In 1911, a little old race was had on an oval circuit out the back of Indianapolis. They raced for 500-miles, and after a grueling 6 and 3/4 hours, a yellow car, emblazoned with the number 32, crossed the line in first place, becoming the inaugural winner of the Indianapolis 500.
And today, after a somewhat slightly shorter race time of around 10-minutes, Mr Michael Clarke carried another yellow car emblazoned with the number 32 across the line to take the chequered flag for his inaugural victory. Congratulations, Sir!
The weekend saw a total of six races for the majority of cars, as the Formula Fords took over the Super Historics division and garnered double the race time, and double the fun, with rolling starts for the “Super” Formula Ford races.
In the points scoring races, Phil Foulkes and Grant Campbell showed a clean set of heels in all three races opening up a sizable gap to the Class 1 cars, but only managing a few tenths on each other, with Phil taking victory time and again.
Over in Class 1, championship leader Tony Cross was making a habit of fluffing the starts, bogging down and being passed by two or three cars, requiring him to fight back through to get up to challenge Dave Silverton and Class 1 line honours; the two racing lap for lap on each others gearboxes.
Meanwhile, a few tenths back, the two Mikes (Clark and Cresswell) were dicing over third place in class for most of the weekend, however a recurrent fuel problem saw Mike Creswell drop back in several races, often by a few positions, leaving Don Hopkins, Richard Cullen and Vic Clark to quarrel over the minor placings.
Team Lolas-will-take-over-the-world members Bruce McCoy and Chris Fraser (the other two members racing this weekend being Tony Cross and Mike Cresswell) were closely matched all weekend, often dicing amongst themselves, plus Vic Clarke or Richard Cullen, depending on the race at hand.
Rounding out the field this weekend was Phil Major, having made the trek up from Wellington – great to see him for the first time this season able to join in on the fun.
Unfortunately a coming together between Barry Thomas and Gerald Duncan in one of the “Super” Formula Ford races left both cars broken (the Royale suffering rear suspension damage and the Cheetah a destroyed right hand radiator, radiator frame, cowling and bent front right tie rod) – a sad sight during such a great weekend of racing up and down the field.
Other damage sustained during the weekend was incurred when Don Hopkins had a spin and both Tony Cross and Richard Cullen took evasive Rally-Cross action via the grass verges; a few moments later, Richard’s nose cone lifted off and hit him on the head, and Tony’s steering rack and pinion jumped a tooth (or two) from the rather bumpy landing he had jumping the tractor tracks and divots in the grass, leaving him turning right and driving straight – just another job for Ian to fix up….
Pukekohe throws up close racing throughout the field, and this weekend was no exception.
The final round of the season is on May 6th at Hampton Downs.