Paddy North Racing
2010 - 2011 Season Reviews and Results
March 2011 Update
February 2011 Update
HI all, sorry haven't updated for a while, been pretty full on with work and racing.
Had a pretty successful weekend just been with a 2nd placing in the South Island champs in Nelson just 1 point behind winner Ian Burson and few points ahead of 3rd placed Richie Taylor. Was an awesome night with the title decided over the three-heat deal. I had 2nd 4th and 2nd place finishes but not quite good enough to match burses 3rd 1st 3rd.
This tops of a pretty good 6 weeks of racing with my 3rd place in the NZ Grand prix and 5th at the NZ title, and a good match for the 2nd place we got at the North Islands a couple of years back, just can't quite get that number 1.
As for the car each time out we are getting closer on our setup we keep trying new things, I having to make different changes than with the old car, this one is reacting differently to the changes, Slowly I'm getting a handle on it and starting to build some confidence.
Plans for the next few weeks are Nelson again this weekend as support to the NZ side chairs. Following that we head to Dunedin and Cromwell for the 25th & 26th for rounds 3 & 4 of the Elf super cup with the final in Christchurch on the 13th March.
If you're in Dunedin come and visit us at the Octagon on the Friday between 10am and 2pm there will be six or so supers on display, otherwise we look forward to catching you at race track in the near future.
23 February 2011
15 January 2011
NZ Super Saloon Champs Finals
14 January 2011
We have arrived in Napier ready for the NZ champs qualifying tonight at the Meeanee track, It's a beautiful day and going to be really hot. Just had a nice cooked brekkie and about to head off to scrutineering down at marine parade in Napier city.
TAB has current 1NZ Emerson and 2NZ McIntyre as hot favourites with Steve Williams, Ian Burson, Ben Harding, Matt Smith, and myself as the next 5 cars behind them. I guess we all need to get through tonight first to make the finals tomorrow.
I'm feeling quite relaxed and quietly confident of a successful weekend; car seems to be all good, will just need fine tuning to suit track conditions.
I will endeavour to get some results on here during the night. with an update late tonight .
NZ Super Saloon Champs Qualifying
A hot day leading up to the racing made for a slick track for Paddy's first race. Starting Heat One from the back row, Paddy drove much of the race with no power steering after a hydraulic hose blew and he placed tenth.
With the sun setting and temperature dropping the track was starting to come back for the second race. Starting Heat Two on pole, Paddy slipped back to third behind pace-setter Lance Jennings and Martin Halcrow off grid 4. On lap 8 Paddy got past Jennings into second and set about chasing down race leader Halcrow but the laps ran out and Paddy finished second.
Starting Heat Three from grid 4, Paddy grabbed third place on the opening lap. On lap 5 Paul Carter rolled, triggering a red. Paddy parked on the infield with engine running unaware the exhaust had set fire to the door panel. Ordered out of the car, Paddy reluctantly exited, knowing that leaving the car most likely would end his race.
With the fire extinguished, damage appeared to be superficial and given he'd exited the car under the instruction of officials; Paddy was allowed to get into the car and continue racing. Unfortunately the fire had cooked a tyre and it deflated, ending Paddy's race.
The DNF in the third heat left Paddy in ninth place on points after three heats, and his chances of finishing in the top six and transferring directly into the finals seemed slim. With a grid 8 start in the final heat, Paddy's chances of qualifying were dependant not just on where he finished, but also on where those drivers ahead of him on points placed.
On lap 4 Paddy passed Mark Carey to move into fourth. On lap 7 Paddy passed Jonathon Browne, and when second placed Paul Hodson slowed the when infield with a flat tyre, Paddy was up into second place behind Steve Williams, placings they held to race end.
With 11 points from the heat four second, Paddy finished fifth on points in Red Group, going straight into the Championship finals.
