Stockcar 61K is the EA Falcon powered Flat Chassis of Jamie Bryant. The car performed way beyond our teams expectations during the 2006-2007 season and withstood, and dealt out, a fair bit of contact too. The Yellow and Purple beast would definitely not be at the track without the help and support of my sponsors and Team, and thanks to alot more support and help, we intend to have the car picking up a few more flags and dealing to as many non KIHIKIHI cars as possible. If possible, please support our sponsors and check out the links below, as these guys make it possible to be out there
Bryant Antennas - Myself and my Fathers business, located in Auckland and Tauranga. We specialise in Satellite Dishes for Homes and Motorhomes
Headcase Designs - Our signwriter, who has helped us win best presented in 2000, and does many of the top cars racing around the country now. An avid supporter of Speedway who has been a big influence on the presentation of Stockcars
Conversion Plus - Specialists in converting left hand drive vehicles to right hand drive
The Chopper Shop - Chopper specialists based in Papamoa. Designer of many of Squarebush the clowns infamous racecar "toys"
Bayfair Automotive & Exhausts - Ex Midget Star, Russell Martin's new business, opened up recently in Papamoa Junction
Ruakaka Motor Camp - Far and away the nicest Motor Camp in the North Island. Next time you are racing in Whangarei or Taipa, i highly suggest that you stay here.
Thanks to Murray Guy 13M for use of the pic on the left and Yaz Dolbell for the pic on the Right and the header picture.
Jamie is very lucky to have such an awesome and devoted crew:
Kev- Jamies Dad, a huge fan of motorsport of all types, head of the crew, and manager of main sponsor, Bryant Antennas Tauranga branch
Trish- Kevs wife, Stockcars are a passion for her, and it is a fact that without her involvement we wouldnt be racing at this stage
Lancie aka Tourettes Boy - Works for Bryant Antennas Auckland and is Jamies sidekick and head of setting up the HITLIST. The best at getting Jamie fired up to bash, since Clint Herring and Choc in the Death Row days.
Laura- Our Auckland based scrubber. Its her job to get the car clean between races
Shawn- The little inventer, new to the crew, and proving his worth before the season has started
Sao- Our Mount based scrubber
Rhody Game- Driver of 141H, and friend of the family. Rhody also does our setups.
Gonzo- Driver of 41H and a huge help with sorting out our tyres
The red eyes thing got started by Robbie Sissons, our Kihikihi team captain. It is how he keeps descibing my habit of going from running in a race, getting wound up or fed up, my eyes going red, and wrecking cars (often including my own though)
I have been looking forward to this meeting for quite some time. As far as i know, it is by far the biggest meeting my club, Kihikihi, has ever held, and i was going to be a part of it. Unfortunately the car was very damaged at our Meeanee meeting, and these days our crew and staff are split between the two branches with the car living with all of our machinery and tools, at the Papamoa branch. Christmas is also the busiest time of year for our business too so the Papamoa boys put in a great effort and alot of late night work just to get it to the track. Things werent perfect.. especially if you heard the starter motor screeching to fire the car up, but everything was working so it was all good.. we had made it there.
