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Mt Wellington

Final round points showdown at Mt Wellington

The final round of the Auckland Bucket Racing series was as heated as ever as riders took a last round lunge for points.

Click here for Speedhive results
Click here for awesome photos from Paul Byrne, thanks Paul

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.

The tight racing continues at round 6 - Mt Wellington buckets

Mixed conditions at round 6 of the Mt Wellington Bucket Racing series prove competitive.

Click here for Speedhive results
Click here for awesome photos from Paul Byrne, thanks Paul

A special mention of thanks to both Nathanael Diprose and David Diprose who ran the timing for the event. Nathanael even forfeit racing F5 to run the timing. Legends who don't get enough credit for the support they put into the sport. Thanks team!

The regular spitting rain might have thrown a wild card at the round's qualifying sessions but it didn't prove enough to hold up the storming competition in each class! Jason Hearn received his new GPR150 bike this weekend and wasted no time putting it on pole in A-grade whilst Nathanael sat out the second qualifying to concentrate on timing. Mike Spiller was right onto it putting his FXR into the 3rd spot to set up a cracker of a round's racing.

Nathanael is no slouch off the line and launched himself into first position to lead both points races start to finish and finish on the top step. Not to be outdone, Jason put his head down and closed the gap in both races crossing the line 2.4s and 1.7s behind and setting the fastest time of the weekend, a 28.9s lap. A-grade yet again steps up the competition level! Blair Lambarth, Henk Zeefen and Mike Spiller fiercely traded spots in both races for 3rd place. Henk took it out in the first race then Blair the next for what was great watching. The rest of the field was equally as entertaining with the 5 deep fight between Paul Ellis, Gary Cunningham, Wil Killip, Dylan Byrne and Ryan Fletcher heated to say the least!

With Nathanael out to do timing, Chris Cain, Rick Ford and Blair Lambarth were left to take slogs at each other in F5. Rick pushed Chris out in the first lap before coming back and with the help of Blair to hold up Rick, Chris took out 1st spot. The battle continued and Rick went down fighting to put Henk on the 3rd step. Instant replay for race 2 except Rick and Blair went to the line to decide 2nd place.

In B-grade Scott Miller, newcomer Aderino Sugiarto and Pete Leahy went toe to toe in both races. Despite Anderino dipping under the 32s lap mark (and therefore having a lap cut from him), it was Scott who powered his way to 2 race wins. 

Newcomer Nic Andrew found pace quickly in C-grade alongside Shayne Scanlen and Phil Brown. Nic also had 2 laps struck from the race after dipping under the 34s cut off in race 2. No doubt we'll see him in B-grade next meeting. Shayne comfortably took out 2nd place in race 1 and first in race 2 with solid consistent laps.

Next meeting is the North Island Series 15-16th April at Edgecumbe followed by Round 7 on 29-30th April at Mt Wellington.

PB times tumble in perfect racing conditions

Every year, around this time, moons and conditions align...

Click here for event results
Click here for photos from Chris Cain

PB times tumbled at round 5 of the Auckland bucket racing series in an awesome display of progression and racing! Last year we saw a completely new generation of A grade riders enter as group chewed up and spat out the B-grade cut off time. Fast forward a hand full of months and that same generation has filled out the class and continued to push times along. With a muscle damaged arm from a tumble the week before, I took up the assistant clerk of the course role for the best seat in the house.

Steven Lee put it on pole in A-grade in front of Ryan Fletcher and Nathanael Diprose which set the scene for some great scraps in all races. Nathanael was the first into the 29s to take a prelim race win. Experience further prevailed as he fought his way to another 2 wins in the points and with that, the championship lead. Shout outs to Ryan for 2 second places and only finishing 3 seconds behind Nathanael in Race 1. To Henk for again lowering his PB after countless years of progression. To James posting a 31.4s lap for 10th place on a low powered bike. And to Jason for setting the 3rd fastest time of the day.

B-grade has also taken to boil with Gabriel, Pete and Ben van den Berg edging each other out across the races. Shout out to Pete posting the fastest lap of the day at 32.397 and also taking a race 1 win, killing it! Gabriel picked up the second race win having clearly found some strong confidence in the past few months.

C- grade times were strong all day with riders comfortably posting 34s laps. It won't be long until Phil Brown who took out both race wins makes a move into B-grade!

