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Wrap up of recent rounds and events

Digital Fusion 2k Cup Season 7 Round 6 - Super Weekend of Motorsport

The Canterbury Car Club hosted the sixth and final round of the 2020/2021 Season of the Digital Fusion 2k Cup at Mike Pero Motorsport last weekend. For the first time in years, a Honda went into the final round in top of the points, with the Fake Factory Honda Integra DC2 driven by Warren Reynolds 32 points clear of the Gunstone Racing Honda Torneo driven by Michael Gunstone and Warren’s father Graham tied on points with Gunstone also driving a Fake Factory DC2. After being on a tear over the past few rounds, Matt Ryan’s Ryan Racing AE111 was best of the Toyota drivers in 4th, only 16 points behind, with Jonathan Prince’s High(ish) caliber Racing AE111 not far behind in 5th only 9 points behind Ryan.

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Warren Reynolds leading Michael Gunstone

 

A field of 35 cars took to the track just before lunchtime on Saturday to take part in qualifying. Warren Bryant was the man to beat, with incredible speed in his AE111 Levin punching out a 1m45.537, 4 tenths clear of Karl Forbes in his DC2 Integra, showing that the 2017/2018 had lost none of his pace after a season out of the hotseat. Greg Mitchell was back behind the helm of the 717 AE111 that he drove last season to 3rd overall, and quite fittingly he was 3rd in qualifying, with Prince putting himself in the best position to claw back points in the championship fight putting the AE111 in 4th, closely followed by Carl Storm’s Wasteco backed AE111 rounding out the top 5 which was full of B Class cars. Gunstone was best of the C Class entries down in 9th, with his old car next best in 11th with Dylan Knights driving the Mazda Familia brilliantly and turning some heads, and Gav Thompson back for a one off round in the trusty Toyota MR2 next in 15th. The A Class battle on the grid went in Greg Barclay’s favour, with the Digital Fusion backed AE101 in 19th, clear of the Greg Mitchell Cartage AE101 driven by Duane Fox in 32nd, and the Moore Motorsport AE101 driven by Phil Schumacher in 33rd.

In terms of the championship fight, Warren Reynolds qualified in 6th, Ryan 7th, and Graham Reynolds in 13th.

For full qualifying results click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Fast man Warren Bryant

 

Unfortunately 2k Cup’s Saturday race was postponed and pushed back to take place to take place on Sunday morning, which meant a cold and fast track for the 35 cars to put on a show for the crowd. Forbes got the jump at the start and led Bryant off the line. The two of them traded incredibly quick lap times all race long and put on an absolute show, with Bryant just sneaking through on the last lap to take the win from Forbes. The pair ended up 7 seconds clear of Mitchell who was 3rd across the line, with Ryan next in 4th clawing back more points from the three Hondas in the Championship, just holding Prince at bay for 5th. Gunstone made a few spots and finished 6th and best in C Class, followed by Thompson in 12th and Knights in 13th. Barclay held his mantle of top A Class driver across the line in 22nd, and Adam Garlick’s AE101 next best in 29th. Unfortunately both Fox and Schumacher didn’t make it to the end of the race, and joined Kelsey Gaiger (AE111 Levin) and Daniel Harris (N14 Pulsar) with a DNF by their names. In terms of championship points, Warren Reynolds took it easy and accumulated points finishing in 6th, and Graham Reynolds made a few spots and finished 11th.

For full race 1 results click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Karl Forbes holding off Warren Bryant

 

Race 2 was first of the ever-popular marble grid races and it saw Dean Frew on pole alongside Storm in the all AE111 front row. Frew won the start and led for the first lap before Storm moved his way up into the lead. Greg Mitchell joined in for the battle of the lead and took the lead on lap 4, but the flying Warren Bryant was making his way through the field and there was nothing Mitchell could do and on lap 6 Bryant assumed the lead. At the end of the 8 lap sprint race, Bryant led the field across the line from Mitchell and Storm, with a bit of a gap back to Gunstone and Forbes rounding out the top 5. Following Gunstone in the C Class battle was Thompson in 6th and Knights in 11th, and for the A Class battle Barclay was first across the line in 25th, just in front of Garlick in 27th and Schumacher in 30th. Unfortunately there were more hard luck stories with Mark Van Asperen (AE111) retiring on lap 1 from damage, and title contender Matt Ryan was in the thick of the action involved in a few incidents in the first few laps but on lap 3 experienced engine issues and drive belt issues resulting in him retiring from the race and being put out for the rest of the weekend. For the championship battle with Ryan out, it was a four horse race. Warren Reynolds finished up in 8th, Prince 9th and Graham Reynolds 17th.

