A word or two from the Non Stop Comm. Driver of the Day:
Sitting at home chilling after a fantastic weekends racing at the first round at Mangawai.
Like to take this opportunity to thank all those who took part and especially CMORC for putting in a great effort to lift the profile of our sport to the public and also to set the new bar height for event management. The committee worked really well together to achieve this result and I would like to personally acknowledge the efforts of Nick Leahy, Kevin Hall, Nick Hall, Phil Johnston, Warren Jennings, Lyle, Matt Koppens, Wayne Rowe, Dink, Sue Murray and all the others who worked before, during and after the event to make our days racing was probably one of those most special and memorable meetings that really stand out as our sport moves forward.
I must admit I was shitting bricks after walking the track on Friday and the thought of lining up on the grid with all that impressive and somewhat intimidating class1 equipment filled me with self doubt and at 64 years old, what the bloody hell am I doing here moments. Didn't help when on the start line of the first heat my gear lever broke off which was really frustrating if not embarrassing to say the least. Big credit to Tony McCall for taking the one out of Ollies car for me to carry on the day with and although it was much shorter and less of a handful than my own its certainly proved the point that size really doesn't matter, its how you use it.
I had an originally game plan of staying out the way first couple of heats so I could concentrate on what the new suspension work was doing but it seemed to be working so well plan B ( going fast ) now seemed the more fun option.
The whole event was moving along so rapidly and effortlessly it seemed the feature races were upon us all too quickly but the one that I was most looking forward to. The track was damp after a watering which for the first lap behind Tony I can only describe as blinding but after that it became a memorisingly perfect place to be, no dust, no mud, the short straights long enough, the long straight short enough and the jumps intense, calculative and downwrite euphoric.
Big thanks to my sweetheart Dianne and to long time mate Poss for crewing and keeping me focused for the weekend.
Another big thank you to the sponsors for coming on board with their much needed support, meetings like this would be impossible to run at this level without them.
Dinks driver of the day trophy was particularly satisfying for me, not just because he probably sees more off-roading racing than most, but you really do have to drive outa your skin to get it. Ironic that the first person I ever took in my car 35 odd years ago was Dink, oddly enough the day was overly testosterone fuelled and I ended up having to cart him off to hospital after my first ever end for ender. Sorry Dink, shit happens, thanks for the trophy.
Grant Sleeman 197