Everyone had talked me into running as most of my friends and family thought we had the goods to qualify, and i really wanted to have a say in who won on the second day.. but i had also worked out who i was gonna try and help thru. My only clubmate in my group, Lyndsey Trotter.. well i knew he wasnt gonna bother tryna flagrun, so that left out of towners.. Huntly is sorta Kihikihi's sister club, so all those drivers were cool, and i had been travelling a bit over the past few years with the Mount boys so they were all good too.. then the Auckland guys in my groups, car owners, were probably the 2 most influential guys in my early stockcar racing, and team mates with me at different times too, Shane Bessant, who was wicked seein again after many a year, and Carlos Chessnutt whose son Marty was racing the car. First race up, and i drew the last grid.. 18.. that meant i had to beat or bash 12 cars.. to be honest i was quietly confident... til the first corner
Started right off the back for this one and got a good start diving to the inside and following thru passing about 4 cars before the corner, as more piled into the wall, but the rear end stepped out just a little bit and 63H Erin Harris took full advantage spinning me around. Dammit, red-eyes before the meeting had even really got going, i spun around and just went hard out until i caught Erin back up again, he went wide on Turn 2 and i just drilled him full noise in the side and into the wall.. now i dunno really what happened, but my car spun and richoched down the track, and he seemed to just carry on, and i stalled it. It was like the car had no power to it, and the starter wouldnt fire at all for 3 or 4 laps, and then on about my 20th attempt, she fired up. I shot around and got back on the track the right way, and went into block mode. I knew 226S Blair Luscomb or 2NZ Keith Spanhake must have been in the lead so i waited for them. Blair tried to shoot around the outside and i drilled him in the wall slowing him down but the two of us leaned on the wall a bit before shooting across the track and clipping Keiths rear end, but he kept his cool and stayed on track, and Blair got away. Damn.. its hard to get someone to ride a Kihikihi wall without using pure brute force and smashing them up, cos of their being no lip. Anyway i carried on racing and 8M Scott Fredrickson passed me. We were coming out of Turn 2 and he suddely locked up in front of me. I aimed for his side rail to spin him the right way again, but rode over his front wheel, and carried on, a couple more laps went by and they dragged him in, after he was hit by another car, but when they put the red flag out i went to hit my clutch, only to find it was non existant. The peddle had actually broken off in one crash or another so i chugged to the infield trying to find another way to engage it, but couldnt, so ended up with a DNF for Race One
After Race One, Lancey ripped the clutch pedal out and took it around to the Gallops pits, and they welded it back up for us. Two tack welds had held the pedal on.. i couldnt believe it.. im really suprised it hadnt broken off in some of my bigger hits! We changed the batteries, and.. well.. i tried to avoid a few of the other drivers.. cos when im on the rampage, i hate when others come up trying to be friendly so you wont hit them. Makes me feel guilty when i do. We thought we were all ready to go and then Dad noticed that the bearing and nut had come off the stub axle.. damn.. cant race like that, so we asked around the pits but noone else seems to run an HQ front end.. so my race two ended up being a race up to Repco in Te Awamutu for some parts, and boy did i encounter alot of good blockers on the way..lol.. the trip from Kihikihi to Te Awamutu has never felt so long, and i have never encountered so many 30kmph sunday drivers on the trip either. I thought i contained my road rage well and kept thinkin some buggers gonna get it in the 3rd heat! lol. Anyway we got that sorted and done some special modifications to the brakes as we had to end up using an HZ stub axle instead of an HQ one, but we were back out there for the third heat, and amped up to cause chaos.
The crew told me that Mintie bet 10 to 1 i would jump on the brakes with me drawing grid 1 in this race, but with 919A Shane Bessant grid 3, Mintie, you owe me a tenner..lmao. I got a mean as start getting a jump of 3 or 4 car lengths on everyone, i saw Shane had blown away the outside lane too so i drifted wide and let him underneath. I tried to slow the pack down going into turn 3 and helped Shane get a bit of a break, when Reece Grieg 28W tried to go around the outside. I turned right and slammed him pretty hard into the wall. His car jumped up, but nuthin i was doing today was sticking. Alot of the pack passed us while i had him tied up but he got away again. I ran for a while trying to suss out who was where, and alot of the guys i wanted to qualify were already at the front, so i began to slow again lookin for some favourites, when the reds came on again. The next car behind me was Spanhake, and he hadnt been catching me so i knew he was playing smart, and just staying out of trouble.. its that sorta driving and craftiness thats got him to 1 and 2NZ. The greens came on and i went to take off and the car leapt forward and died, i clutched it, and revved it hard out, went to take off again and died again. I done this about 3 or 4 times on the infield, but something was stuffed. A car rolled in turn 4 so i switched the car off to give it a cool down and maybe a battery charge up (ive had this car do the same thing when the batterys out of juice in the past). The greens came on again after a few minutes, but to no avail, now the car wouldnt even fire, so that was it for our North Island Champs.. a DNF, a DNS and a DNF. The problem ended up being that the fuel pump had stopped working.