For full Race 2 results click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Dean Frew leading the way in Race 2

 

Race 3 was the final race of the season, and the reverse marble grid race saw Corey Ashworth on pole in his Ashworth Automotive Celica alongside Chaz Frew’s AE111 Levin. Ashworth led the field for the first lap from Frew, but the battle behind was all on with Forbes and Bryant again carving through the field. Ashworth held onto the lead until lap 4 when Forbes and Bryant both snuck through. For the remainder of the race the top two dueled it out for the lead, with Forbes edging in front by a marginal 0.051 getting himself that race win and preventing Bryant from winning three from three. Ashworth put in a brilliant drive to hold onto 3rd, with Fred Hansford in 4th and Chaz Frew in 5th both putting in very impressive drives in their AE111s rounding out the top 5. Ashworth was the first of the C Class drivers across the line, well clear of Thompson in 9th, and Gunstone in 16th, and with the A Class cars Adam Garlick put in a great drive to be first home in 24th, with Schumacher next in 26th and Barlcay 27th. The last race of the season unfortunately wasn’t particularly kind with a big DNF list. Arthur Spatz’s Car Parts Canterbury Celica ST202) retiring on lap 3 with distributor issues, Jason Lambert’s Hey Bro AE111 calling it quits on lap 4 after putting up a valiant fight to it’s failing head gasket, Matt Carmichael’s ever reliable VW Golf called it quits on lap 5 with persistent misfire issues, and Dylan Knight’s Mazda Familia retiring on lap 6 with rear suspension issues.

For full Race 3 results click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Corey Ashworth leading the field in Race 3

 

Entering the weekend with a 32 point lead, all Warren Reynolds had to do was finish the races and that is exactly what he did. Staying well clear of any potential trouble, Reynolds did exactly what he had to do and finished the season in 1st place, 26 points clear of Michael Gunstone who was 13 points clear of Graham Reynolds to make it three Hondas in the top three for the first time in a long time. Jonathan Prince managed to move up to 4th after Matt Ryan’s misfortunate in Race 2, but Matt managed to hold onto 5th despite not scoring any points from the last two races. In what has been an awesome season of racing, a huge congratulations to Warren for taking out both the overall championship, and to all of the drivers in the field for putting on a show and making Season 7 one to remember.

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Hondas 1 2 3 in the Championship lining up in formation order on cool down lap

 

A big thanks to the committee, drivers, driver’s families and support crew for making the series happen. To Canterbury Car Club and South Canterbury Car Club for putting on the events, to our sponsors Digital Fusion, Japrace and Dunlop for backing the series, and to Tony Knights for catching the season on camera and supplying us with great photos. It has been a brilliant season, now lets all do it again next year!

Here is the top three of each class. For full points, click here

 

 

2K Cup SI overall

    

#

Team

Driver

Car

TOTAL

 

129

Fake Factory Racing

Reynolds

Honda Integra

777

 

7

Gunstone Racing

Gunstone

Honda Torneo

751

 

128

Fake Factory Racing

Reynolds

Honda Integra

738

 
      

#

2.0 Cup (1801-2000cc)

Car

TOTAL

 

7

Gunstone Racing

 

Honda Torneo

337

 

202

Spatzy’s Garage

 

Toyota Celica

295

 

15

Ashworth Motorsport

 

Toyota Celica

293

 
      

#

1.8 Cup (1601-1800cc)

Car

TOTAL

 

129

Fake Factory Racing

 

Honda Integra  

260

 

128

Fake Factory Racing

 

Honda Integra  

236

 

997

High(ish) Caliber Racing

Toyota Levin

218

 
      

#

1.6 Cup (0-1600cc)

 

Car

TOTAL

 

171

Moore Motorsport

 

Toyota Levin

323

 

428

KNG

 

Toyota Levin

261

 

51

Deep South Autosport

Toyota Levin

191

 
      

#

Taxi Cup

 

Car

TOTAL

 

7

Gunstone Racing

 

Honda Torneo

351

 

135

Lewis Racing

 

Nissan Primera

281

 

850

JF Plastering

 

Honda Integra DB8

256

 
      

#

Hairdressers Cup

 

Car

TOTAL

 

76

Kitching Family Motorsport

Honda CRX del sol

255

 

333

MJ2

 

Honda CRX del sol

160

 

11

Team Bungy Racing

 

Toyota MR2

156

 
      

#

One of a Kind Cup

 

Car

TOTAL

 

7

Gunstone Racing

 

Honda Torneo

338

 

787

JCR Racing D

 

Toyota Trueno AE111 BZR

256

 

850

JF Plastering

 

Honda Integra DB8

236

 
      

#

Euro Cup

 

Car

TOTAL

 

72

Marshlands Electrical

 

VW Golf GTI

220

 
      

#

Old Buggers Cup

 

Car

TOTAL

 

128

Fake Factory Racing

Reynolds

Honda Integra

350

 

