Northern Muscle Car Report Taupo – 11-1-14
Qualifying: Saturday morning saw the start of qualifying the cars and the drivers all seemed to be up to speed very quick and it was clear to see that everyone was up for setting a fast time. There was a chance for someone else to sit on pole today with the normal pace setter Dean Perkins missing from the field for the event. Justin Butcher seemed the man to beat early on setting his fasted lap in lap 2 - 01:41.235 Anthony Galbraith was also pushing hard but just missed out on pole with a 01:41.365 on his 3rd lap just 00.130 behind Butcher’s Green Ford. The 3.3km Taupo circuit was alive with the sound of V8’s as John Mills set his fastest lap and would take to the 2nd row of the grid with a 01:42.984 alongside the 888 car of Calvin Andrew with a lap time of 01:43.236. All eyes turned to Race 1 to see who would come out on top. 1st Justin Butcher - 01:41.235 in Lap 2 2nd Anthony Galbraith - 01:41.365 in Lap 3 3rd John Mills - 01:42.984 - in Lap 4 Best Lap: Justin Butcher - 01:41.235 Lap 2 Speed: 117.351
Race 1 : Right from the start we have action and surprise. The Pink Holden of Paul Burnet was missing as the cars exited the end of pit road. Paul had been having rear axle problems on the Friday test sessions but with hard work of his support crew meant that he was still able to set a 5th fastest time in qualifying but it was not to be, with the axle problem returning his weekend was done. Qualifying had not claimed any other cars so we had a grid of 15 cars. Justin Butcher seemed eager to get to the grid for the start of the first race but he span on his out lap on turn 1, he kept it running and stayed off the grass but sat looking the wrong way as the other 14 cars came past not a good start to Race 1 .The drivers lined up on the grid as the Butchers Ford made its way to the front of the grid. At 14:30 the lights went green all 15 cars got away from the grid and through the tight left hander which at turn 1. Anthony Galbraith was able to make a pass in turn 1 and was now in the lead. What a start the Orange Charger got. The Green Falcon is soon all over the back of number 43, Galbraith is holding him off and using the width of the car really well. John Mills was in 3rd place at the end of the first lap with Calvin Andrew shortly behind, followed by Tony Van Tiel and Veen Smith. Lap 2 saw Galbraith widen the gap from Butcher with the rest of the field pulling away from car 181 Ron Findlay in 7th and behind him saw David Howell and Stu Rowling. Lap 3 saw a gap beginning to open between the front two with the next 4 cars bunched together very closely in a fight for space the gap at the front is shrinking fast. Lap 4 into turn 1 and Butcher comes down the inside, under braking of Galbraith and makes it stick what a move. The number 17 Ford that seemed to have the legs on Galbraith in the last lap and now he has a clear track to open up a gap. John Mills still in 3rd with Calvin Andrew in 4th Tony Van Tiel 5th and Veen Smith back in 6th. At the end of lap 4 Butcher has started to pull away into lead and Lap 5 saw more of the same with Butcher at the front pushing hard with Galbraith back in 2nd giving everything to catch him. Both of them starting to catch back markers which may mix up the field. Calvin Andrew is now right on John’s back bumper trying hard to find a way past.
Lap 6 Butcher’s Ford looks to have it in the bag and on the last lap he has opened up a gap back to 2nd place. Galbraith is safe in 2nd place but John Mills and Calvin Andrew still fighting until the very end but it will be John who takes 3rd by less than 1/10th of a second, a great battle between these two. Tony Van Tiel takes 5th with Veen Smith in 6th. The very pretty Ford Perana comes home in 7th. Everyone looks towards race two which is due to take place this afternoon. 1st – Justin Butcher – 01:40.467 = Lap 4 - 10:15.903 2nd – Anthony Galbraith - 01:42.387 = Lap 6 - 10:19.525 3rd -John Mills - 01:43.439 = Lap 3 - 10:28.735 Best Lap: Justin Butcher – 01:40.467 Lap 4 Speed: 118.248
Race 2: This race was not able to take place on the Saturday due to the accident in the Arrow Wheels/AES TradeZone Class. Our race was second on the card on the Sunday morning but it was also delayed due to an accident requiring the helicopter for the second time in the weekend, this race was the first of our two handicap races.
This race was a great example of how good handicapping can enhance good racing create plenty of passing and give all drives a chance.
After a head fought 6 laps the results where Tony van Tiel in the black XA Falcon coupe 1st, closely followed by Calvin Andrew’s in the Commodore, then came the big guns of Tony Galbraith getting the better of Justin Butcher.
Race 3: Reporter number 2 Paul was on his way home by now, Martyn who wrote the first part of our report, had to go back to Auckland on Saturday night while most of the rest of us were BBQing at the friendly Rainbow Point Motel. However I have it on good authority that Calvin did not get off the line which caused the race to be restarted, which messes greatly with the handicapping. The results being, 1st Anthony Galbraith – 1.40.454 2nd Justin Butcher - 1.41.285 3rd Tony van Tiel - 1.44.489