Conclusion and Plans
I was disapointed how things went for us, but i was really impressed how efficiently everything else, including the track seemed to run. At times the track had dust, and a couple of smallish ruts, but definitely supassed many other tracks around the country, which for a day track, is fantastic. 585S Daniel Coxhead being refused to race as they had not received his entry was disapointing, but if i remember rightly Kihikihi had stood their ground with a similar thing last year with sidecars, so there really was nothing they could do without upsetting someone. It was just a huge shame it occurred with one of our classes biggest supporters.
Our diff was clanging, the starter motor was barely working, and our brake adjustments werent fantastic, and we couldnt get another HQ stub axle so we have pulled the pin on racing on Sunday, which is a huge disapointment, but we are better off getting the car FULLY ready for our next full on meeting which is the Teams Nationals in Wellington. We may do Baypark a few nights before, just to make sure everything is dialled in properly and have all hands on deck to make sure we have all spares we can get, and ensure that the car is in tip top condition and ready to captain Kihikihi into really suprising our knockers. This year we really want to make an impact, and everyone is fired up to do so. Roll on Wellington!
Over the past three seasons, we have turned up to Meeanee with car in tow three times, the first, we damaged it at Palmy the previous night, and after a daylong assault at tryna fix it, at Shane Penns yard, succumbed to time, and didnt get a run, and then last year, we went to the rained out opening meeting. This year, we planned on attending the opening but didnt have the car ready in time. On Monday i saw a post by Regan 52B on Macgors about the HB Champs, and thought hell yeah, thats a bit of us, and the whole team was amped. We turned up a little under prepared and late, but the staff and members at Hawkes Bay were very helpful and friendly, and got us through in no time, though we did miss the parade because we were trying to still get the radiater fan working, at the track. All night we had Hawkes Bay Members and Drivers coming over and introducing themselves and welcoming us to the track. Kelvin Bull also turned up in his 22K car to help fly the flag for Kihikihi, and there were 3 other out of town drivers from the Mount, The Gallop brothers 444M and 48M and Scott Frederickson 8M. We were up against 29 Local lads so i decided i would do what i could for the out of town mob.
In the first race, i drew grid 14. After doing all of my racing at the Mount (Big Numbers, but Huge Track) and Kihikihi (Small Numbers, medium size track), it was odd being on a small track with huge numbers, and on the first corner i got hits from all sides sending me to the grass. I sorta wasnt sure how to join the track amongst 30 cars freighttraining down the back straight so i joined after the mob, and then started hitting everything i could that didnt have a K or M on it. I managed to get about 3 cars off into the wall, and spun up and blocked quite a few more. At one stage, Scott 8M passed me, but we were bearing down on the Tank, Beatle Tarrant, who is one of the best blockers i have come across, and judging how Scott stayed wide, i gather he feels the same way. I overtook Scott and did a big reverse spin on Beatle sending him around fast while Scott overtook us, only to look in my mirrors and see that the bugger had skilfully pulled off a full 360 and was chasin me down! We got around the corner, and he took me to the infield in a big cloud of dust. I got back on track and was mixing it up a bit more, and then caught Beatle again, spun him again, and this time he clutched it and took me across the track and into the wall. The chequred came out so we both took off again and crossed the line towards the rear of the field. Scott 8M finished 5th, Nicky Gallop 7th and Kelvin 22K 14th. Scott 48M had a DNF with a broken axle. My car had been handling pretty terribly in the latter stages of the race, and on inspection, one of our main A arm bolts had fallen out so my wheel was flapping around on its own a bit, so we repaired that and headed back into battle.