10

Peter Thompson Motorsport

Thompson

Toyota Levin

330

 

19

Kermit Racing

Kerry

Toyota Levin

176

 

 

Digital Fusion 2k Cup Season 7 Round 4 - Thunder Down Under

The Thunder Down Under never fails to bring in the crowd and produce some good racing and this year was no different. The South Canterbury Car Club hosted Round 4 of Season 7 of the Digital Fusion 2k Cup South Island this past weekend, and after some hefty damage bills for some drivers after last round, everyone was hoping for a clean race weekend. The 2019/2020 champion David Booth was back for an appearance in the #1SI AE111 Levin, and missing from the action were Warren Bryant and Johnny McAuley who were sitting 2nd and 3rd overall in the championship making this a very interesting round in the championship fight.

 

Photo Credit – Tony Knights. #1SI David Booth drifting around McKissock

 

Qualifying saw another full field of 38 cars take the track, and cramming that many cars onto a 2.4km track meant that drivers were are searching for clean track to put together their best lap possible. As he did multiple times last season, David Booth was on the top of the timesheets, half a second clear the youngest driver on the grid. Will Kitching has been progressively getting faster each round, and the 14 year old surprised many putting his Ranger Specialist Coatings Honda CRX 2nd on the grid, a few tenths clear of Matt Ryan’s Craig Gilbert Motors AE111 in 3rd, followed Graham Reynolds’ Integra in 4th again showing how dominant the B Class cars are. Michael Gunstone’s The Sign Ace Honda Torneo was best of C Class runners in 5th clear of the Greg Mitchell Cartage Toyota Carina in 7th and a welcome back to Tim Wallace who put his new Toyota Celica in 11th on the grid. Gregory Barclay had his Digital Fusion AE101 Toyota back up and running and was best of the A Class entries, just clear of the returning Jarrod Carnegie in the Moore Motorsport AE101, and Adam Garlic in his AE101 in 37th.

For full qualifying results click here

 

Photo Credit – Tony Knights. #1SI David Booth leading the field in Race 1

 

Race 1 was a fairly uneventful race with Booth taking the start and from there on he drove off into the distance. Unfortunately for Kitching he missed a gear and Ryan and Reynolds snuck by. Meantime Gunstone’s Torneo was proving to be the biggest car on the grid, engaging in a race long battle with championship leader Warren Reynolds trying to look for a way past the wide taxi. There were battle groups up and down the field as always in 2k Cup, and at the end of the 10 lap race it was again the B Class quartet at the front with Booth greeting the flag first from Ryan, Graham Reynolds and Kitching. Gunstone held off Warren Reynolds for 5th and first home in C Class, with Mitchell next in 8th and Wallace in 9th. A Class honours went to Barclay who came home in 18th, followed by Carnegie in 21st and Duane Fox’s Greg Mitchell Cartage AE101 in 36th. There was only one retirement, with the 2017/2018 champion Karl Forbes returning to 2k Cup in a new Honda Integra unfortunately picking up a puncture on the penultimate lap.

For full Race 1 results click here

 

Photo Credit – Tony Knights. #76 Will Kitching leading the way in Race 2

 

After a good nights sleep and some cooler conditions, to the driver’s delight was the first of the marble grid races. Jonathan Prince’s Caliber Design AE111 was on pole position alongside young Kitching, and a very mixed field meant we had a race on our hands. Kitching got the jump and assumed the early lead by a few seconds. Behind him there was a good battle for 2nd and 3rd between Prince and Carl Storm’s Wasteco AE111 for a few laps before David Booth arrived on the scene. Slicing through the field form 10th on the grid, Booth made his way past the two AE111s and set his sights on Kitching who was trying his hardest to become the youngest race winner in 2k Cup South Island and on lap 9 Booth had other ideas muscling past Kitching into turn 1. Come lap 10 and Booth made it two in a row, leading home Kitching in 2nd, with Prince in 3rd holding off Storm in 4th, and continuing off his impressive results of late saw rookie James Swaney’s DC2 Integra next up making a variety of B Class cars in the top 5. Arthur Spatz’s Car Parts Canterbury Celica was the first of the C Class cars across the line finishing up in 6th, just clear of Gunstone in 6th and Todd Aikman putting in an awesome performance seeing the Ellis-Lea P10 Primera next in 17th. Barclay continued his stranglehold in A Class, crossing the line in 16th, again followed by Carnegie in 20th, and Duane Fox in 31st. Unfortunately three cars didn’t see it to the end of the 10 lap race, Greg Mitchell retiring on lap 1 from an oil pressure issue, Adam Garlick’s AE101 put out by a broken axle, and Dylan Knight’s Mazda Familia out with a few battle scars and a late spin. Fortunately all three cars were ziptied and race taped back together and back out for Race 3.

