Wrap up of recent rounds and events
Round Six: SCCC End of Season Race Day
After a six rounds of intense racing, Season five of the Digital Fusion 2k Cup South Island has officially come to a close on Saturday, and it was the combination of Phil Gurney and Dean McGuigan that managed to wrap up the championship from Tony Johnson and David Booth. Coming into the round, Gurney/McGuigan had a pretty handy lead to Johnson and Booth with Gav Thompson not far behind, so the Championship was still up for grabs if problems struck.
Heading into qualifying the temperature was ice cold and track had been cleaned out from rain the day before which generally means a fast track. The last round at Levels proved to generate the fastest combination of lap times we’d ever seen for the class, but this round the times were even faster! To put it into perspective, last time at Levels the top 19 were within the 1m19 bracket which seemed insane, this round the top 23 were in that bracket. Booth took pole from Johnson locking out an AE111 front row, with reigning champ Karl Forbes 3rd in his Civic making it a B Class domination. Thompson was first of the C Class putting the MR2 in 4th less than a tenth clear of Greg Mitchell’s Carina, with Shane Edgar’s Primera not far back in 9th. Leon Fox was back behind the wheel of the #51 AE101 Levin was first of the A Class cars in 25th, shadowed by a fellow AE101 driven by Greg Barclay in 26th, and Richard Simpson not far off in 29th in his FXGT. In terms of the overall championship chase, Dean McGuigan was 13th in his CRX, but being 40 points clean of Johnson overall all he needed to do was get the car home in the points. Click for Qualifying Results
Race 1 was underway and unfortunately for Johnson he was deemed to have jumped the start so a 5 second time penalty would have to be added to his finish time at the end of the race. There was a cloud of dust flying into John Jones on the first lap with Andy Xie’s CRX stuck in the sandpit and both of the Reynolds Integras had to try out a bit of rallycross to try and avoid the chaos that followed. The safety car was out while the safety crew extracted the stricken CRX and soon after the green flag waved the cars were off again. As always there were battles throughout the field, but in the latter part of the race Arthur Spatz had a wee moment which ended up in the Celica nosed into the wall at John Jones. He managed to get back to pitlane and fortunately physically was fine. Booth was first to greet the chequered flag, closely followed by Johnson but due to the tight racing up the front his time penalty would drop him down to 9th. This bumped Thompson up to 2nd and first of the C Class cars home, with Forbes and McGuigan 3rd and 4th rounding out the B Class podium, with Mitchell and Edgar 6th and 7th for the battle of best of the rest in C Class. Richard Simpson drove the wheels off the little FXGT and was first home in A Class in 21st with Barclay right behind in 22nd, with Fox moving up a spot to finish in 24th. Click for Race 1 Results
There was frantic action in pitlane after race 1 with all kinds of techniques being tried to get Spatz’s Celica back out for race 2. Fortunately there didn’t seem to be any structural damage and the car was driving straight, so there were slide hammers, an abundance of race tape and sumo moves being executed to bang the frontal area back into reasonable shape. The hard work paid off and Spatz was out to take his 4th position on the grid of the first marble draw race. Craig Saunders’ Digital Fusion sponsored AE101 lined up on pole, alongside championship contender McGuigan, with Ken Luskie in his very wide Celica lining up in 3rd for an all Celica second row. McGuigan raced away at the start of the race with the Integras of Shannon Robertson and Warren