Bay­park pol­icy looks likely to stay the way it is

Matamata Chronicle - - Motoring - By DAVE WAKE­FIELD

In my last ar­ti­cle ( Mata­mata Chronicle Au­gust 17) Gra­ham Keatinge said that to re-con­tract street stocks to Bay­park Speed­way would be a mis­take and that pro­duc­tion sa­loons would be a bet­ter op­tion.

Speak­ing to a num­ber of speed­way peo­ple, they seem to be of the same opin­ion.

This got me think­ing of an ar­ti­cle I wrote in May 2001 and printed in a club news­let­ter.

It was about whether or not Bay­park would run pro­duc­tion sa­loons as a reg­u­lar class.

I was told they had no in­ten­tion of run­ning them reg­u­larly but might run them oc­ca­sion­ally as a fill in class if 30 or more cars could be fielded.

It never hap­pened and it seems likely that the pol­icy has not changed.

The new man­age­ment said they would not be re-con­tract­ing street stocks or any other class but would con­tinue rac­ing the classes al­ready con­tracted.

Other classes will be in­vited to race at Bay­park through­out the sea­son to be scru­ti­nised for fu­ture suit­abil­ity.

In 2001, I reck­oned they were jerk­ing our chains as at that time, be­tween Ro­torua, Ki­hik­ihi, Waihi and Rangeview speed­ways (Huntly did not run prod­dys in those days), 20 Speed­way New Zealand-com­pli­ant cars would have been a lux­ury.

Ro­torua, Ki­hik­ihi and a few Rangeview com­peti­tors worked to­gether to make up the fields at the two Speed­way New Zealand tracks and es­tab­lish the class in the area for that as­so­ci­a­tion.

The man­age­ment of Bay­park was ob­vi­ously not in­ter­ested in build­ing up com­peti­tor numbers in their own catch­ment area and if they were go­ing to run them at all, would rely on sur­round­ing speed­ways to sup­ply the can­non fod­der.

Back in the ‘‘good ol’ days’’ of the early ’70s Waikaraka Park would some­times get 30 or so of us on the track and be­lieve me, the mid­dle of the pack was no place to be go­ing into the well named Ceme­tery Bend on the first lap.

Be­cause they were stand­ing starts for the sa­loons in that era and if you weren’t some­where near the front or rear of the grid it was good pol­icy to feign clutch prob­lems, cir­cu­late slowly on the in­field un­til the green flag dropped and join in from the rear.

That way you at least had a chance of mak­ing it onto the back straight.

Hav­ing said that, if the op­por­tu­nity to race on Bay­park ever does even­tu­ate, this fella’s jump­ing straight out of re­tire­ment and back be­hind the wheel.

But it seems de­bates on the pros and cons of which class should race at that sta­dium are fu­tile. We are only jerk­ing our own chains and bark­ing up a tree with imag­i­nary pos­sums in it.

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