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Taupo NIFF Round 2 Race Report

It had been one month since the last round at Hampton Downs and we were on our way up to Taupo for the second round of the NIFF championship. In news articles that were being released before the event we noticed we had 4 new competitors coming from other championships: Blake Knowles, Will Neale, and Seb Manson coming from South Island Formula Ford, along with Zac Stitchbury from the Porsche Carerra Cup Australia. We knew this was going to be a class field and we were looking to be competitive this weekend and take home some solid championship points.

The prizegiving from the last race weekend was hosted here, where I took 3rd for the meeting at Hampton Downs.

Practice came and went just like that, by the end of the day we had managed to find a setup that was working well with the track especially considering the reseals that had been done on the track since last time we were out there. Unfortunately in the last run a rocker arm bolt broke cutting the session short. We got on top of the issue by the end of the day and had the engine sounding smooth, a red flag came out that session also, meaning we didn’t lose as much track time relative to our competitors as we perhaps would have.
We went into qualifying the next day and bolted on some fresh bags for the session, allowing us to go straight to P1 in the first 2 laps of the session. We had the pressures fairly high as I knew the setup we had was really drivable and I could put in a good lap on any occasion provided the tow was right, after I put in my first flier I hunted for a tow for a few more laps, however the driver I was following backed off late into the lap. I took a few laps to cool down and get the tires back into the window before I went for my next push lap.

Going into the last lap of the session the tires were on and I was in for a great tow, however when I was up by around a tenth by the end of the infield I was blocked by a rookie driver, having me end up down in P7 by the end of the session.

Coming into Race 1 I was on the inside line for the downhill run into turn 1 and got off the line well, yet not making up any places but also giving myself the chance to attack early in the race. I went side by side up the hill but couldn’t make anything work.

I got up into P6 but that was relatively short-lived as I got towed past despite my efforts to defend, I got towed around for the rest of the race to come home in P7.

Another similar race came and went this time, just dropping a little further back from the bunch as we had old tires on the car that we were running to keep some fresh for next round. We started in the same spot all day, and I was off P7 again, this time darting to the outside to try and get some early positions, a carbon copy of last races start ensued, and after a lonely drive I ended up taking P7 again.

The last race of the day was where the action was though, starting in 7th again, and making it up to P6 after a real duel between myself and 2 other cars, the battle continued, and we found ourselves in a 6-car long train closer to the end of the race. We continued battling within the same couple of cars right until the end of the race, but went across the line in 8th.

 

We ended up 7th for the day, not the weekend we were hoping for, but we’re off to my home track at Manfeild this weekend! We’ll throw our other engine into it this time and make sure to give it everything again.

 

Overall Points after Round 2/6
Pos, Name, Total
1/ Dylan Grant, 364
2/ Zach Blincoe, 338
3/ Blake Dowdall, 304

4/ Shane Drake, 259
5/ Reagan Edwards, 256
6/ Mason Potter, 254

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