For full Race 2 results click here

 

Photo Credit – Tony Knights. #166 Tim Wallace leads the field in Race 3

 

All 38 cars lined up on the grid for reverse marble grid Race 3, with Wallace’s Celica on pole position alongside Noel Simmons who was subbing in Harry Storm for the day in the other Wasteco AE111. The pole man got the jump and never looked back, with Wallace quickly gapping the rest of the field. Again, the marble grid race throws up plenty of action, and there was dust flying and cars overtaking all over the place. Matt Ryan moved up into 2nd and was slowly taking time out of Wallace’s lead and despite his best efforts couldn’t quite bridge the gap leaving Wallace the victor in his first round back since Season 3 and also the first driver in C Class to grab a win this season. Ryan was first of the B Class drivers home in 2nd, followed by Graham Reynolds, Simmons and championship leader Warren Reynolds in 5th. Matt Carmichael put in the drive of his life, holding off a swarm of faster cars bringing home the ever-reliable VW Golf GTi home in 14th and the next best of the C Class cars, just holding off Spatz in 15th. Gregory Barclay made it three from three greeting the line best of the A Class cars in 29th, again followed by Carnegie in 31st and Garlick’s repaired AE101 next best in 37th. Unfortunately for Fox it was more bad luck, this time retiring due to gearbox issues. Fingers crossed it is an easy fix and the car will be sorted for Round 5.

For full Race 3 results click here

 

Photo Credit – Tony Knights. #117 Ash Wallace saving some tyres

 

As always the Truck Round did not fail to deliver, with awesome driving on the track, and plenty of fun and stories off the track such as a driver getting off to a hazy start and taking a wrong turn ending up in an off track excursion with female toilets. No damage to body work but CRO is investigating … but what happens at the track stays at track! A big thank you to the South Canterbury Car Club and volunteers for putting on an awesome event, to our committee making us race at the event possible, and to all drivers/members/family members for making 2k Cup what it is. Now lets do it all again at Round 5 on Saturday 6th March at Levels Raceway!

Digital Fusion 2k Cup Season 7 Round 3 - Mag & Turbo Race Day

There has been a recurring theme so far this season with the weather, rain always seems to be forecasted, and like Rounds 1 and 2 of the Digital Fusion 2k Cup fortunately for the 39 drivers and spectators the rain stayed away. The Canterbury Car Club hosted their Mag and Turbo Club Day Round 2 event on Sunday where we would get on the track once last time before the end of the year, and let’s just say it was an action packed day!

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Mike Pulley (#13) & Greg Mitchell (#11) lead the pack in Race 2

 

2k Cup SI were the first racing series onto the track for the day, and following a douse of rain overnight the report from the majority of drivers was the track was incredibly slippery but the times told a completely different story. Warren Bryant was on pole position last time we were at Ruapuna on a 1m47.563, and he backed that up scoring pole position again but this time clocking a staggering 1m45.691 in his AE111, a full second clear of Carl Storm’s Wasteco AE111. Following the flying Toyotas was the Honda trio Johnny McAuley in the MJ2 Group backed Honda CRX in 3rd, Warren Reynolds in his Integra in 4th and Michael Gunstone’s Paterson Bros Tyres/Murol Brothers Ltd Honda Torneo first of the C Class entrants in 5th, only just beating out C Class and Taxi Cup rival Greg Mitchell who had the Greg Mitchell Cartage/J Swap powered Toyota Carina back on the track in 6th, with Mike Pulley’s Methven Imports Mitsubishi FTO next of the C Class runners in 8th. The battle of the A Class Toyotas was well and truly on with Leon Fox following off his pace last time out at Ruapuna putting the Greg Mitchell Cartage AE101 in 28th place, hoping for a trouble free round for a change! Next up in 34th was the return of Season 1 & 2 competitor Matt Moore who has spent the past few seasons driving in the South Island Endurance series and SS Cup, driving the Moore Motorsports AE101 with big shoes (not literally) to fill after the Jarod Carnegie dominated the class last round in the car, and Adam Garlick in 36th back after missing Round 2.

For full Qualifying results click here 

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
The pole man, Warren Bryant

 

When the lights turned green for the first race what looked to be a race the two Toyotas would dominate was thrown out the window, with Reynolds and McAuley jumping up to 1st and 2nd, Pulley up to 3rd, and Gunstone slotting in 4th ahead of the two AE111s. There was a spectacle mid pack with the Digital Fusion AE111 driven by Craig Saunders and Car Parts Canterbury/SAS Celica driven by Arthur Spatz tripping over each other seeing the Toyota spinning into the infield. After that, the majority of the field settled into a good rhythm providing some good racing for the spectators, with Reynolds taking the flag from McAuley and Bryant making it all B Class cars on the podium, with Pulley leading home Gunstone and Mitchell to make it C Class cars locking out the next three spots. Matt Moore put his experience to good use even without a spotter in his ear, crossing the line first of the A Class drivers in 30th, just in front of Fox in 31st, and Garlick in 37th. Disaster struck on the last lap for Gregory Barclay, again subbing in for Ian Kerry driving the Malborough Motor Trimmers AE111, holding 8th place for the whole race until the engine decided to make some not so good noises, dropping Barclay down to 14th and out for the rest of the day.