My Grid One.. now this was wierd cos i could swear that i saw a green flag drop in the first race, so here i was at the front, watching the starter.. and then everyone started taking off, and i glanced up to see green lights were on.. ooo k.. we are racin! I spun 18B out on the first bend then we got around the first bend and the reds came on. I actually thought it must have been a false start..lol.. but someone had been rolled over. Off again, and i was now in 3rd or 4th place and keeping with the front pack.. gees the old dunger engine that came with our cheapie deal was doin pretty well! We did about 3 laps, with as many red lights, and then i came across a site.. deja vu.. Beatle in his Tank, with Scott 8M behind him. Bugger the 3rd or whatever i was in, i just kept my boot in and slammed the Tank at the end of the straight. It was a good hit, but the plug off my dizzy came loose so i clutched it and rolled into the side of him again, parking us both against the wall. It seems that something went wrong with his electrics too, neither of us were going anywhere and we were parked there for a few more laps before Scott 48M and our newly adopted Kihikihi Crusader 17B Peter Barry came careering into us. The officials called the reds and pulled us off the track Watching the race unfold from the infield gave me an idea of just how much action was going on all over the show.. these HB lads love the bash!! Scott 8M finished quite well back, and Nicky was now the outa towners best chance sitting in about 6th overall. Kelvin didnt get a start in the second due to a clutch problem. We just plugged the lead back on and she fired up.. made sure it was duct taped hard out this time tho.
I started off the back this time. My car is pretty quick off the starts and i had 2 cars that were beating Nicky just ahead of me, 38B and 78B.. but i also had 25B beside me, who i had stuck in the wall earlier in the night. Again the start caught me off guard, but i had the 38M in my sights for the first corner, but he was shoved up onto the pole, so i couldnt really follow him there. We headed off down the back straight, glancing in my mirrors i saw i had the 25B on my tail, so at the end of the straight i gave the 38 car a shunt out wide. 25B shunted me, which put me behind my other target 78B. I followed right on his tail coming out of turn 4, but Ross Leonard 94B and Scott 48M came across the track together and i slammed hard into all 3, my car coming to an abrupt halt. It was that hard a hit, that it has stuffed my clutch and gearbox, and sheared off my engine mounts.. but.. well.. everyone drove off except for me, so i musta got the worst of it. The third heat was chaos. The Gallops and Frederickson dealt it out, and also got dealt to, with only Nicky 444M finishing. Kelvin 22K got taken out a few times too, but mostly kept out of trouble to finish, and score a very credible 8th overall. The HB guys made sure they kept their trophys on their turf with Ricky Kuru winning, Regan O'Brian second and Tony ? third. Congrats to those guys, cos it really was a proper stockcar meet, where EVERYONE got dealt to and dealt back.. not a flagracing event.. in fact, the eventual winner, Ricky got dealt to in such a way, it looked at stages like he was gonna roll, end up on the wall, or on his side, and then got stuck on the bonnet of 8M, but managed to get off, and finish to win the title.
Thanks to MentL1 from the Macgor's site for use of the above photo.
I love going to Hawkes Bay, despite never having run their previously. It has the laid back feel of Kihikihi.. also like Kihikihi, most of the drivers want to use their Stockcar for what its designed to do.. HIT.. just with Meeanee, there are about 5 times the amount of drivers that we have. Everyone that we talked to was really friendly, and though their were obvious rivalries on the track, everyone got on well off the track, and i love it when our sport is like that! When everything was over and we were trying to load the car on the truck, with no clutch etc, they had their prizegiving, and i was stoked, but also quite shocked given the last race, that i won the Driver of the Night award. As i walked away from receiving the award, Beatle shook my hand, congratulated me and said it was probably at his expense.. hmm.. i think i better keep an eye out for the Tanker still. Anyway, again on behalf of myself and my crew, Thanks to the HB club and all of the members we met for their great hospitality, and we look forward to next time we can venture on down there
Well, i haven't mentioned it on this site before, but over the off season we purchased a brand new engine, the one that Kerry Remnant was racing with last year (6K), and after alot of drama's it let go at Baypark a few meetings ago. It is disapointing, but it's unfortunately part of racing, the worst thing was that it happened at Baypark the night before our Kihikihi opening which caused us to miss that meeting. Rather than rush, chucking the old (faithful) engine back in, we decided to save it until our second 2K's meeting to make sure we got there.
