
Saturday night back to the Glen and we drew two middle grid starts for the heats which didn't help us at all. We finished both heats without major dramas but only ended up starting the feature from grid 11. In this race we had a good battle with Dennis Bolt eventually passing him and finishing 8th. Kane Lawson had a great night scoring a heap of points and took over our 9th place in the series but I'm definately still wrapt to be in the top 10 overall.
Our next meeting is another double header with the final 2 rounds of the Elf Super Cup in Cromwell and Dunedin 15th & 16th March. Gonna be awesome! However got a few more maintenance things to sort including the broken left rear inboard brake rotor mount. We were very lucky this didn't smash a whole lotta stuff in the rear.
Cheers for now ... Flash
Woodford Glen Speedway - NZ Super Saloon Champs - 15/16 February 2013
WOW !!! ... What a massive weekend. It all started earlier in the week actually with 11m Kevin Moore staying with us and we played two days of golf before even getting into working on the race cars. Our car was the 100th car that Kevy built so he was real keen to get stuck in and make sure everything was spot (but not before he did some housework as penance for losing golf LOL).
Now onto the racing ... Friday was qualifying night for the NZ Champs and since Kevy had made several changes to the car we decided to join the practice session. This proved that the changes were spot on and we had a real good set-up.
Heat 1 we left from grid 6 and although I lost three spots during the race it was to some very fast drivers so not all bad yet.
Heat 2 we were leaving from the rear of the field and in this race we progressed 5 places then I ended up half spinning when getting a touch on the right front corner. This started a chain of crash contact with two other cars leaving us parked side ways in the middle of the track just out of turn 4 dammit. This had us to the rear for the re-start however we still managed to get back to finish around 9th again.
Heat 3 and this is where our qualifying chances were looking good. 811 was leaving from grid 2 and with the changes Kevy made to the car we were confident of a good performance. For the first two laps 811 was hooking up well and looking really fast however with such good traction from this set-up the torque arm on the diff snapped into several pieces which tore the rear driveshaft out of the car ending our race. Qualifying chances gone! Had we finished this race we would have qualified and moved into the championship finals dammit again!!!
We spent all day saturday repairing the damage and it's here that I gotta thank a whole lotta people for an awesome effort to get 811 going again. My crewman Aaron has spent heaps of hours and Kevy spent the day at the workshop working on our car instead of his own. Josh and Bruce Boulton supplied parts from their own cars so we could continue to race ... thanks heaps to all these guys.
Saturday night and we entered the last chance repercharge with 811 leaving from grid 11. It was always gonna be difficult when only the first two cars progress but I was really pleased to advance thru the pack and finish in 6th. The car felt great so now our concentration was to finish three heats for the Ampro Tools Trophy.
Heat 1 we were leaving from grid 10 and although we had progressed up to 5th at one stage I ran into the back of 12n Shane Carey mid-race. This tore up the right front corner of the car and had it lookin' below average for the rest of the meeting. However we still managed to finish in 7th place.
Heat 2 had us leaving from grid 4 with a good opportunity to improve however I made some rash changes to the car which just did not work at all and within several laps we got overtaken by a bunch of cars ending up in 8th DOH!
Final heat and leaving from grid 7. This race was difficult as the track had started going quite slick but after undoing the stupid set-up changes I had made the car was reasonable and we finished 5th.
This put us 6th overall which considering the dramas of the weekend I consider to be a respectable result. Kevy finished 5th overall so we celebrated till the wee hours and our next meeting is the Elf Super Cup rounds 4 & 5 at Ruapuna and Woodford Glen on 1st/2nd March.
Lookin' forward to it already. Cheers ... Flash
Riverside Speedway - 25th & 26th January 2013
Thursday night saw Aaron & I heading south to take in the third round of the Elf Super Cup series plus the South Island Super Saloon Championships. It's a reasonable haul down to Invercargill so we stopped over in Dunedin to allow an early start Friday. We wanted to get 811 on display at X Factor Cars in appreciation for their support of the weekends racing. Was great to meet Graham Williamson and his family and we were especially wrapt to have a colour photo appear in the Southland Times on the saturday morning too (choice!!!) Just goes to show a little bit of effort is often rewarded.