3 January 2011
Grand Prix Review
Wow 2011 is off to a good start with 3rd place in the NZ GP. We travelled to Bay Park in Taraunga on new years day, and after catching some sun and sights for a couple of hours at Mt Manganui beach we headed to the track. The format was the Yankee deal where you have to time trial at the beginning of the night, I don't really like this format and haven't had much luck with it in the past, anyhow we were 6th quickest in our group of 12 and ninth fastest out of both groups, not to bad I suppose considering I haven't run there for a couple of years.
From the time trial we went to our heats were I finished 4th, which put me straight through to the dash which is the quickest 12 cars, the balance of the 20 cars field had to qualify through a B main race. I finished 4th in the dash from grid six which put me off grid 4 for the twenty lap feature. I dropped back to 5th in the early part of the race and just knuckled down for a while from about mid race the track really came to our setup and we were able to move forward a couple of spots, unfortunately the front two cars had a bit of a lead on the rest of the field and by the time I caught up to Matt Smith in second place, the race was all but over although I did manage to give him a good last lap run for his money, 1st place went to young USA gun Jared Hawkins. This race would definitely rate up there as one of my better achievements.
Sunday we travelled through to Napier for the East coast champs, this was an important meeting as the NZ Champs are here next weekend 14/15 Jan. After 2 ok heats we qualified grid 6 for the feature a 14 car 20 lap event. Unfortunately with a small crash in the first turn I ended up near the rear of the field and only managed a 10th place finish. While our nite was pretty average we have taken away a few things to work for the NZ's.
Look out for a preview of this meeting in the next couple of days.
The 3rd and 4th of December were the first two rounds of the Elf Super cup, Eastern States on the Friday nite and Nelson on the Saturday. This was the first two decent meetings I have raced after returning from Aussie with the exception of the Canterbury champs meet that was rained out after the first race at Woodford glen late November.
With Blenheim being my home track I was a bit nervous heading into this meeting as we have been struggling to get to grips with the handling of the new chassis, the car has generally been good in a straight line but were really struggling with the cornering. With a 3rd and 7th placing's in the heats we qualified grid 5 for the feature, I made a bad call with the feature setup on the car going for a small amount of stagger (big left rear tire) in anticipating of a very slick track, turn out track wasn't to bad and car had a hughe push on corner entry which pretty much made it a pig for the whole race. I managed to pass one car and lose one spot finishing 5th.
On to Nelson for Saturday with 2nd & 8th places in the heats saw us qualify 3rd and pass Ritchie Taylor in the dash to start grid 2 for the feature. Unfortunately a wet outside line saw me spin the wheels and get all crossed up at the start dropping back to 9th or 10th, after settling into the race I managed to claw my way up to 5th spot, while disappointed with the race, I felt extremely comfortable in the car and actually felt we had achieved something in terms of car speed that night, also on the bright side we are sitting 3rd in the Super cup after the two rounds behind Ritchie Taylor in 2nd and defending Champ Josh Boulton in first.
The 18th December we headed back to Nelson for a club night with a couple of CHCH cars attending. Race one I ran off the back trying some new brake callipers and pads attempting to find a better balance with the car on corner entry, while not completely happy we made a small gain, Race two saw my first race win of the season with a 3rd in heat three.
26th December after gorging myself Christmas we headed to Woodford Glen for the annual Boxing day Remembrance Champs. John from LRC had built us some new front suspension components to try and overcome our corner entry problem. Finally we saw a big gain in progress. We managed a 3rd & 4th in our heats putting me on pole for the feature beside Josh in the very fast 891 car. On the start I stayed beside Josh for the first lap but we both ran to deep into turn 3 touching each other and allowing Mike Verdoner though to take the lead. As the race went on the car felt stronger and stronger, we were able to slip by Josh then a couple of laps later get by Mike to take the race win... Awesome.
10 December 2010
1 December 2010
6 November 2010
Valvoline Trans Tasman Challenge Review and Pix
Well we're back home and back to work. Car is currently on the water making it's way back to Lyttelton and I should be able to it pick up after MAF clearance etc around November 17th and will have a fair bit of work to do before our next meeting.
I've spent a few days reflecting on the trip and the many great memories and few not so great ones.