Reynolds hot on his tail. Booth, Johnson and Thompson all managed to find themselves together on track carving through the traffic. Luskie managed to hold them off for a handful of laps but the train found a way past and they were off. McGuigan held off Robertson and Reynolds making it an all Honda and B Class podium with the trio of Booth, Johnson and Thompson following them rounding out the top 6. Thompson again was the first C Class car home, beating out Luskie in 9th and Michael Gunstone’s Mazda Familia in 10th. In the end, Saunders held out for A Class honours in 23rd, narrowly holding off Simpson in 24th with Barclay in 27th. In the midpack Jeff Poulter tried to put off the cars following by activating his AE111’s smokescreen feature and managed to finish the race in 14th, but parked the car for the rest of the event. Click for Race 2 Results
The reverse marble grid saw the ever reliable VW Golf of Matt Carmichael on pole position alongside Terry Stephen’s AE111, with Ian Kerry’s Nissan Pulsar GTI and Martin Neil AE111 on the second row. Stephens quickly shot to the lead and Carmichael held down 2nd place for the first few laps before Mitchell and Forbes flew by on the back straight. Mitchell had his sights set on Stephens and slowly reeled him in. Meantime Andy Xie was flying in his Honda CRX and managed to get into fourth, but disaster struck when Mitchell went for a pass on Stephens into McKissock which unfortunately ended up in contact with Stephens turned around. Forbes jumped into the lead with Xie closing the gap. At the other end of the pack Luskie tried to channel his Celica’s inner James Bond 007 smoke screen after Jeff Poulter’s attempt and was given a mechanical black flag and was the only DNF of the race. It was a battle for the elusive yellow Dunlop hat for Forbes and Xie, with Xie sneaking past with a few laps to go, winning his first race of the season and beating out B Class competitors Forbes and Johnson for the podium. Mitchell recovered and finished in 4th ahead of C Class nemesis Edgar in 5th in the flying Primera, well clear of Thompson in 12th. Leon Fox found that qualifying form and came home first in A Class in 18th, beating out Barclay in 22nd and Simpson in 26th. McGuigan circulated and stayed out of trouble to come home in 20th which comfortably gave he and Gurney enough to take out the Championship for Season 5. Tony Johnson did enough to hold off Booth for 2nd overall, with Booth capping off an amazing rookie season holding off Thompson to finish 3rd overall. Click for Race 3 Results
Due to only two other classes running during the day, the Digital Fusion 2k Cup were given the opportunity to have a 60 minute endurance race which would not have any championship points at play, but still a 24 car field headed out to take part in the race. Booth was in control of the race and took the flag in first from Xie and Forbes who would field the #1 on the side of the Civic one last time. Click for Race 4 Results
We would like to thank Digital Fusion for being the naming rights sponsor of the Season 5 of 2k Cup South Island, and also thanks Dunlop, Prosport Auto/Endless, Japrace and REVIT for their sponsorship which has allowed our series to be out there and allow us to field the biggest fields in the South Island. A big thank you to Tony Knights who has volunteered to follow us around this season and provide us with photos for nothing in return. Well done to everybody involved with our series for what has been a brilliant Season 5. Congratulations to all competitors across the field, and a big congratulations to Phil, Tony and David on finishing top 3 this season and earning some new numbers for next season. Now time for a well-earned break for everyone involved, and we look forward to doing it all again next season!
