Baypark policy looks likely to stay the way it is
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.