Friday - Elf Super Cup
A very hot day so the track prep team did very well in such conditions however the track was always gonna be slick with 20 Super Saloons tearing it up. We only managed a couple of passes in the first heat from our rearward grid start however a 4th place finish in heat 2 had us in the top 10 for the final. After the first two rounds in Blenheim and Nelson we were holding 10th overall in the series and if I could finish reasonably in this feature race we would advance to 9th overall. And that is what we were looking at doing cos I had passed Mike Verdoner and was swapping positions with Dennis Bolt when "boom" the R/F steering arm tore out from the hub due to the turn 3 rut I kept hitting wrong, race over "dammit". However all is not lost yet cos we are still 10th overall in the series with four rounds to go. It is very encouraging to know 811 when set-up correctly to the track conditions becomes a very quick car. We are definately knocking on the door of the top guns in this game but now I just gotta get my foot in the door somewhat. Gonna be interesting to see if we can achieve it and just what we can do to improve that little bit more. So a very enjoyable night and a lot of fun plus there was plenty of discussion and banter untill the wee hours of the morning. Great times!!!
Saturday - South Island Championships
Again a very hot day and a big thanks goes to Albert for opening up his workshop and helping to clean and prep 811 on saturday. Thanks to my crew man Aaron plus Woody for a huge effort cos we completely stripped and rebuilt the front suspension in the car to ensure we would be reliable for the nights four big races. Another huge thank you to Lloyd Phillips of Cleanways 2003 Ltd for supporting us. Your contribution helps make the whole excursion that much bearable when on a tight budget. It was good to finally meet with you too.
In the first heat I made some reasonable ground but all of a sudden it was like someone threw a switch and turned off all the traction we had to the track and I spun up exiting turn 4 dammit. So sent to the back of the field for the re-start while losing a lot of possible points. Second heat I managed to come home near mid pack but I definately wasn't doing myself any favours points wise. In the final heat I was bawked something wicked while cars freight-trained past resulting in another crappy finish. So from the 21 cars that started the night we found ourselves leaving from grid 16 for the one race championship deal. This is where I think we learnt a bit cos at flag drop I immediately took up the challenge to make out-side passes which managed to stick. Next minute we were up behind Bruce Boulton so knowing the proverbial "lack of traction" switch would soon be activated I just settled in and followed Bruce to the checkered finishing in 12th place. After all the average placings in the heats we were absolutely wrapt to have finished the night on a high and now we look forward to the NZ Champs at Woodford Glen on the 15th Feb.
Gotta thank Paul and Sonya Wood for their outstanding hospitality.
Hopefully we can return the favour when you come up for the nationals LOL.
Yours in Racing ... Flash
Woodford Glen Speedway - 19th January 2013
With xmas holidays and Pam & I taking off to the GC for a while it's been a long time between race meetings. However we eventually came back to reality and realised a lot of work was still required to get 811 race ready. The motor was still sitting on the floor plus things like the suspension needed attention. Chipping away got us there including working all day race day so it was good to be getting back in the drivers seat again.
Tonight we were supporting the NZ Superstock GP at the Glen and with the weather being warm and dry it was always gonna be slick. Josh had grid 1 with us starting from grid 2 for the first race. If anything we set-up the car a little bit tight so although I managed to get into turn 1 ahead of Josh our car promptly launched into a reasonable wheel stand which cost us valuable track position. Although we ran pretty well in this race I lost several placings to some of the "top guns" however a 5th place was a good start considering how many bits the car had been in recently.