Click here for full Season Points and see below for top three of each class
2K Cup SI overall
# Team Driver Car
28 Gurney Racing Gurney/McGuigan Toyota Levin/Honda CRX 846
427 Tony Johnson Johnson Toyota Levin 813
53 David Booth Booth Toyota Levin 802
# 2.0 Cup (1801-2000cc) Car
2 Jandal It Racing G Toyota MR2 351
11 Team Bungy Racing Toyota Carina ED 326
7 Gunstone Racing Mazda Familia Infini 321
# 1.8 Cup (1601-1800cc) Car
28 Gurney Racing Toyota Levin/Honda CRX 318
427 Tony Johnson Toyota Levin 288
53 David Booth Toyota Levin 272
# 1.6 Cup (0-1600cc) Car
188 Special Effex AE92 FXGT 342
20 Team DF Toyota Trueno 341
51 Deep South Racing Toyota Levin 251
# Taxi Cup Car
11 Team Bungy Racing Toyota Carina ED 345
7 Gunstone Racing Mazda Familia Infini 342
72 Marshlands Electrical VW Golf GTI 304
# Hairdressers Cup Car
2 Jandal It Racing G Thompson Toyota MR2 357
66 Way of the Dragon Li Honda CRX del sol 210
666 Four Eye Racing Xie Honda CRX del sol 111
# One of a Kind Cup Car
1 Forbes Racing Honda Civic EK4 339
11 Team Bungy Racing Toyota Carina ED 331
7 Gunstone Racing Mazda Familia Infini 328
# Euro Cup Car
72 Marshlands Electrical VW Golf GTI 347
145 Team Strada Corsa Alfa Romeo 145 QV 317
# Old Buggers Cup Car
427 Tony Johnson Johnson Toyota Levin 340
188 Special Effex Simpson Toyota AE92 FXGT 281
717 AB4D Racing Kimber Honda Integra 280
Round Five: Super Weekend of Motorsport
Just like that and we’re five rounds down out of six with a week off until the final round of season 5 in the Digital Fusion 2K Cup South Island Championship! Round 5 was another awesome weekend for our class, having the biggest grid of cars in a 10 class race weekend, and also as always our drivers put an awesome show of good racing for the big crowd.
About half of the drivers decided to head out on Friday for some testing, with some electing to go straight into qualifying on Saturday. Championship contender David Booth was on fire in his Toyota Levin AE111, smashing the field with a 1.3 second gap from Tony Johnson in another AE111, closely followed by Dean McGuigan flying the Honda flag (CRX), Terry Stephens (AE111) and Karl Forbes (Civic) making it a battle of the B Class cars up front. Greg Mitchell found some pace and his Toyota Carina was the first of the C Class cars in sixth, closely followed by Shane Edgar’s Primera, with Gav Thompson (MR2) the next of the C Class contenders in 11th. Battle of the A Class honours was all on with Greg Barclay the first of the AE101 runners in 23rd, Craig Saunders in another AE101 in 26th just holding off Richard Simpson’s Corolla FXGT in 27th. Full qualifying results here.
The lights went out for Race 1 and it was all on at the front. Booth led from Johnson, but Edgar got a phenomenal start and was holding down 3rd for most of the first lap. The first corner was a bit of a traffic jam with cars going four wide into the first corner, and plenty of dust flying. McGuigan managed to get passed, and for the next few laps a titanic battle was on for 4th between Edgar, Mitchell, Forbes and Stephens. Cars were swapping positions every lap, but about halfway through the race Edgar’s brake pedal went rock hard into the slowest corner on the track, and in an attempt to avoid hitting Mitchell and Forbes, he leapt over the ripple strip into the hairpin only just missing the front of the Carina. Meanwhile, Booth was doing his best to hold off Johnson but also not break out. When the chequered flag dropped Booth held off an eager Johnson, and McGuigan who were also the top three in B Class, with Mitchell the first of the C Class cars home in 4th well clear of Thompson in 11th and Michael Gunstone (Familia) in 14th. In only his third round in the series, Barclay managed to hold off Saunders and Simpson for the A Class win with the three drivers finishing 23rd, 24th and 25th respectively. Full Race 1 results here.
Race 2 was the first of the marble grid races and up front it was an Integra DC2 whitewash with Shannon Robertson and Darath Nye locking out the front row, with Terry Stephens and Arthur Spatz in his Celica right behind. Greg Mitchell got a great start and moved up to 2nd, and immediately it was clear that this was going to be a battle between Robertson and Mitchell for the win. Edgar again got a lightening start and going through the first few corners the seas parted and he managed to move from 14th to 4th by the hairpin. There were plenty of battles all throughout the field as is a common sight in out marble grid races, but up front Robertson managed to hold off Mitchell for his first race win this season, with Booth not far off in 3rd after carving through the field, shadowed by McGuigan making it three B Class cars in the top 4. Mitchell again was first home of the C Class cars, with Edgar next in 10th and Thompson in 12th and Barclay again with a strong showing being first A Class car across the line in 20th, this time with Simpson next in 24th, to Saunders in 27th. Full Race 2 results here.
