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6 January 1998, Paradise Valley & Kihikihi Speedway


Issue No: 8


I trust you all had a very merry Xmas and a happy New Year.

The NLW Racing Team had a busy Xmas, New Year period with racing in Rotorua on Boxing Day and Kihikihi on January the 4th.

Rotorua was not an enjoyable meeting, with some of the local 'drivers' (for lack of a better word) thinking they were either in stockcars or that we were racing in a demolition derby. Needless to say, we sustained a considerable amount of panel damage. With 20 cars racing there was not a lot of room on the track. The track officials did not put up any results all night, however I started on Grid 17 and finished about 10th in the first race and did not make the finish line in the next two races.

Kihikihi was much more enjoyable on the 4th of January. There were seven Ltd Saloon's and seven Super Saloon's racing. The Super's were, as always, very exciting with Skinny Colson, Kevin Moore, Maurice Cowling (1NZ), Dean Waddell (2NZ) and Geoff Fletcher going hard out.

The track surface was, unfortunately, very 'bumpy'. This makes racing hazardous, making our suspensions really work hard. Our first race was won by 10H, Tony Green. I placed 4th. In the first Super race, Tony lent his car to an experienced Super Driver who needed to race to qualify for the NZ Champ's. Due to the track conditions his car suffered an 'untimely demise', ripping the driveshaft apart and possibly breaking a torsion arm.

Our second race came and went with me watching from the pit's. Unfortunately the teeth on my flex plate (ring gear) had become worn, meaning the starter motor couldn't turn over the engine properly, so we couldn't start the car. We managed to start the car for the third race, but a flat tyre and losing the power steering meant an early departure from the race.

The car was missing and generally not running quite right, so this has meant that the car is to receive a complete makeover (courtesy of Suzanne Paul and Natural Glow????) in time for the 'unofficial' NZ Ltd Saloon Car Championship at Waikaraka Park, Auckland, this Saturday night.

Items fixed/replaced are, a new flex plate (complete with teeth!!), a new set of HT leads, a new distributor, rotor and points and a new number for the Champ's, 5H. (Thanks Bill!)

Scrutineering for the NZ Champ's is on Saturday 10th January from 12.00 to 2.30pm and qualifying starts at 3.15pm. Only the top 20 cars will progress through to the Championship proper, that night. Racing starts at 7pm.

My aim is to qualify!!! If I can achieve that, I will be a happy man. Although I am already pleased to just have my entry accepted and to gain the experience of racing at the top level.

Thank you all, once again, for your continued support. I couldn't do it without your help!


Nigel Wilton