For full Race 1 results, click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Warren Reynolds (#129) leads Johnny McAuley (#333) early in Race 1

 

Race 2 although being a marble draw race gave us another Toyota front row with Greg Mitchell on pole, alongside Adam Garlick. Off the line Mitchell got the jump, but it was Mike Pulley who rocketed from 7th position to the lead by turn 2. At the front of the field, that set up the rest of the race where Pulley, Mitchell, and another impressive showing 14 year old Will Kitching aboard his Ranger Specialist Coatings Honda CRX, were giving us a very entertaining spectacle, with Mitchell and Kitching swapping positions all while trying to sneak their way past Pulley’s FTO. On lap 6 the safety car made an appearance after the Car Parts Canterbury AE111 driven by Kelsey Gaiger pulled off at the hairpin. The safety car was only out for the lap, and on the restart Kitching got jumped by Mitchell and Warren Bryant. After the two lap sprint to the end, it was a battle between two C Class heavy weights with Pulley holding off a determined Mitchell with Bryant hot on his tail, and a personal best result for Will Kitching holding onto 4th from his CRX stablemate Johnny McAuley rounding out the top 5 and top 3 in B Class. The battle for 3rd in C Class was on, with Gunstone getting Spatz on the last lap for 8th. Adam Garlick maximised his front row start, being 1st home of the A Class entrants in 29th, with Leon Fox not far behind in 32nd, and Matt Moore next in 37th after a trip through pitlane.

For full Race 2 events click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Mike Pulley (#13) leads Greg Mitchell (#11) and Will Kitching (#76)

 

Race 3, well what can we say, plenty of action and memorable but for all of the wrong reasons. Kelsey Gaiger lined up on the front row in her repaired Levin alongside a vacant spot which was for one of our new drivers Daniel Harris who didn’t make it out for Race 3. When the race got underway there was trouble at the first corner, with two Toyotas spinning off into the sand, dust flying and a field of 37 cars flying through. Unfortunately it caused a nose to tail chain reaction with few cars involved, but that was only the start. Race control red flagged the race, so by the time the cars got to the hairpin, some cars were nearly at a standstill while others were still at race pace and unfortunately that resulted in some very damaged Toyotas, leaving Jase Skurr’s AE111 and Chaz Frew’s A1 Diggers AE111 out of the race due to the damage, and Jason Lambert’s Metalcraft AE111 the other car involved able to continue on but in a modified hatchback variant. The race was restarted and so did the action, Gaiger leading the field away from Matt Ryan in the Craig Gilbert Motors/Shackleton Building AE111 and Ross Jones’ FTO. As always there was very close racing but this time maybe a tad too close, and on lap two the dreaded meatball flag was shown for a flailing rear bumper hanging on for dear life of Gunstone’s Torneo which had taken a few too many rear hits, taking him out of the running while the championship lead slowly started slipping away. As he has over the years, Cam Taylor who was crewing for the Moore Motorsport AE101 was there to save the day, bolting from watching the race to pitlane to rip the bumper off. Gaiger and Ryan were having a good battle up front, deploying Drift South mode synchronised drifting through ICOM at one stage. There were battles all over the field, and unfortunately a few more incidents, so by the end of the race a fair number of cars had some battle scars. Ater 8 action packed laps, Ryan managed to score the win, from Warren Reynolds flying the Honda flag, and Jonathan Prince’s Caliber Design AE111 scoring his first podium also rounding out the Class B top 3. Gaiger held on in a brilliant drive to 4th, with Paul Trainor also impressing rounding out the top 5. The Best of the C Class runners was Ross Jones’ FTO in 8th, followed by Greg Mitchell in 17th, and Arthur Spatz in 22nd. While for many Race 3 was one to forget, Leon Fox put in another incredibly solid drive achieving a PB and top 10 result, finishing in 10th in his AE101 Levin, well clear of Matt Moore in 20th, and Adam Garlick in 31st.

For full Race 3 results, click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Race 3 winner – Matt Ryan

 

So to wrap up, not really the best of rounds for the series and hopefully a learning experience for all involved. Never good to see so many damaged cars after a race, so hopefully everyone can use the two month break to get all of the cars back into shape and keep it that way for the rest of the season. A big thank you to the Canterbury Car Club and volunteers for holding the event, and to our committee for making the racing happen. Heres hoping there won’t be too many late nights for them to sort everything out. Next up we will be racing at Levels Raceway on the 30th/31st January for the Trust Aoraki Thunder Down Under event, where hopefully there won’t be any more damage!