The Final race of the weekend was a reverse marble draw and this time it was Gunstone in his Familia on pole, alongside Rex Edgar in a lightening quick DC2 Integra, Stephen Guckert in an Alfa Romeo 145 and Gav Thompson in an MR2 making for a varied first two rows. Rex was hoping to get a ripper start like son Shane had in the previous two races, but unfortunately jumped the start and as a result, Thompson followed and went early too. Rex led the field from Thompson and Gunstone for the first lap with Choppa Stevenson in another DC2 moving up to 3rd on lap two. Rex did an amazing job and held off all kinds of pressure from Thompson all race long and crossed the finish line in 1st, Thompson not far behind, and Tony Johnson next in line. As a result of jumping the start, Rex was given a 10 second penalty and Thompson a 5 second penalty, which rearranged the finishing order a bit. This meant that Rex would drop down to 10th, and Johnson would inherit the race and B Class win from McGuigan and Booth, and with Thompson’s penalty he would only drop to 5th but still be first of the C cars home from Gunstone in 8th, and Ken Luskie 12th in his Toyota Celica. Duane Fox made the most of a strong marble grid start and managed to break Barclay’s stranglehold of the A Class honours, driving a brilliant race being first home in 20th position, comfortably in front of Barclay who was next in 25th with Simpson breathing on his tail in 26th. Full Race 3 results here.
Unfortunately there were a few cars damaged over the weekend, but fortunately nothing was terminal. For the first time ever, we have Rounds on back to back weekends, so drivers would be counting their lucky stars that the cars all seem straight and working to be able to compete at our final round for the series this weekend at Levels Raceway.
A big thank you to Digital Fusion, Dunlop, Prosport Auto/Endless, and Japrace for sponsoring our series, to Canterbury Car Club and volunteers for putting on such an awesome event, and of course to our drivers/committee/family/friends who all come together to make our class what it is.
Round Four: SCCC - March Race Day 2019
It was a pretty hot day on Saturday, and to go along with that so was the pace out on track. We were straight into qualifying so some would have thought that with no practice the drivers might take a while to get back into the swing of things, right? Not this time.
Despite warm conditions out there the pace was blistering with the top three all in the 1m17s – Phil Gurney taking pole position from Gav Thompson and David Booth. Tony Johnston was next in fourth, followed by Craig Edgar flying the Honda flag. Go back a handful of seasons and a 1m20.2 would have put you in sixth on the grid, but this round fourth position to 12th were all in the 1m18s, and 13th through to 19th were all in the 19s and a 1m20.2 would put you in 20th!
Race 1 saw Thompson’s fast starting MR2 fly into the lead with Phil Gurney following close behind. There were battles all throughout the field in the opening few laps but going into John Jones which is the fastest corner on the track, Arthur Spatz’s Celica ran a little deep under brakes and got to have a play in the sand pit which brought out the red flag. When the race was restarted the field was fairly spread out and Phil Gurney pounced and moved back into the lead, bumping the MR2 back into second. Johnston and Booth had a bit of a battle and swapped positions before Booth emerged in front and then moved onto getting past the MR2. Meanwhile it was a welcome sight to see Shane Edgar in his Nissan Primera P11 back after two rounds where he didn’t make it past qualifying due to a couple of issues, and back he was, battling hard in the mid pack making it has hard as possible for a swarm of AE111s to get past, with him being the best of the rest. Booth managed to bridge the gap to Gurney but broke out a few times, and eventually got past, but only just crossing the line 0.046 in front of Gurney. Thompson completed the podium with Johnston and Edgar rounding out the top 5. Reigning champ Karl Forbes was having his best outing of the season in his Honda Civic, recording the 3rd quickest lap of the race and finishing up in eighth. Graham Reynolds retired midway through the race with a blown clutch.
