Wrap up of recent rounds and events
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.