Race 2 had us off grid 9 and as soon as we went to exit our pit the clutch hydraulics gave up in the Bert gearbox. So we needed to push start the car on the track to make the remaining races. We had a quick car on the slick dusty track in this race making four passes just chipping away on the pole line before a caution bunched the cars again. Several laps from the end of the race I overcooked it slightly and half spun in turn 4 cutting off Kane who we had passed earlier. So all the good work was undone dammit! losing several spots in the process.
Race 3 wasn't good at all and even though I started towards the rear I hit Kane again
(sorry again dude!) when he checked up for a crash right in front of us. After this I just tried some in-car adjustments to try learning a little while staying out of trouble.
So results wise we didn't do much but it's still very encouraging to know we have a quick car when we get the set-up close to being right. And lastly I gotta thank Pam for not being grumpy cos today was her birthday but she did get the night off from pit-crewing LOL.
Elf Super Cup - Rounds 1 & 2 - Blenheim / Nelson - 14th & 15th Decembar 2012
What a bloody awesome weekend. Really "full on" and heaps of fun and entertainment. The whole atmosphere of this series is very exciting.
I drew crappy grid 9 for heat 1 and grid 11 for heat 2. Didn't make much ground but more importantly didn't lose any. 811 has improved immensely since last years series, so much so that we found ourselves 9th overall after the heats only just missing out on the top 8 for the Pole Shuffle.
From our grid 9 start in the final I lost two places with a tear-off problem but was very pleased to now be finishing mid-field rather than down the pack.
I was really looking forward to round 2 at my favopurite track Nelson. I drew grids 14 and 3 for the heats but in heat 1 I spun on the last lap when attempting to pass a lapped car. The ensuing contact with another car produced my first dnf which was quite dissappointing. However with the support of a couple of ring-in crew members from Ryan Berry's team the car had the front suspension replaced in time for heat 2. Thanks heaps guys! This race also delivered us a personal best 4th place finish for the series to date and yet again 9th place grid for the final, just outside of the top 8 again for the Pole Shuffle. In the final we finshed 8th and this promoted us to 10th overall in the series after 2 rounds. Very pleasing considering the level of competition out there.
However a lot of work now needs to be done over the next few weeks because the engine went a bit flat in the second to last lap of the weekend so need to investigate. I'm gonna remove the engine and get the it checked out by my engine builder ASAP. Really don't need this right now as Pam & I are heading to the Gold Coast next weekend. I have a strange feeling that there will be some late nights done in the workshop to ensure 811 will be ready. Our new posters are hot off the press too. Check em out here.
Our next scheduled race meeting is the double header in Invercargill which is round 3 of the Elf Super Cup plus the South Island Championship. Meantime have a great Christmas and we will see ya's n the New Year
Woodford Glen Speedway - 24th November 2012
Tonight was our Canterbury Championships at The Glen and although I've won twice in the A Grade class I never had any high expectations to be on the podium in this Super Saloon class. However my sister Fiona has just migrated back from Spain and she's only ever seen me race once before and I won the championship easily back then. She chose to be with us on the team tonight so I was hopeful of a top 10 finish to be realistic. I was soon to be proven how UN-realistic that idea was!
Now I'm the first to admit that I don't have a lot of desperation to win (not like I used to) and just wanna have a great fun time racing at this level. Plus with Casey's recent accident taking a lot of our time I guess my head space just wasn't quite in the right frame of mind tonight.
Anyhow enough of the excuses and onto the racing ... 19 cars fronted and we started the first heat from grid 8. I always thought this would be a frantic night with some guy's desperate to stamp their mark in the Super Saloons plus the existing top performers wanting to continue their dominance so to speak.
So yes the pace was fast but I totally mis-read how dry the track was by the time our first heat came round. 811 struggled for rear end grip right from the start and my "mash the go pedal to the floor" style of racing just did not help the situation. (gee I gotta learn some throttle control). I managed to run the first half of the race holding a reasonable placing in the top 10 while making several in-car adjustments along the way and trying different race lines searching for grip. But the inevitable happened and 811 swapped ends on me entering turn 3 too quick so I did a 360 spin loosing a few places. On the last lap I did the same thing but this time stalling the car mid turn dammit!