The marble draw grids always bring their share of excitement and Race 2 was no different. Kelvin Kimber was on pole in his DA6 Integra and shared the front row with rookie Dan Brown in his AE111, third was left vacant, Warren Reynolds fourth in his DC2 Integra and Stephen Guckert in his Alfa 145 so a nice mix of cars in the top five. Brown got off to a good start and was leading the first few laps and was overtaken for the lead by Reynolds on lap 3. It all came unstuck as Brown made a slight error on lap five going into the first corner and looped it causing a temporary yellow flag at the first sector. Brown limped back to pits and retired from the race. Meanwhile Reynolds was doing his best to go for the win but was caught by Gurney with a few laps to go. Thompson moved the MR2 up to as high as fourth but also had a mishap going into turn one, ending up off the road bringing another temporary yellow at sector one. Booth and Edgar managed to sneak past Reynolds relegating him to fourth, with Karl Forbes coming home in fifth.
Race 3 saw Paul Lancaster in his DC2 Integra start off pole, Michael Gunstone (Mazda Familia) in second, grid three again vacant, Jeff Poulter (AE111) in fourth and Steve Jones (AE111) in fifth. Lancaster got the jump and Jones moved into second on the back straight. Gunstone held Poulter off for third until lap four but didn’t quite have the outright pace and faded to 10th by the end of the race. Poulter had a good ding dong battle with Shannon Robertson for third until Craig Edgar flew past them both. Lancaster and Jones were having a ripper of a battle for first, with Jones sneaking by on lap seven. Meanwhile Gurney and Booth were carving through the field together, and when the chequered flag dropped Jones led the way with Lancaster second, Gurney third, Edgar fourth and Booth fifth.
All in all it was another good round of racing. Was a bit of panel damage in Race 2, but aside from that was a good showing from all of our drivers. Big thank you to our sponsors Digital Fusion, Dunlop, Japrace, and Prosport Auto/Endless for their support allowing us to go racing! Welcome to Jonathan Prince and Martin Neill who joined in on the fun, hopefully you both enjoyed yourselves and that we see you again next round! Next up is Round 5 at Ruapuna Raceway on 30th & 31st March again with the Super Trucks the main drawcard. Let’s hope to see plenty of drivers and supporters make it there!
Round Three: Dirt Diesel Drama
Three words – Dirt, Diesel, Drama. The South Canterbury Car Club put on a brilliant two-day event last weekend for Round 3 of the Digital Fusion 2k Cup South Island Season 5. After two and a half months the drivers were itching to get back behind the wheel, along with a handful of new drivers joining the class for Round 3, which was great to see.
Qualifying was underway just after 9am on Saturday morning. 2k Cup were on after the headlining Super Trucks, so the expectation was the track would be a bit slippery, but with quite a bit of cloud cover the track was fast, and a result the top 17 cars were all under the 1m20 bracket. Goes to show you how far the drivers have come, go back to Season 1 and a 1m20 would have put you on pole position! It was an AE111 front row with Phil Gurney on pole from David Booth, Gav Thompson in his MR2 in third, Graham Reynolds on fire in his Integra in fourth, and Tony Johnson in an AE111 rounding out the top five, with a swarm of Hondas following closely behind. Standout performer was Terry Stephens who in his first ever round at Levels Raceway and in 2k Cup qualifying a very credible 13th. Unfortunately in qualifying we lost two of the three Edgars, Craig Edgar parking his Integra for the weekend experiencing chronic vibrations, and Shane’s Primera deciding that 350,000km was enough, leaving an oily mess on the side of the road.