Nathanael took out both points races in F5 with Rick posting a new PB so close to that 31 second bracket!

Chris Cain

2-Hour Endurance Race - Auckland Bucket Racing

November 19th and 20th - 2 hour and 40 lap race!

Kick your team into gear, prepare your machines and start stretching! The Auckland Bucket Racing 2-hour Endurance Race is here! This is a special once a year race for teams of 2 kicked off with a 'Le Mans start' which ends 2 hours after the flag drops. Each rider must ride for no less than 55 minutes each and must compete on the same bike. Qualifying is run on a 'superpole' format meaning each rider gets one flying lap each to put down their best for the team. Each team competing must bring along a friend to flag marshall on the day.  This is a big race which isn't to be underestimated. Make sure your bike is up to it, your team is up to it and you bring lots of water. For an idea, last year the winning team completed 229 laps and the speed differential was 4.5 seconds from the front to the back so there was an incredible amount of passing done!

For those new to bucket racing, or those not confident to mix it up with the gaggle of lightning fast a-grade riders, a 40 lap endurance race is also run on the same day. This can either be in a team of 2 or 'iron man' style as a single rider and also kicks off with a 'Le Mans start'. The same B-grade cut off time of 32 seconds applies for this race.

NOTE: Riders cannot compete in both the 40 lapp and the 2 hour endurance. One or other other please.

Alongside our normal practice sessions on Saturday, sidecar racing and a mixed doubles race will also be held. The mixed doubles race is a 2 team race which each team must have a male and a female rider. Minimum grid size to run these races are 6.

Below is how the program for the weekend, although note that exact times might vary on the day.

9:00am gates open
10:00am riders briefing
10:15am practice
2:15pm mixed doubles qualifying
2:30pm mixed doubles practice Le Mans start
2:45pm sidecars 10 lap race
3:00pm mixed doubles race (15 laps each)
3:30pm sidecar endurance race (20 laps)
More practice if time permits.
9:00am Gates open
9:15am - 10:00am Sign on and machine examination
10:00am - 10:15am - Riders briefing
10:15am - 11:30am - Practice (10min sessions for A-grade and B-grade)
11:30am - 12:30pm - Superpole
12:30pm - 1:30pm - Practice Le Mans starts for 2-hour and 40-lap race
1:30pm - 2:00pm - 40-lap endurance race
2:00pm - 4:00pm - 2-hour endurance race
4:30pm - Prizegiving and BBQ put on by Auckland Buckets

Entry fee (per rider): $30 senior, $20 junior
One-day licence: $40 (if you don't have an MNZ licence and an MNZ-affiliated club licence)
Transponder hire (per bike): $10 (if you don't have your own)
Bring a friend to flag marshall

See you there!

Resetting the bar at Mt Wellington

The planets aligned on the weekend for what has been coming for some time, a new F4 lap record and new PBs across the board!

To see the event results, click here.
Photos above with thanks from Paul Bryne.

We really didn't think the events of the last round could be beaten but here we are. Even with a number of regular riders not present, the club ran out of transponders with stacked grids turning up to battle at the Mt Wellington colosseum. The battle ground was still, warm and dry. Perfect for an unforgettable onslaught. 

Aaron came out swinging in A-grade race 1 as usual and skimmed his own lap record (28.806) by a meer 0.005s and put an unprecedented 11 seconds between himself and Nathanael. 4 of his 13 laps were in the 28s with his first lap posted at a respectable 31.077s from a standing start. Fierce. Nathanael was unfortunately riding ill and swung his axe through from 7th on the grid to 2nd place, running deep into the 29s. Chased by Steven, Henk wasn't messing around and posted his first ever 29s lap to take out the strongly contested 3rd place.

It has been said that there's an extra 1% hidden in the best of racers and that it takes a formidable foe to unleash it. Sunday was that day and rising to the challenge, even riding ill, Nathanael took it to Aaron in race 2. In 1 and 1/2 laps, Nathanael sliced his way from 5th to 2nd right behind Aaron. Trading 28 second blow for blow, the two pushed past the previous lap record to reset the bar to an unthinkable 28.483 for Aaron and an equally as impressive 28.502 for Nathanael. After 8 laps, the unusual happened, Nathanael crashed out and proved that even aliens can crash. In the same battle, Henk reposted his PB down at 29.906, joined by Steven who also broke the 29s with a 29.749 to take 2nd place by a half second. Meanwhile 6 riders behind them all posted 30s laps and all across the field, new PBs were set. Heated to say the least.

