Woeful weather wrecks speedway meetings
The La Nina weather pattern New Zealand has suffered this summer has not been conducive to full speedway programmes.
Meetings have been rained off or cancelled throughout the country, including those at Waharoa’s Rangeview Speedway.
The intended Picnic Meeting on December 18, where the Mata- mata Chronicle editor was going to race as a passenger in a very hot Holden Commodore, was cancelled.
And the two- day meet scheduled for January 7 and 8 went the same way. An attempt to beat the weather was made when the club started the racing a little earlier than advertised but only one race was completed on a track too sodden for reaching any great speeds.
The race did hold some interest being a jalopy street car race and the first one after Maurice Hodgkinson driving the #51RV Commodore ‘‘ walled’’ club president Frank Millar’s #14D Ford Telstar.
That was in the December 11 meeting while competing for the CTRA North Island championship.
If ‘‘payback’’ wasn’t on the minds of the two drivers involved, it certainly was on the spectators who lined the banks in anticipation of a showdown.
Hodgkinson was making heavy work of trying to gain traction on the wet and deep mud in the rear-wheel drive Commodore while Millar had the front- wheel drive Telstar lapping consistently.
It looked like Hodgkinson was positioning his car to take out the Ford when he spun and sat facing the oncoming traffic.
All drivers avoided the prone Commodore except Millar who gave him a head on ‘‘ love tap’’ that left more damage on the Ford than on the Holden. Unfortunately it was the first and last race of the weekend.
Other competitors put their cars on the track for 10 minutes of wheel packing following that race but then someone opened the tap on the heavenly water truck and completely washed out the meet.
The next meet is scheduled for Sunday, January 22 where the CTRA New Zealand Youth Ministock Championship will be contested.
We can only hope La Nina will bring some respite and allow us to have some real summer weather and local speedway where perhaps a blossoming racing feud will continue to keep the spectators wholly entertained.
And, just quietly, I’ve been told, ‘‘ If everything that goes on track, stays on track, it will continue.’’ A quote from Millar.
Mud dog: The sign says it all on a former Waiheke Island visitor to Rangeview Speedway. All competitors could be called Mud Dogs lately.