With droplets of rain greeting drivers in pit lane before the race, there were a few people up and down pit lane wondering if the heavens would open up similar to what we experienced at Ruapuna earlier in the season. The grid for race 1 was the qualifying order, with races 2 and 3 set by a marble grid. Race 1 was underway, and not far into the race David Booth managed to get past Phil Gurney for the lead. Gav Thompson moved pass Reynolds into third, and after lap after lap of trying Johnson also managed to get past Reynolds. The rain stayed away; with only spits of water falling meaning that there was never enough to affect the grip on track. Booth managed to hold off Gurney, earning his very first race win in his rookie season. Dean Cook recorded the only DNF in the race. He had been battling a misfire all day in his Honda Integra, eventually retiring from the race after a lead came loose dropping his car onto three cylinders. Apart from a little paint swapping mid pack, the drivers were on their best behaviour and all had straight cars ready for Sunday.
Race 2 was the first of the marble grid draws. With a scattered field it was hard to know who would win – with Hondas taking up the first three positions on the grid could they get a win? Again up after the Supertrucks first thing in the morning, the track was nice and cool, but nothing could stop David Booth. He went on to win, making it two from two, with Shannon Robertson and Choppa Stevenson rounding out the podium in their Honda Integras, Gav Thompson in fourth, and Karl Forbes in his Civic finishing up in 5th. In the first round racing his Honda CRX EF8, Andy Xie was forced to retire from race 2 due to a blown head gasket. Race 3 was a reverse marble grid, which saw Tony Johnson adding another win to the tally, only just holding off Phil Gurney, Jeff Poulter, Paul Lancaster, and Steve Jones.
Big congratulations to Dean Cook who despite a chasing a misfire all weekend, decided to branch out and through a set of semi slicks at his Integra and enter the SS Cup series for the round as well as racing in 2k Cup. Dean came away with a 2nd in class in SS Cup.
Thank you to our series sponsors: Digital Fusion, Dunlop, Japrace, and Prosport Auto/Endless Brakes for supporting our series.
For full results: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1625046
For Driver Profiles: https://2kcupsi.co.nz/drivers/
For Series Points: https://2kcupsi.co.nz/points/
Round Two: November Race Day
The weather forecast leading up to Round 2 made it look as though the weather from Round 1 Race 3 would carry over, with plenty of rain pouring down, but luckily (or unluckily) for the drivers by the time Saturday came, there was nothing but sun. Round 2 saw the series move down south for the first of four rounds held at Levels Raceway – a fast flowing track a lot of driver’s know like the back of their hand. Due to the torrential rain on Friday, testing was cancelled so all drivers were straight into qualifying to get back into the swing of things. A full field of 38 cars combined with a few months off resulted in a slightly mixed grid.
Qualifying saw Tony Johnson put his Toyota Levin in pole position, 1 tenth of a second clear of Wei Li in his Honda CRX with half a tenth back to Phil Gurney making it a Toyota sandwich. Gav Thompson seemed to be more than happy to be back at Levels, putting his MR2 in fourth with Andy Xie fifth in his CRX making it three hairdresser’s cars in the top five. Shane Edgar returned in his trusty Nissan Primera P11 after a few seasons off but forgot to fit his transponder before qualifying. His laps were timed manually and he and qualified in sixth but swears there must have been some kind of timing mistake! Shoutout to series rookie Dan Brown who was next up in seventh position. The field was incredibly close all the way through, with a mere three tenths of a second separating positions eight through to 15. Just prior to Race 1, Edgar realised that the Primera’s wheel studs were stuffed, meaning he had to watch the race from the side line rather than the driver’s seat.
When the lights went green, there was only one thing on the mind pole sitter Tony Johnson – a yellow Dunlop hat. He started the quest off well by leading the field. Mike Pulley had to delay the debut of his new V6 Mitsubishi FTO by a round after issues on Friday of Round 1 putting him out for the weekend, so this time he made it out for a race but unfortunately luck was still lacking and on lap 2 the engine expired bring out the safety car. There was a wee mishap when cars slowed down for the yellow flag, seeing Steve Jones (Levin) and Warren Reynolds (Integra) have nose to tail contact putting them both out of the race. After a lap bunched up behind the safety car, lights went out and we were back racing. There were plenty of dices in the middle of the field, with cars going three wide into John Jones at one point. Towards the end of the race, Choppa Stevenson’s Integra experienced a catastrophic ball joint failure going into turn 1, Dean Cook only just avoiding driving into the side of him. In the end Johnson managed to get that elusive race win, holding off Gurney, Thompson, Li and Graham Reynolds putting his Honda Integra up into fifth.