The Good - Awesome concept, beating the Aussies, great people, good tracks albeit a lot bigger than we were used to and a generally good time. The kiwis really bonded together as a great team, usually we are competing with each other, but we bonded really well and worked professionally as a team. The Aussie drivers and teams were wonderful guys and really embraced the series and are looking forward to making the return trip to NZ next year, so hopefully we can put something together.
The people you looked after us Like Wayne Belk and family and Ron Bergmeier and his family were just awesome. These guys went well out of their way to make us feel welcome and nothing was a problem, a lot of time effort and expense was put in by these guys and it has been much appreciated by all the Kiwi team.
Six nights of racing in ten days was always going to be a big ask; especially with traveling in between to the different tracks. With most of us having campers this was a bit easier, was tiring at times especially leaving a track at 1am, arriving at the next track at 4am having to get a couple of hours sleep, fix the car and prepare for a 1.30pm start that same day, made the bourbons more enjoyable at the end of the weekend that's for sure.
Was a great way to see parts of Victoria and meet the locals like you would not see if you were on holiday. The track facilities were good and again we were really looked after by the local clubs and track staff. Check out the selection of photo's below.
The not so good - the weather played its part with the last 2 days having to be cancelled, we had the most rain Melbourne had experienced in the last few years.
The new car was good but struggled to put in any decent results, had a lot of bad luck, if there was going to be a crash I seemed to be in the middle of it, I had more damage in the 2 weeks than I would normal get in a whole season, hence I was disappointed from that point.
The spectator numbers were not what I expected to see, while most of the tracks were rapt to host us and seemed happy with their crowd numbers, some of the shows dragged on a bit. I think the Aussies will get an eye opener when they come here.
Overall the positives far outweighed the negatives and I feel very privileged to have been invited to take part in the inaugural series, big thank you to Steve Williams and Wayne Belk for their organisation and to all the sponsors, drivers, families and crews for making this an awesome event.
Each of the Kiwi team will have an opportunity to show off the trophy at their home tracks. We'll have the trophy here in Blenheim and Nelson for the ELF Super Cup meetings on December 3rd and 4th, so for all you locals get your backsides trackside and get a view of this cool trophy and catch some great racing.
3 November 2010
30 October 2010
Kiwi Super Saloon team wins Valvoline Trans-Tasman Challenge
Rain forced the cancellation of todays and tomorrow's rounds so the Kiwi Super Saloon is the winner of the inaugural Valvoline Trans-Tasman Challenge 323-285, the points score at the completion of yesterday's Round Four at Bacchus Marsh.
29 October 2010
Bacchus Marsh Results
26 October 2010
25 October 2010
Moama Review, Results and Pix
Yesterday we raced day three at Moama Speedway; this is a pretty new and awesome facility, owned by the Roberts family whose son Lucas is in the Oz late model team. Unfortunately the track was very dry and dusty, despite the track staffs best efforts to give us a raceable surface, given the heat and the fact this was their first afternoon meeting in the heat of the day, their efforts were in vain. Come feature time the track had blacked off a lot giving us a semi raceable track unfortunately a lot of dust still made conditions challenging.
The Aussie cars of Warren Oldfield and Michael Holmes took out the top two spots of the feature with kiwi cars following in places 3 through 11 giving us the round win on points and extending our lead in the series to 272 points to Aussie's 181. I placed 2nd, 5th and 6th in my heats and 11th in the final after sustaining damage again for the third day in a row. I'm finding it slightly frustrating trying to set up a new car and learn new tracks while also being faced with unnecessary damage and repairs. Overall the car is feeling pretty good. We're having a few teething problems and have a few changes to make during this week.
The kiwi team are working really well together and are really focused on winning this inaugural event, We have worked real hard and so far have had all ten cars start all three feature races at the end of the night. The Aussies have not fared quite as well with a couple not making the all important feature races due to either mechanical or accident damage. We have had a lot of comment over here as to the high standard of our cars both in terms of preparation and presentation.