It was a good turn out at Kihikihi with 18 Stockcars showing up, 8 Kihikihi, 2 Mount Maunganui, 3 Stratford, 7 Rotorua and a lone Hawkes Bay car.
I drew grid one, and even though i just intended to smash cars, i tried to have a go at running. Unfortunately our setup wasnt fantastic and i overcooked it, in the first corner spinning up in front of the pack I was lucky enough to spin it to the infield, and just sat and waited for all the cars to pass and went into block mode. The first 2 leading cars were both Rotorua cars and i took them both out into the wall, before being attacked by a third Rotorua car who i then took across the track and onto the grass. The 2 of us broke away from each other and i went back out there swinging at everything i could. I tagged a few Rotorua cars, and T boned the bay car into the wall, which straightened him and he took off again. I must have finished near last but i helped 511k Trevor DeMalmanche to get his win.
I drew a mid grid and got a mean as start getting up into second place, but then on the second corner, once again i spun up, but this time i got ploughed into by a few of the field, getting spun back round.. time to start hitting again.. all day my goal was to try and help Kihikihi cars win, but it was quite difficult telling which cars were which, apart from the 2 Rotorua teams cars, one didnt make it in this race, and the other apparently had a new driver in who i was aked not to hit. I was swinging at most cars i could and banged a few into the wall before putting the block on the 86R, he got underneath me and drilled me into the wall exiting turn 4. The cars gears were a bit stuffed up, and i had difficulty getting back into 3rd gear, but still finished the race, probably in about 8th.
I really dont get why so many stockcar drivers do this, but i got a rear grid and was waiting for other drivers to fill the gaps, but for some reason alot of drivers dont want to, and piss around because i think they are scared of other drivers coming in from behind, especially in features. So anyway, the Starter raised his flag so everyone bunched up and i ended up in the middle again. Off into the first corner and i leaned on the 754S car leaning him into the wall, i took a shot at someone else on the inside and he got passed again, so i reverse spun him coming back down the main straight. I went back into block mode waiting for the 86R, that had put me in the wall in the previous race, but now 754S wanted to play. He came underneath me so i shoved him on the grass, and took off again while he looped around. I was watchin hard in the mirrors for the 86R car, but he was with the 53K car, both orange and i couldnt tell which was which, so i let them both past, the 754S car came thru next and drilled me in the front end sending us both to the grass. It broke one of my A-arm bolts so i finished the race with my wheel collapsed under the chassis.
We were just stoked to have had a good fun day, with the car still going strong at the end of it. It was also good to see that 7 out of our 7 Kihikihi cars started and finished the third heat.. its been a long while since ive seen that happen.. especially when alot of the other cars were damaged and couldnt complete the day. It was also cool to catch up with the Kihikihi drivers and fans as well as our regular visitors from other tracks, they really do make the difference in a meeting at our track. Anyway, we are off to Napier this weekend for the Hawkes Bay Champs.. Napier is full of basher drivers, so it promises to be an exciting weekend and i cant wait to get amongst it
Offseason goings on
Geez, Stockcar season is approaching fast and its been ages since i did an update! Well at this time a year ago, i was flatting with Brad Ridland, and the 2 of us set some season goals. He knew his car would be fast, and after coming in 1 point behind Noel Hawthorn in season points in the 05-06 season, his goal was to win it. I had no idea how our new car would go, so i decided my goal was to win best presented. My team backed me fully, Headcase Designs done an awesome signwriting job, and the scrubbers had the car always gleaming. To cut a long story short, at Kihikihi Prizegiving, Brad won Most Wins, Most Finishes and his goal Season Points. Robbie Sissons won Best Team Driver, David Moore won Best Stirrer and i won Most Improved Driver. The Best Presented Car and Crew trophy ended up going to Noel Hawthorne whos car and transporter setup always looked immaculate. Congrats to all of the winners of the awards, they were all well deserved!