The marble grid race 2 saw series sponsor Craig Saunders in the Digital Fusion Toyota Levin AE101 starting on pole from Matt Carmichael’s VW Golf giving us a slightly different first row of the grid to normal. The field managed to get away mostly trouble free apart from a bit of nose to tail contact at the first corner between Kelvin Kimber (Honda Integra) and Craig Eslob (Toyota Ceres). A lap into the race, Stephen Guckert’s Alfa 145 decided to turn itself into a three cylinder version of itself, forcing Stephen to retire and sit out the rest of the weekend. The drivers were pretty well behaved, with Graham Reynolds leading the first part of the race before the charging Tony Johnson moved into the lead where he stayed for the rest of the race. Reynolds held off a fast finishing David Booth who just couldn’t find a way past Reynold’s straight line jet. Phil Gurney flew through from the back of the grid to fourth, and Shannon Robertson did an awesome job to finish fifth in his Integra. There were plenty of scraps up and down the field, with multiple positions being decided with cars side to side on the finish line, with only hundredths of seconds separating them. An awesome effort in between races saw Choppa back on the grid in his Integra, thanks to plenty of help from ex drivers Cameron Taylor and Jarod Carnegie, as well as plenty of other drivers in the class which was awesome to see. On the other side of the fence, after going through an engine last round, series new comer Leon Fox was back out there at round 2, but the new engine decided it too wanted to be like an Alfa and drop a cylinder. Here’s hoping that engine number three is lucky engine number three!
Race 3 was a reverse marble grid, and this time the field managed to get away without any incidents. After rotten luck in his first round back, Shane Edgar got to drive his dad’s (Rex Edgar) Honda Integra for race 3. Shane started off the back of the grid and made quick work into carving through the field. There were a few hairy moments in there including some drifting action at McKissock, nearly putting it into the sand trap in front of a bunch of spectators, but he saved it and went on to finish the race in a creditable 12th. We wonder if Shane will miss the Honda powwwweeer next time he gets into the Primera! Phil Gurney got into the lead and led to the finish of the race a couple of seconds clear of Gavin Thompson. Steve Jones recovered from the mishap in Race 1 to finish the race in third place. Greg Mitchell in his Toyota Carina finished up in fourth, just holding off Wei Li. Choppa Stevenson was first of the Integras home in sixth, an amazing result considering both of the front wheels were pointing in opposite directions a few hours earlier. Reigning Champ Karl Forbes had a quiet but consistent weekend, finishing race 3 in seventh making it look like the new Civic may have gained a bit of pace since Round 1.
As always, a big thanks to our series sponsors, Digital Fusion, Dunlop, Japrace, And Prosport Auto/Endless for their continued support and prizes that were awarded at the end of the day. Congratulations to Dan Brown who put in an awesome bunch of drives, qualifying in seventh, and starting both marble grid races at the back of the grid, making around 18 positions each race earning him the driver of the day award. Also thanks to Matt Moore who continues to create some cool trophies for our podium placers each round for each class. We now have a bit of a break, and look forward to seeing you at the next round – a two day event at the Trust Aoraki Super Truck Meeting 25/01-19-27/01/19.
Full Race Results: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1613230
Driver Profiles: https://2kcupsi.co.nz/drivers/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/2kcupsi/
Round One: Speed Festival Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th October
After months of waiting, Round 1 of 2k Cup South Island Season 5 took place at the Speed Festival held at Ruapuna Raceway on the 27th and 28th October. Drivers were eager to get back behind the wheel, most in familiar cars, some in brand new cars, and some new faces in familiar cars.