Today the South Islander's have travelled to our mid week base at Ron Bergmeier's workshop at Bendigo. Ron is an awesome fellow who has been transporting our cars from track to track in his huge transporter, Ron and his son Ash run Super Sedans here and have a race parts supply and fabrication business. Our gears all cleaned up and ready for whatever repairs and maintenance are required over the next couple of days.
The North island cars have headed back to Wayne Belk's place north of Melbourne, Wayne's also a top bloke who has put a huge effort into organizing this series. We will all meet back up at Wayne's Thursday night for a bit of a Barbie with the Aussie's before heading up the road to Bacchus Marsh for round four on Friday.
24 October 2010
Swan Hill Review and Results
The Aussies turned things around last night with a 1-2 finish in the Feature at Swan Hill but they were the only two Aussie cars to finish. With Brent, Shane, Steve, Dennis, Richie and Ben still running at the end, the Kiwis won the round on points 73-64 and increased their overall series lead to 178-115.
Again Paddy struggled with the conditions and vast expanse of the track and had three pretty average heats, placing 6, 6 and 9 to qualify fifteenth for the final.
Paddy recorded another Feature race DNF, this time complements of an Aussie attempting to hump 46E on lap 24. Paddy was hugging pole in eighth spot when the Late Model mounted 46E, totalling the left rear guard, door panel and rear tyre and damaging the roof panel.
Straight after another after midnight race finish they packed up and headed to Moama, arriving around 4AM for some zzzzzzzz.
After some much needed sleep, Paddy and the crew headed out to the track to get ready for this afternoon's racing and were somewhat awed by the sheer size of the Moama track, by far the largest of this weekend's tracks.
23 October 2010
Kiwis One... Aussie Nil
Yes tonight NZ cars came home 1st, 2nd 4th & 5th giving the Kiwi team and handy lead going into round 2 Saturday at Swan Hill. Craig Cardwell put in an awesome drive to take the chequered flag, with Steve Williams coming home 2nd in the 30 lap feature. Condition were somewhat less than desirable with the track having huge ruts and the track staff having to get the grader out to try and tidy the surface prior to the feature which didn't kick off until after midnight. Brent Emmerson and Shane Macintyre took the lead spots early on getting past the two Aussies that had top qualified on grids 1 & 2, unfortunately both retired with damage prior to lap 20.
I didn't get off to a great start after hitting the wall hard in practice and wreaking 2 wheels, a shock, front splitter and bonnet. We were pretty much on the back foot from there on, my three heats were average as I struggle to come to grips with the rough track, although I did finish mid field in all 3 heats, qualifying me 10th for the feature. A spin at the start of the feature saw me at the rear of the 20 car field after only a lap or two. I worked my way back up to about 9th or 10th until I was hit from behind on lap 19 which saw me retire to the infield with a punctured right rear tire.
Over all it was a very successful night for the kiwi team, The Aussie late models are very fast, but the Kiwis fought very hard and on that particular track we came out top. We will have our work cut out as we head to bigger tracks that will probably suit the Aussie cars better, But hey who knows.
Some pics here of today's events, and will try to get some shots tomorrow of the Aussie beasts.
Better get some sleep. We need to be up in 4 hours to prepare and ship the cars to down to Swan Hill.
Will update tomorrow.
21 October 2010
Finally we arrive
We'll finally after months of planning and organizing we have made it to Mildura for the first round of the Trans Tasman Challenge. After our flight being delayed for an hour and a half we finally landed at Melbourne about 7pm Oz time last night, met up with John Lovelady who had just arrived from Christchurch and headed off to collect our motor home. Initially we planned to just head up the road a couple of hours and park up, 7 hours later we arrived in Mildura. We had a few hours sleep on the side of the road then found a nice café for a bit of brekkie.
First stop after breakfast was the Timmis speedway for a bit of a look, we were amazed at the size of the track, about 500m round the pole line I believe and nice banking and flowing corners so it's quite a bit bigger than we see in NZ and its going to be real fast. Later we find out this is the smallest of the three tracks we will race over the next 3 days, so I think we're in for a bit of a learning curve.