In my haste to get it going and moving I jammed up the gears somewhat which continued to be an issue throughout the night.
Heat 2 and I thought the changes we made would have sorted our problem however the car got so much grip on the right rear that the whole car basically did a huge wheel stand while pirouetting on the r/r tyre and spun again dammit!
Heat 3 continued on our disasterous night when the front driveshaft snapped at the front yoke before I even made the green flag ... dammit again!!! This was a brand new driveshaft this time last season and it turns out a it appears to have been flawed from manufacture with a partial crack which obviously found it's limit over the weekend.
So ... not a good night for us but no-where as bad as fellow racer Ryan Berry who has just stepped into the Super Saloon class (see last picture).
Our next meeting is the first weekend of the ELF Super Cup with Friday 14th Dec at Blenheim's Eastern States Speedway then Saturday 15th Dec at Nelson's Top of the South Speedway. This series is definitely a highlight for us so a reliable car is our aim. Hope to see ya's there.
Cheers ... Flash
Woodford Glen Speedway - 27th October 2012
Today we had 811 on display at the new Woodford Glen Shop to assist with promotion. Tonight was the annual Fireworks meeting with approx 10,000 people in attendance. We also arranged the corporate box for our supporters so were hoping for a trouble free performance from 811. We not only achieved that but were absolutlety stoked to win race 1 and follow it up with 3rd in race 2. What a great improvement for the team and finally a just reward for our efforts. That win didn't come easy though and early in the race we diced for the lead with 881 Bruce Boulton. After a few laps we managed to edge away somewhat but that was short lived when a caution bunched the field up again. At this stage the last few laps were a race to the flag with 58 Richie Taylor charging hard to place 2nd ahead of Bruce. Only 0.8 of a second covered these 3 cars as they crossed the finish line. Very pleased it was 811 first though so Pam and I partied till 4am in celebration. LOL
A lot of good feedback on the night too plus a couple of interviews. Also on wed night this week I am to be interviewed by Jase at www.thepits.racing.org.nz so listen in if you are keen.
Cheers for now ... Flash
Woodford Glen Speedway - 20th October 2012
Wow ... what a great opening night at the Glen. After the issues we had and the diagnosing work on the car chasing that misfire I wasn't overly worried about performance and results. Although the Moller & Young Trophy Challenge has trophies up for grabs for the top 5 placegetters I wasn't really concerned and basically just wanted the engine to be running well and have a trouble free night. Only managing an 8th place finish in heat 1 sorta suggested 811 wasn't gonna be in the top 5 anyhow. But I was pleased that the engine is perfoming much better and the car is finally starting to produce some speed.
When heading to the grid for heat 2 a rear suspension rod-end snapped which I kinda thought we would be outta that race. However with a little bit of help from a few people close at hand we got stuck in and changed the part in question and just made it onto the track before the pit gate closed. Great work team!!! Although I am still struggling to get my head round a set-up for Woodford Glen's track conditions, 811 went a lot better in this race. Result ... a very handy 4th and a very pleased team.
The final heat had us off grid 1 and apart from Ian Burson and Richie Taylor getting by we finished a real strong 3rd from Josh Boulton & Mark Osborne. And very pleased to be awarded 4th place trophy overall for the night.
Got a few things to sort on 811 for next weekend but looking forward to the meeting cos we have the corporate box for our support partners to enjoy.
Cheers for now ... Flash
Woodford Glen Speedway Practice - 6th October 2012
Spent the morning in the workshop preparing the car for a test run. However a bit of a frustrating practice for us today. We have a major engine misfire issue which we need to sort. However the car looks great in it's new livery and we received plenty of good feedback. MikeyB has put a video clip on YouTube as well.
Cheers for now. Gotta go watch Bathurst ... Flash