The final round of the Auckland Bucket Racing series was as heated as ever as riders took a last round lunge for points.
Chilly overnight temperatures made for challenging winter conditions but you wouldn't think so given the heated pace out there! The final round of the championship always makes for great spectating as riders put in their last ditch effort in claiming higher spots. As always, consistency reigns supreme and both the F4 and F5 titles had already been decided by Nathanael Diprose who lead by 105 and 137 points respectively going into the final round. Congratulations to team Diprose for another year of stunning dominance and consistency. And thank you, because I think it says a lot about a team that despite proper recent illness and a decided championship that they still turn up and help run the meeting.
Additional thanks to Sam for the timing across the season, a stellar job done as always, and to Culley and Kamil who turn up every meeting to run the show!
With Nathanael out from illness, team Hassan turning up with their hyper buckets, and Jason riding brilliantly on his GPR there was a buzz in the pits as to who will take top spot. To throw another spanner in the works, Gary Cunningham (a dominant and seasoned F4 racer) had finally got his heavily dieted FXR going well and had shown great pace at Edgecumbe the previous weekend. The races would for sure be tight! In qualifying, it was no surprise that the Hassans took 1, 2 places at the front of F4 running blinding pace deep into the 29s. Shout out to Gary Cunningham for an incredibly strong ride in F4, leading the start of both races with lightning starts on his FXR. With a best time of 29.5s it really shows just how competitive a good rider can be on the heavy production chassis! Mike Spiller was also hanging it out up the front on his FXR and posted a 29.6 chasing Aaron in the prelim race.
In the points races it would be Jason Hearn who edged his way through the field and took the first win ahead of Gary Cunningham and Mike Spiller. The race was bloody tight with Aaron putting down a 30.2 lap from a standing start but soon after joining his brother Jaden with a DNF. Race 2 looked like it was going to be a repeat of race 1 with Aaron's FXR powered RS125 going pop before the flag dropped however Jaden pulled it together. Storming out front to a 6.8 second gap to Jason in 2nd place, Gary in 3rd. Jaden showing why he's a multiple New Zealand national champion.
We had a small field in F5 with Nathanael out and Rick succumbing to an unknown electric fault. I hadn't ridden my 50 for months so I put my head down and pushed to get as close to my PB as I could. With a pole and 3 wins, I took 50 points out of Rick and 3rd place in the championship. Stoked for my first Auckland Bucket series podium.
As always, B grade put on a show of tightly fought battles between John Steer, Scott Miller, Pete Leahy, Aderino Sugiarto and Nic Andrew. John took out the first race followed by Aderino in the second race when both John and Scott ran under the 32 second cut off time.
So that's a wrap for the season. The new season starts on the 6th of August so make sure both your club and MNZ licences are renewed, your bikes are well protected and your body is up for another year of racing. See you there.