Round 3 Thunder in the Park Pukekohe Park Raceway (Sat / Sun Novr 16/17 2013)

Round 3 Thunder in the Park Pukekohe Park Raceway (Sat / Sun Novr 16/17 2013)

It was another good entry of Muscle Cars with new member Adam Wheeler making his first appearance for a number of years, there were a few regulars missing like the two Charges of Tony Galbraith, his car not completely repaired afther the accident and the last meeting, Graham Cargill's cars is nearly finished is cam shaft repacement and Andrew Turner's 05 car still not quite completed.

Qualifying: Starts off slow and easy but soon enough there is fuel coming from the back of Michael Crawley’s Commodore and leaking all over the track. By lap 3 there is lots of heavy breaking from Veen Smith which causes the Holden Torana of Warren Betts to take a spin bringing the yellow flags out it seems as though he is having trouble starting again. As soon as the yellow are put away Glenn Humphreys Falcon misses the chicane on 5 and goes straight over the grass as does Stu’s Holden Commodore number 16. Calvin Andrew in yet another Commodore  looks like he should have been at the D1NZ this weekend, takes  the corner to wide and spins off causing the yellows to come out again, unfortunately he is unable to rejoin. Lance  Humphries speeds past Glenn Humphreys  on the yellow flag and Perkins goes straight down the back run off on the last lap. Tony Van Tiel Takes checkered flag in his Ford XA Falcon bringing an end to qualifying.  Dean Perkins sets the pace and if on the front of the grid for race 1.

Race 1: Dean leads them away for the start of race one with Justin Butcher in second. Michael Crawley  is smoking almost right away. Glenn’s Falcon number 21 sneaks up pretty fast on the Commodore of Stu Rowling, everyone is being very consistent, Perkins is close to lapping Nathan Wood in the Time & Place Falcon. Car 9 of Michael Crawley gets the black and orange mechanical flag for the smoke. Nathan Wood is the first to be shown the blue flags as Dean Perkins and his lightning fast Falcon close the gap to lap the first of many. Glenn Humphreys overtakes Tony’s XA Falcon and the Commodore of Stu Rowling. Warren Betts has stayed centered all the way through the race. Ron’s Perana 3 wheeling over the stripes at turn 5 making for smiles in the crowd watching . Justin Butcher over takes Nathan Wood heading toward turn 6. Surprisingly Michael is still going, he is smoking pretty heavy now. Perkins takes the checkered flag.

Race 2: Nathan Wood on Pole. Pinky (in her new shiny paint job) is holding Tony Gordon’s Corvette up rather spectacularly some excellent driving from Paul, whilst Lance Humphries is having trouble getting past Nathan’s Falcon, he seems good at making himself very wide. Stu Rowling coming up quick on Craig Horn’s Holden Torana, but not managing to get past. Tony and the Corvette finally gets past Pinky whilst Justin Butcher closes his gap. The 3 Toranas are stead fast in the centre and its hard to tell if their positions will change. Perkins is making his way through everyone very quickly. Mike Dias car 89 in the lead now whilst Tony’s Corvette  pulls off to the  side near to the pit entry he will be gutted by that as he was flying and catching Mike fast , yellow flags out at entrance to pits. Perkins is up to 2nd behind Mike’s Holden Commodore, it stays that way to the finish with Ross Christensen 3rd.

Race 3: Nathan Wood on Pole again. Almost instantly Calvin Andres over takes Mike Oldham looks like Mike’s Cobra has problems. Stu Rowling overtakes Glenn Humphreys. Justin Butcher is coming on strong and looks like he is ready to fly up the inside of Mike Oldham. Calvin Andrew  is losing fluid from the left hand side. Perkins does a 106.05 on lap 3. Nathan Wood still in first and holding strong for now Perkins is now only 18 seconds behind the Olsen Wood Racing Falcon . Mike Oldham is now in last position and running slower than normal sounds like he has lost some gears. The centre field is looking very bunched up and it is very hard to tell who will break free first still places to be made but who wants it most. Ross Christensen has taken the lead from Nathan Wood, but Perkins looks like he may take the lead, he doesn’t quite make it in time, Ross Christensen  takes the checkered flag, with Perkins in second and Ron Findlay in third, that was a very close call on the front 3. This brings a close a very busy Thunder In The Park for this year. Thanks to all the teams and drivers for their top efforts.

 reported by Kirsty and Martyn -   Time and Place Photography

Posted: Wed 27 Nov 2013