Digital Fusion 2k Cup Season 7 Round 2 - November Race Day

We may have only been racing at Round 1 of the Digital Fusion 2k Cup South Island last weekend at Ruapuna, but that didn’t stop a full grid of 38 cars lining up at Levels Raceway for Round 2 yesterday. Similar story to last round, rain forecasted to mix things up a bit, but fortunately the weather held off and we managed to get to the end of the day with no moisture to annoy the drivers and spectators. It did mean that unlike last round, the temperature was in the mid-teens much to the delight of the drivers!

 

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Busy qualifying session almost looking like a race with drivers jostling for track position

 

A full field of 38 cars on 2.4km long track for qualifying meant cars everywhere, with many drivers struggling to put together a clean lap during the 15 minute session. For the first time in 2k Cup history we witnessed the first time a father and son locked out the first two positions in qualifying. Both driving Wastco backed AE111s, Harrison Storm put in a blinding lap to qualify on pole, with his father Carl not far off in second place. Unfortunately for Carl, the Levin decided that it wanted to go back on the trailer as the clutch decided it didn’t want to work any longer which was a huge disappointed after a personal best qualifying result. Behind them the AE111 lockout continued, with Warren Bryant continuing his pace from round 1, qualifying in 3rd, with two Hondas nipping at his toes with Warren Reynolds’ Integra next followed by Johnny McAuley’s MJ2 supported CRX. With B Class still proving to the cars the have, Michael Gunstone’s Paterson Bros Tyres/Murol Brothers Ltd backed Honda Torneo was first the C Class runners in 7th, followed by Round 1 fast man Mike Pulley in the menacing green FTO in 8th, and in a welcome return in a one off to fill in for Greg Mitchell, last season’s runner up Gav Thompson was back behind the wheel of his old MR2 and was next up of the C Class runners in 11th. After a handful of seasons on the sidelines helping out behind the scenes and running SS Cup, Jarod Carnegie was on the grid, this time behind the wheel of the Moore Motorsport run AE101, and was first of the A Class runners in 25th, followed by Duane Fox in the Greg Mitchell Cartage backed AE101, and the return of the memorable Daihatsu Charade driven by Benjamin Spark was next in 36th.

For full qualifying results, click here  

 

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Pole sitter Harry Storm (#178) leads the field away in race 1

 

Storm had the front row to himself, and despite the nerves of starting on pole position, he led off the line and assumed a comfortable lead from Reynolds and Bryant. Matt Ryan had a good start from 6th in the Shackleton Building/Craig Gilbert Motors AE111 managed to jump in front of McAuley early on in the race, and inherited another position when Bryant turned his AE111 into a rallycross car on lap 2 dropping to 12th. The safety car was brought out on lap 7 for a few laps as the Spark’s Charade had lost drive at John Jones, and the lights went back to green for a last lap showdown. Storm made an error on the restart and got passed by Reynolds, which opened the door for Ryan and McAuley to also sneak by and get onto the all B Class podium and Reynolds giving us the first Honda win of the season. Storm finished the race in 4th, but got given a 10 second penalty for breach of Safety Car procedures which dropped him down to 15th, so that promoted the C class trio of Pulley, Gunstone and Thompson up to 4th, 5th and 6th. In A Class land, Carnegie was involved with battles with a handful of cars, finishing up in 25th, with Fox finishing in 35th despite being an innocent victim with nowhere to go but into the side of Nick Ilton’s spinning Celica. As a result, Ilton joined Spark on the DNF list, and after overheating issues last round and a few late nights trying to replace the head gasket on the Ranger Specialist Coating backed CRX, 14-year-old Will Kitching’s bad luck continued with Will transiting in and out of the pits during the race chasing an annoying VTEC issue.

For full Race 1 results, click here  

 

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Warren Reynolds (#129) takes the chequered flag in race 1

 

The first marble grid race saw Ryan in a position to capitalise on his pace from race 1, starting at the front of the field and taking a comfortable lead from Craig Saunders’ Digital Fusion AE111. As always with the marble grids, there is a mix of cars and speeds throughout the field, so plenty of overtaking and close racing is a given. Warren Bryant began his move through the field and on lap 8 found a way past Saunders. At the end of the 10 lap sprint race, Ryan held a controlling gap back to Bryant and Saunders renewing the AE111 dominance, with Gunstone first of the Hondas and C Class runners in 4th closely followed by Graham Reynolds who pipped passed James Swaney on the last lap in what was an impressive drive for James in his first ever round at Levels Raceway. Ben Lewis put together an extremely solid drive in his Nissan Primera being the next best of the C Class runners finishing up in 9th, with Arthur Spatz in the Car Parts Canterbury/SAS backed Celica next in 12th. Carnegie continued to dominate the A Class battle finishing up in 24th, with Duane Fox in 32nd followed by Spark in 35th.  The hard luck story continued for young Kitching who was in and out of pits still hampered by VTEC issues, and Mike Pulleys rapid FTO retired on lap 7 with gearbox issues and was out for the rest of the day.