Saturday saw the sun greeting us with cars heading out on track just before lunchtime to lay down their best times for qualifying. Dean Cook was using qualifying as testing session after a late night clutch change with the assistance of resident 2k Cup mechanic extraordinaire Cameron Taylor after the clutch giving up the ghost during Friday testing. Phil Gurney continued off where he left off last season, as he blitzed the field and grabbed pole position by just over 1.5 seconds to series rookie David Booth. You could almost have assumed that the car was being driven by ex 2k Cup SI champ Paul Booth, not his brother entering his first round at the track! Tony Johnson recorded the third fastest time narrowly edging out Jeff Poulter meaning that Toyota AE111s locked out the first two rows. Qingwei Li was the first Honda in fifth, closely followed by fellow CRX driver Dean McGuigan. Reigning champ Karl Forbes was struggling with his new Honda Civic, languishing down in 18th while last season’s runner up Gav Thompson was back in his Toyota MR2 qualifying seventh. Unfortunately we lost two entries after qualifying, with Ben Rayner and rookie Leon Fox both experiencing issues putting them out of the event.
Once the flag dropped for Race 1 the drivers were straight into it. There were battles all over the field, but in the end Toyota and Gurney taking the win closely followed by Johnson, with Wei weiving the Honda flag high moving up to third, Thompson getting those points moving the MR2 up to fourth with Dean McGuigan ending up fifth.
Race 2 was the usual marble draw grid, seeing Paul Crowther in his immaculately prepared Nissan Primera sitting on pole. Once the flag dropped, Tony Johnson was in the box seat to try and get the win and a yellow Dunlop hat, but unfortunately for him he had Phil Gurney hard on his tail. Gurney snuck into the lead, and was shadowed my Johnson all the way to the finish line, this time by a mere two tenths of a second! Steve Jones moved up to third making it a Toyota AE111 podium, with Warren Reynolds first of the Hondas home in fourth. Michael Gunstone in his Mazda Familia put in a valiant effort to try and have something non Toyota or Honda finish in the top five, holding off a fast charging David Booth on the final lap only to lose the position off the last corner on the last lap.
Not long before Race 3 the weather turned, leaving drivers unsure of what was about to unfold. Just as the drivers lined up on the dummy grid, spits of rain attacked windscreens – this was only the beginning! As the race went green the heavens opened, with rain bucketing down, particularly at turn 1. Jeff Poulter shot into the lead and never looked back, driving away from the field with ease. Greg Mitchell was having a great run in his new Toyota Carina ED, but found himself spinning around the back section of the track dropping out of podium contention. Visibility was quite limited with spray making it difficult to see what was happening even a metre ahead. By this stage a car got beached at turn one bringing out the safety car. There seemed to be a heap of confusion about what was happening, as there were gaps all across the field. The safety car returned to pit lane leaving a one-lap dash to the finish. Unfortunately there was a huge amount of standing water at turn one, so another two cars found themselves beached with many others having major moments but fortunately for them managing to keep it out of the kitty litter. Meanwhile Poulter dominated the race and took home the race win, with Ken Luskie in his Toyota Celica second, and Greg Mitchell recovering to finish third making it three different types of Toyotas on the podium. Gurney charged from the back of the grid to fourth, and Graham Reynolds was the first Honda home in fifth. A remarkable effort from all of our drivers to race cleanly during such trying conditions.
All event results can be viewed here: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1608428
So all in all, a successful weekend for all involved full of close racing, loads of fun and plenty of smiles. It was great to see so many new faces, along with many returning faces for Season 5. A special mention to Arthur Spatz who in his first ever 2k Cup event managing to take home to Driver of the Day award.
Massive thanks to our series sponsors, Digital Fusion, Japrace, Dunlop, and Prosport/Endless Brakepads. Without our sponsors we wouldn’t have a racing series so remember to give back to them when we can. Now time to fix up cars and get ready for Round 2 at Levels Raceway on Saturday 10th November. See you all there.