Earlier this evening all the NZ teams and met at the tracks clubrooms for a bit of a meet and greet with the aussie guys, we had a bit of a barby, a few bourbons and sorted the grid draws and format for tomorrow night. (Sorry I don't have a copy of the draw) but do know I start from grid eight of heat 2. The format is 2 heats of ten cars, top ten to a pole shuffle and a 30 lap feature. We were then all presented with trophies for representing our respective countries. Most of our guys are parked in campers at the track for the night with a few in motels down the road.
Tomorrow we have a few displays around the town before heading to the track mid afternoon. Weather is mint, 2 deg today and looking good for tomorrow with the possibility of late showers.
Will update after racing Friday night
16 October 2010
Trans Tasman Challenge Update
Wednesday night I flew to Melbourne to help with the container unloading and AQIS inspection on Thursday. Man we have shipped some gear over there! We stripped all three containers and laid everything out for the AQIS inspector, everything went fairly smooth. The north Island cars were then trucked over to Wayne Belk's workshop and await the arrival of their transporter from Sydney. The South Island cars were loaded into our transporter and taken to Ron Bergmeier's workshop in Bendigo ready to be transported up to Mildura this coming Thursday.
It was obvious upon my arrival that Wayne Belk and his family have put a huge effort into organizing this series, and it is gathering some huge interest over there. I'm looking forward to returning on Wednesday to prepare for our first race Friday night at Timmis Speedway Mildura. There is a driver get together and BBQ Thursday at the track.
With six meetings over ten days plus a heap of travelling in-between I think we're going to have our work cut out, on top of that all our cars and gear needs to be spotlessly clean and reloaded into the containers ready for shipping within twenty four hours of the last race finishing.
I will be giving nightly updates to Dave Clarke from blackout.co.nz will be keeping this site updated daily during the racing, you can also listen to a live commentary via chat box, and I will endeavour to have links to any video footage that is taken during the events. In the meantime check out www.supers.co.nz for the info on the drivers, tracks and format etc
Go the Kiwis!!
15 October 2010
Unloading the Kiwi Valvoline Trans Tasman Challenge cars in Australia
13 October 2010
Quick dash over to Aussie
The cartainer with the South Island cars has arrived in Melbourne and I'm flying over to Oz today for the unloading tomorrow so AQIS - the Oz equivalent of MAF - can check to ensure everything's squeaky clean and we've got no stowaways.
Then it's back home Friday to get ready to head back to Aussie next week for the series.
2 October 2010
The cartainer finally landed in the CSL Containers yard at 9PM Thursday night. We all fronted up Friday morning to load the cars and spares and were pretty impressed with CSL's purpose built cartainer.
Originally our cars were to be transported around Aussie in the cartainer fitted out with an adjustable ramp system, chain blocks, a winch, and is wired with 240v power outlets at each end and overhead lighting along both sides, and with a generator hooked up we'd have had our own 40 foot portable garage/workshop.
We're won't get to utilise the cartainer to the max but being a very practical solution for moving groups of race cars to events, no doubt others will put them to good use in the future.
We had a 3.30PM deadline to have the cartainer loaded and ready to truck to Lyttelton to beat a 5PM receiving close-off for the container ship sailing Sunday.
Loading the cars and spares was a bit like doing a jigsaw without a picture of what the finished puzzle's supposed to look like but with plenty of people on hand and plenty of good old Kiwi initiative, we crammed everything in securely with little space to spare and swung the doors shut just after 2.30PM.
A big thanks to the guys at CSL Containers Auckland and Christchurch, and the guys at Jenners Worldwide Freight and The Moving Company for the effort that's gone into helping make this trip happen.
29 September 2010
And on it goes!
The Spirit of Resolution is scheduled to dock in Lyttelton tomorrow night (Thursday) and The Moving Company hope to clear the the container off the wharf and deliver it to the CSL Container yard tomorrow night ready for loading Friday morning.