For full Race 2 results, click here  

 

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Race 2 winner Matt Ryan (#65) leading Craig Saunders (#28)

 

The final race of the day was always going to turn on the entertainment, but just to add a little spice, the overcast clouds looked to be getting darker by the minute. Fast man Johnny McAuley led off the start from the immaculately presented Waimate 50 Primera of Mark Baikie. Keen to make up for race 1, Harrison Storm was on a mission and found himself slowing catching McAuley lap by lap, with Warren Reynolds holding down third. After the roller coaster weekend at round 1, Greg Barclay found himself subbing into replace Ian Kerry in the Marlborough Motor Trimmers AE111, and he didn’t disappoint once again stepping into an unknown car and being right on the pace as he slowly reeled in Reynolds as the race went on. The battle up front was as close you could get, with McAuley’s CRX’s tyres going off with a few laps to go, resulting in a photo finish when the chequered flag fell – a gap of 0.008 was all that separated the two with McAuley holding off Storm by the slimmest of margins for the win, with Reynolds holding off Barclay to round out the podium. Gav Thompson rounded out the top 5, beating out C Class rival Gunstone who ended up in 6th, with Baikie driving an excellent racing getting his best ever result holding onto 9th. Carnegie continued to put the AE101 in places it shouldn’t be, finishing in 18th, with Fox in 30th and Spark in 35th. It was an unfortunate end of the day for Aaron Sayer’s Ralliart liveried Mitsubishi Mirage ended up parked at the hairprin with a suspected CV/driveshaft issue giving him the best seat at the track for spectating, but finally on the receiving end of some good luck, Kitching finally had found and sorted the VTEC issues and showed the field what he could do when the car is running on song, finishing up in 10th.

For full Race 3 results, click here  

 

Photo credit – Tony Knights
Johnny McAuley (#333) fending off Harry Storm (#178(

 

It was another brilliant round of which as always could not have happened without Digital Fusion, Dunlop, Japrace, the committee and drivers, and the South Canterbury Car Club and their volunteers. Another full grid of cars, and three different winners from three different races shows that our racing series is as strong as ever. Luckily for everyone, there is now a three week break until round 3 which will be held at Mike Pero Motorsport Park/Ruapuna on Sunday 29th November where we look forward to seeing some more action on track!

Digital Fusion 2k Cup Season 7 Round 1 - Wigram Revival

It’s been an interesting year so far to say the least, but we have been fortunate enough to go back to some normality and go racing for Season 7 of the Digital Fusion 2k Cup South Island. Round 1 kicked off at Ruapuna last weekend for the Wigram Revival event run by the Canterbury Car Club, and while a combination of warm and wet weather was forecasted for the weekend, fortunately for the spectators and drivers all that arrived was good weather. The defending champion David Booth and bridesmaid Gav Thompson were missing off the entry list, so the main question was who would take over the reins of battling it out for the championship …

Photo Credit – Tony Knights Craig Saunders (#28), Arthur Spatz (red Celica)

 

A huge field of 40 cars set out for qualifying on Saturday morning, and everyone knew that clear track would be the most important part of the session. New to 2k Cup but with plenty of experience in other racing series, Warren Bryant proved to be the man to beat and initially made it looks as though he was going to continue the dominance of the mighty AE111 B Class machine. After seasons of reliability issues, Mike Pulley was the surprise of the session, placing his Mitsubishi FTO on 2nd place and first of the C Class runners, closely followed by Carl Storm who was another surprise placing his Wasteco AE111 in 3rd. Warren Reynolds’ Integra was next in 4th, with Matt Ryan’s AE111 rounding out the top 5. For the next best of the C Class Runners, Michael Gunstone was next in 6th in his Honda Torneo, followed by Arthur Spatz’s Celica next best in 12th. The battle of A Class (AE101 Cup) was up for the taking with the reining class winning Daihatsu Charade not racing for the weekend, and despite gear selector issues Leon Fox was best in class in 28th, followed by the Season 1 returnee Grant Moore in 38th, and Greg Barclay in 39th. Unfortunately for Greg, he had terminal issues and the Digital Fusion AE101 was out for the remainder of the weekend. 