So once again, one of our goals is to be the best presented Kihikihi Stockcar. Last season, we just had a white truck, that was perfect for travelling with and working out of, but probably didnt look the part... man, is my Dad seeing to that! He has painted up the entire truck to match the Stockcar (and our business colours), and it is really starting to look fantastic! I cant wait till it gets signwritten!
Also over the off season, Dad has been getting to know his neighbours, and they are all mad-keen horsepower freaks and many are keen to help us out with sponsorship. Our new sponsors include Conversion Plus, Bayfair Automotive & Exhausts, The Chopper Shop and ACM Motorsport all located in the Papamoa Junction, as well as the Ruakaka Motor Camp, who have helped us with our business as well as given us a ZF gearbox.
The car itself is getting pimped out a bit with a new paint job, and flashier design, and a few other nice extras. It is also getting the Bumpers and Siderails fixed up and replaced, and the bottom sorted so that hopefully it will handle the bumps, rather than digging in, collecting mud and/or damaging the sump.
We are also going to either get a new seat or beef up the padding of the old one. At my last 2 meetings i got dizzy spells after some big impacts. Once the season was over, we took the covers off only to see that my head must have hit the seat so hard that it has bent the headrest quite alot(pic at bottom). We couldnt straighten it with our bare hands!
A few of you have been asking about my Teams Racing intentions, and i have to tell you that i am amped up and ready to go hard for the Crusaders. I am also excited about hearing of alot of new drivers heading our way, as well as a couple that were missing from last season. I think that this years Crusaders may sneak up on a few people. Roll on the new season, i wanna go wreck something!
Unfortunately our car had not been repaired after getting hammered at Huntly. Our Tauranga boys had been hard out working for the business rather than attacking the Stockcar at the present time.. plus we found the dates out a bit late and the boys tried were not able to get the car sorted in time. Paretonga is a privately owned track that has had alot of hard work put into it. The corners are banked and it is made out of a strange sandy sort of substance. It is aproxiamately the same size as Baypark, and is very fast.
Thankfully Rhody and Gonzo said that my crew could drive their cars, as this was something i had wanted to see happen for some time. Dad and Trish didnt have a drive, but Lance and Laura did. Laura went first, she had alot of fun, but was a bit uncomfortable in Gonzo's car and found it awkward to drive. I think she will suit my car much better, mso i think we will have to organise that sometime. Lance however, probably would have never fitted in my car. It was designed to suit me, so even stuff like reaching the gearstick would be hard for him. He did however find a perfect fit in Rhodys car. He was pretty slow and cautious at first, but soon picked up the pace and was keeping up with some people who have raced before even.. this from a kid who has barely driven on the roads yet!! When Lance came in, his wheel was wobbling and after further inspection, the problem was that the wheel had started breaking into pieces. Lance the loony was carrying a piece around with him showing everyone what he did. Sorry Lance, but i didnt get a pic of your piece of steel, but i did however get a pic of you racing into the sunset... and then spinning deep into the infield..lol.
Unfortunately i have always told him not to mock spinners up too much, because my theory is that you never know your limits til you spin, and now Lance keeps bringing that up if i try and hassle hime about it..doh.
Thanks heaps to Rhody for organising the track for us to use, it was a fun day, and thanks for letting some of my crew drive your car. Thanks to Gonzo too!
Hey Stockcar fans, if you have read my site in the past, you have probably read me mentioning our business Bryant Antennas, and mentioning different aspects of it. If you want to know more, check out www.bryantantennas.com . Anyway our family are ALL motor racing freaks, and it was always said that we would build the business up, and then get back into racing once she was all up and running smoothly. Funny enough most mornings prior to the start of work, my Dad would be at the office desk, with Macgors, or Trade Me up on the screen with some form of racecar for sale, saying hey look at this. After a month or so of this, we sorta decided that we would start buying parts, and build up a car as time went on. Dad and Lance were keen as, and i changed my mind day to day, one day thinking, our work needs our attention, the next thinking LETS GO RACING!! Dads wife Trish is a mad keen Stockcar fan too, and every now and again, the pair would check out cars while travelling down to the Mount. Anyway, after returning from one of their trips, they were raving about a car they had seen in Waihi. Dad thought it was the perfect donor car to get all the parts we needed. It had an AU Falcon, HiAce Diff, ZF gearbox.. all the bits. It was $6000, and though it was cheap, the business could not afford it, as we had only really been open a few months and were still getting established. Trish came to the rescue.