27 September 2010
The hiccups continue
Today's planned loading of the South Island cars is on hold as the ship carrying the container has not yet arrived in Lyttelton.
The container gods willing, the cars will be loaded towards the end of this week.
25 September 2010
Bit of a hiccup!
The container for the South Island cars heading to Aussie for the Valvoline Trans Tasman Challenge left Auckland last weekend on the coastal ship Spirit of Resolution and should've arrived at Lyttelton on Thursday and the new 46e LRC Monaro would've been loaded into the container this weekend, ready for shipping to Aussie.
However the ship grounded on the Manukau bar after leaving Onehunga, damaging the rudder. The ship was freed under its own power and sailed on to New Plymouth for repairs. Unfortunately Port Taranaki was closed so they continued on towards Lyttelton but the steering failed Tuesday and the ship was taken under tow by Port Taranaki tug Rupe.
Severe weather conditions were too much for Rupe and a more powerful oil rig tender was called on to help and the ship diverted back to New Plymouth to await the weather to ease. The ships now back under tow and expected to dock in Lyttelton Monday and the SI cars should be loaded into the container Tuesday.
With no more hiccups the southern cars will leave Lyttelton towards the end of the week and should arrive in Melbourne a couple of days or so after the NI cars.
Got to feel for the guys with rally cars on board the Spirit of Resolution. They were supposed to run in this weekend's Ashley Forest Rallysprint.
18 September 2010
Vroom Vroom she goes!
Well finally the new $46e LRC Monaro fired a shot and did a few laps around a very dusty Eastern States track. We needed a few laps to sort any teething problems and get some heat through the brakes etc before we load in the container next weekend to head for Aussie.
Everything went well the engine is strong and the car feels awesome - very stable and very fast. There were a few smiles as it has finally come together after many long nights and weekends.
Check out the photos, this beast is a work of art. Lots of refinements from the last car, we are really looking forward to hitting the track for the coming season.
The Trans Tasman Challenge in Aussie will be or first race meeting of the season, scheduled for the last two weekends in October. Check out www.supers.co.nz for all the details of this inaugural and exciting new series.
15 September 2010
16 August 2010
Looking more like a race car
11 July 2010
A few pix of the new car as everything comes together
22 June 2010
Onwards and Upwards
The workshop of John Lovelady's is abuzz with 3 new Super Saloons on the go at the moment, our new one being a newly designed Monaro "late model" style bodied car.
John has put countless hours in designing and building the new style body. The chassis itself, while similar to the old car, has a lot of refinements and includes all the stuff we've tried and learnt over the last few years, and should be more suited to me and my driving style. I believe a corvette is being constructed for Barry Redpath from Invercargill and the third car will be a new Mustang for the LRC team, with the current LRC Mustang coming to Blenheim as a Saloon for Robbie Flood, whose brother Daniel will take over his current Lovelady Mustang Saloon. The new 46e should be ready in the next week or two and I guess the many hours of work fitting out will begin. The Engine is currently undergoing its annual rebuild at Greg Hiddleston's workshop in Christchurch and will be ready to slip into the new beast early July.
We have been invited to join a 10 car New Zealand team to ship and race our cars in Australia in October; hence we have our work cut out over the next couple of months and a few deadlines to meet. It is a huge honour and a chance of a lifetime to be invited to join this group of drivers in Aussie. I will update more on this trip once it has been officially confirmed and announced here's a few shots of the car being constructed and will endeavour to upload more as we progress.
20 June 2010
Farewell to a trusty old friend
Well the ol' girl has gone. Craig and David Young are the proud new owners. The old 46e Monaro was collected along with a van load of spares a couple of weeks ago and is heading to Christchurch for some TLC before hitting the track as Super Saloon 13c I believe. On one hand I was quite sad to see her go we have had six very good and rewarding years with some extremely pleasing results. On the other hand I'm glad to see it go to a good home and wish the new owners the best of luck hoping it brings them the pleasure it has me.