For full qualifying results, click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Warren Bryant (#220)

 

The temperature for Race 1 was sky high, so drivers had their work cut out for the 8 lap sprint race. Pulley got the jump and led the field away while Bryant dropped back to 6th. On lap two, unfortunately Leon Fox’s rotten luck continued and the stricken Greg Mitchell Cartage AE101 was stranded just after the hairpin and out came the safety car. Once racing resolved there were a few positional changes up and down the field, but Pulley scored his first race win in the blisteringly quick FTO beating home a swarm of B Class contenders. Next up were the two Warrens, with Bryant recovering lost ground and finishing up 2nd, beating out Reynolds to round out the podium, with Matt Ryan and Carl Storm rounding out the top 5. Pulley was well clear of the next C Class entry, with Gunstone’s Torneo falling back to 11th with an ignition lead issue, closely followed by the rookie Dylan Knights absolutely flying in Gunstone’s old car, with Dylan’s Mazda Familia coming home in 12th. Grant Moore had his hands full for A Class honours, finishing up in 36th, just beating out Adam Garlick in 37th in the battle for AE101 honours, with Leon Fox recording a DNF after the issues on lap 2.

For full Race 1 results, click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Mike Pulley (#13) leads the field in Race 1

 

Race 2 was the first of the ever exciting marble grid races which always put on some entertainment. Jeremy Tod was on pole in his Toyota Ceres with Warren Reynolds rounding out the front row, and despite the setback having to retire the car for the weekend, Greg Barclay was back on the grid thanks to a generous offer from Carl Storm to drive their other AE111 Wastco Levin. Reynolds got the jump and led the field away, with Greg Mitchell next in line trying to learn how to drive Gav Thompson’s old MR2. It may not have been the fastest line or most enjoyable drive for Greg, but the tail happy MR2 would have had to be a crowd favourite with the amount of opposite lock used across the weekend! As the race settled down, Pulley moved into 2nd, and the standout drive went to Barclay who despite never driving the car, jumping in and setting the quickest lap of the race. Pulley was catching Reynolds, while Barclay was catching Pulley, and the three of them posted a few laps faster than breakout. Pulley snuck into the lead with a few laps to go and was first to greet the chequered flag, followed by Reynolds, Barclay, Gunstone, and a valiant drive by Greg Mitchell putting the MR2 in 5th and rounding out the top 3 in C Class. Craig Saunders in the Digital Fusion AE111 ended up 6th and 3rd of the B Class runners, while Leon Fox showed what he could do when issues didn’t strike, being the first A Class driver home in 28th, followed by Adam Garlick in 38th and Grant Moore next in 40th.

For full Race 2 results, click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Mike Pulley (#13) leads Warren Reynolds (#129) and Greg Barclay (#178)

 

Race 3 was the usual reverse marble grid, and Adam Garlick lined up on pole position alongside Chaz Frew, and when the lights turned green Frew took control of the race. A few laps in, continuing on with the pace he showed in qualifying, Warren Bryant was back into the lead, but the Motorworks/Ray White Levin driven by Jeff Poulter was right on his tail. Bryant held onto the lead for the majority of the race, only to be overtaken by Poulter with a few laps to go. Pulley who started down in 28th was on fire, with the Mivec Missle shooting up through the field like they were standing still. Poulter held onto win the race from Bryant, with Pulley 3rd making it all three races being the first C Class runner home. Chaz Frew drove a very good race, getting his A1 Diggers AE111 home in 4th place, and another standout drive from another rookie, this time Kelsie Gaiger in her Car Parts Canterbury AE111 managed to round out the top 5 in her first round racing at Ruapuna. With Pulley being the meat in the AE111 sandwich, the next best of the C class drivers was Steve Keene who drove a brilliant race in the Ashworth Automotive Celica coming home in 12th, followed by Gunstone’s Torneo in 14th. Leon Fox shined in the battle of A Class, driving the race of his life holding off faster AE111 Levins for the majority of the race finishing 18th, with Adam Garlick making the most of the front row start to hold onto 32nd, with Grant Moore next in 36th. Unfortunately there were three DNFs, Ross Jones’ FTO retired from damage following an incident, Jed Fleming’s Integra had alternator issues, and Greg Mitchell’s MR2 had gear linkage issues giving him 6 gears of neutrals.

For full Race 3 results, click here

Photo Credit – Tony Knights
Jeff Poulter (#78) leads Warren Bryant (#220)

 

Thank you to our committee, drivers, families of drivers, car clubs, volunteers, and sponsors for making Season 7 even possible. In a time where there are so many unknowns, it has been amazing to have our biggest grid out on the track in a long time. There are so many new faces and cars which is a very encouraging sight for 2k Cup South Island. We are back racing this Saturday at Levels Raceway for the only back to back of the season, so hopefully all competitors who encountered issues are able to get them sorted this week so we have another big grid this weekend!

Photo Credit – Tony Knights