I had only seen a front on pic of the car, and did not think it would be a good idea. The headplate and rollcage seemed so tiny, and could picture me driving with my shoulders sticking out the side. That didnt matter, it was more of a donor car than anything.. though Dad had suggested rebuilding the top wider to accommodate me. Trish gave me the money and told me to get it if i liked it. My mate Brad from 5K took me down in his truck in case we were interested. We ended up bringing her home. It seems Dad had always had a plan and slowly following his plans, Dad, Lance and me built it into a perfect, comfy fitting Stockcar.
The car had a huge amount of problems to work through at the beginning of the season, from crappy battery contacts through to the driveshaft hitting the seat through to the belts falling off, and many more. The first race that the car finished was its 10th race, racing on the 2nd day for the Kihikihi Crusaders at the Huntly teams.. the very next race the steering linkage broke, so i took a Huntly car off the end. In that teams race though, the car had shown life and a speed not expected of it.
Rhody came on board about a quater of the way through the season and helped correct the last few problems that we had. Our car had a very similar setup to his old 81A stockcar and was instantly able to help us in the handling department too. At the next meeting, the car flew, and we got our first win in our new car.. Chaa Whoooos went off and noone on our crew could believe it. The donor car was on the pace, and winning races. This season was not going to be all about cruising the pole line and wasting people. It was also our first encounter with the Black and Yellow Stratford Stormers, and this hit started a season long feud between myself and their boys. It was fun and i really hope they continue to come to our track next season. I hope to get down there a few times prior to the New Zealands.
The following week, the car went off to Headcase Designs, and Clint did a fantastic job on it. I did a basic design and Clint flared it up, and made it look awesome. We liked it so much, that the wing design became our business logo, that we use on everything from our cards to our vehicles.
The North Islands at Palmy was an eye opener. After being on the pace with some of the faster cars at other tracks, we thought we would probably be able to qualify. After spending alot of time at Baypark, the Palmy track seemed tiny and honestly made me feel a bit claustraphobic. I was running OK after the first heat, but after a big hit into the wall by Graham Ward, and then a popped right rear, it was time to bash. I got a few cars, but the best thing was, this was the first meeting where we finished all 3 heats at a meeting!
A combination of spending too much on travel, a decline in sales after Christmas, work time lost due to travelling and a few other things including our new plans to open a Tauranga branch, meant that the racing budget had to be limited, so we werent able to travel as much, and had to cut out the NZ Grand Prix and NZ Teams champs which we were planning to do.
One of my personal highlights of the Season was the New Zealand champs. It was well run and organised, and we got to meet up with alot of old friends as well as some nice suprises. First up my car had its pic in the programme twice, and then a guy who i had not before, walked up and gave me an envelope. I opened the envelope, to find the breadboard picture of my car, and was just gobsmacked. Thanks alot again, to Robert Long, the guy who made it.
On track, Kihikihi made a huge impression, with everyone except Brad Ridland making a few big hits, and Brad got a win (but unfortunately got taken out after the flag). From Race 2 through til the second day, me and Beatle Tarrant were at each other, both taking out other cars in the process. It was a great meeting, and im glad a non Palmy, non Wellington guy with a homebuilt chassis ended up the victor.
The rest of the season that followed the NZs was all about consistancy, bashing and the odd flag run. Prior to the NZs, i read a thread by Tony Mac and set 3 goals to strive to try and achieve. The 3 goals were
1/ Qualify or make an impact at the NZs
2/ Finish 90% of my races from now
3/ Win the King Country Champs
Goal number 1, i sort of did, but not properly. I didnt qualify. I did however make an impact on some other drivers in Heat 3, by taking them out, but i personally dont think i passed this one so well. Race one and two, i ran to try and qualify. Race 3 my car had carb problems for about 4 laps, before it cleared itself and then the action started. I still took out about 3 or 4 cars, but only putting them in the wall or spinning them to the grass.. not for the whole race.
Goal Number 2, After deciding this goal, we went 18 races straight with no DNFs, and then had 5 of them in our final 3 weeks of the season. We finished with 22 finishes, 4 DNFs and 1 DNS which comes to 81%. Another fail on our goals, but i am still very happy with 81%. Next year we will definitely crack the 90% though!!
Goal Number 3, Throw in an "at" between the "Win" and "the" and we would have been sweet, but alas, yet another fail. With a DNS in the first race due to battery issues, things looked rather grim. In Race 2 i had Beatle and the 2 of the Stormers all over me, but we still managed to finish and qualify. In the main event i worked my way up to the top 10 from the rear, but then a certain Tank got taken out and went on the warpath. Again Beatle made life hard, after a few bashes with a few drivers, ended up in 15th. There was an all in at the end of the day, and with blocking help from Tony Gavin, we got our win "at" the King Country champs.
The end of the season was chaos with Dad and I doing various shows and then him finally moving to Tauranga, all while racing. The business needed alot more attention. Due to the car not receiving too much damage, we balanced the 2 for a short while, but after getting a massive hit at Huntly, i called it quits for the season, and although everyone on our team badly wished the car was at Rotorua Easter, the business has flourished because of it. The crash seemed timed perfectly, as instead of racing Rotorua, we held a show at Tauranga NZMCA AGM which got Dad off to a great start. A week or so later, we had the release of Freeview, which again took up alot of time. As a matter of fact, the car has still had little work done on it due to the business demands, but because everyone involved in our business are motor racing freaks, we plan on working VERY hard over this off season, so that next season, we will have a faster engine, and be able to travel more. The car, after the first quater of the season proved to be tough, and able to handle well, so we will be keeping the same car for next season.
Our situation is unique, with me living in Auckland, and the car "living" with Dad in Tauranga. We have been asked hundreds of times where we will be racing next season, and the answer is Kihikihi. I was a big fan of racing there even when i was an Auckland registered driver. Now that i know the drivers, it makes me want to compete there even more. This year, aside from 1 or 2 meetings, the track was as perfect as a day meeting track could be, and they held some of the countrys top meetings, but all with the relaxed Kihikihi feel. We were parked next to Darcy when he won the North Islands, and he didnt show even remotely the sort of stress you would expect at a North Island title meeting. He seemed to be having fun. Next years Stockcar North Islands, i am picking will be the meeting of the year and i cant wait.
The Kihikihi Crusaders team situation is a little bit of a worry though. A huge amount of us to make up numbers this season (18 in total!!), and the wooden spoon in all 3 events we competed in. With incomplete teams facing the starter, and a tendancy for K cars to take out other K cars, i guess its no suprise. However next season may be quite different. This season had alot of Rookie teams drivers racing their debut events(Kelvin Bull, Eaton, Darren Sisson), and some of us ex teams racers come back after not teams racing awhile (Lindsay Trotter, Noel Hawthorn, Me) as well as a mix of guys who have raced together prior. I think Kihikihi has the biggest heart out of any team out there, plus some of the craziest hitmen. I think all we need is a couple of cars on the pace with the top guys and we should fare alot better this coming season.
Anyway, i hope that answers some of your questions, and gives others an insight into how and why our season went the way it did. As you can see, i am the car driver, but our whole racing experience is a Team effort, with everyone involved. I very literally would not be out there without my team. I hope they enjoyed the season as much as i did!. 2006-2007 - The season that shouldnt have been.. the season probably did slow down the progress of our business, and cost us more money than we should have spent, but was it worth it??... HELL YEAH!!! Bring on 2007-2008.
Jamie Bryant 61K