As if the A-grade melee wasn't tight enough, the pointy end of B-grade didn't disappoint! 6 of the 12 riders lapped right down to the 32 second lap cut off with James proving he could walk the line tightest, followed closely by Evan for second place. You could throw a blanket over Liam, Pete and Daniel who went three deep up to the line to cover half a second and finish in that order. Great racing. Michael unfortunately found that cut off point and had a lap stricken from the battle to place him 9th. Evan played it cool in race 2 and watched as both Michael and James posted laps under 32s to take them to the back of the standings. Daniel and Liam took out 2nd and 3rd.

New PBs continued to be set into C-grade in the solid field of 9. Fabiano showed that consistency is key to take two 1st in the races, closed contested by Scott and Aubrey. Patrick pushed hard and found himself under the time cut off in race 1 before crashing out.

Rick continues to get faster each meeting on the ESE F5 smoker pushing Nathanael along for a Nathanael 1, Rick 2 finish in both races. Mark posted 2 3rds to put him into 2nd place in the championship.

The wheel really fell off the chariot for Rick and Henk who were leading in the sidecar race 1 when... uhh... the wheel actually fell off. 2 wins for Chris Lawrence and swinger who close the gap to put them into 3rd place in the championship. Only 5 points cover the championship podium ensuring the battle continues to the end.

To see the current results of the F4 championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F4 B-Grade championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F4 C-Grade championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F5 championship, click here.
To see the current results of the sidecar championship, click here.

Lap records challenged in round 2 at Mt Wellington

It might have been a chilly winter's day on Sunday but that didn't mean the racing was any less heated!

To see the event results, click here.

F4 A-grade has been sufficiently pre-heated and the season is now set to boil. There's no doubt that this is some of the best race spectating around with non-stop battles up and down the 18 strong field. Aaron took pole position from Nathanael in qualifying by a fraction however when it's that close, pole position isn't enough. Aaron fought hard in race one but it was Nathanael's strong start which sealed it for him over the line by 0.4s. Henk showed strong consistency running ever so close to the 29 second club to take out 3rd with a healthy gap. Steven continued his strong season progress to 4th place in the challenging field.

Race two flashed in the pan and set the smoke alarm off! Racing clockwise at the bottom of the 29s bracket there's practically no clear passing opportunities. So when Nathanael once again got the jump on Aaron, you could almost feel his determination from the viewing stands as he dipped into the 28s during chase. With absolutely ridiculous precision, Aaron made space where there was no space and forced his way up the inside of Nathanael under braking into the midfield horseshoe left. Incredible. This is buckets though and the battle doesn't stop there as the two fought in and around lap traffic in the dying laps. Last lap. Half a lap to go. Aaron pushes for the inside of a back marker on turn 5 whilst Nathanael splits the difference and goes around the outside for a 3 wide sandwich. Nathanael leads for a split second before Aaron parked it next to him on the final corner. Clutches get spanked for the dash to the line followed by yells and hoots from the spectators. No one could call the result with it coming down to 0.002s on the line, points to Aaron. Congrats for taking out one of the closest finishes I've ever seen and for pole position all on your birthday. What a present.

The battle for 3rd place was just about as close, coming down to 0.2s between Steven who took it out and Henk who clearly has a new challenger. Dylan progresses strongly again, sticking it into 5th place in front of Mike, and Wil. It’s incredible to see the battles being had and the times being set in A-grade in the middle of winter. It’s a clear testament to how good bucket racing is as a training ground.

Bucket racing continues to grow with more new faces in B and C grade and just as many heated dog fights. Pete, Paul and John went at it in B-grade with Pete taking out race one followed by John and Paul separated by 0.1 seconds. Paul converted it into a win in race two followed by only 0.6s to Pete. 8 racers made up C-grade with equally tight battles separated by a fraction of a second across the field. Fabiano and Brian traded places in the two races ending up with one win apiece over the day.

F5 racing has me absolutely obsessed. Nathanael has set the bar so damn high, I’m all in scrambling to catch him. Thankfully it went very well for me setting pole position 0.1s off Nathanael’s lap record. Over the three races, Nathanael and I broke the lap record 5 times in the cool winter conditions. When you only have 14hp and you’re already doing consistent low 30s laps, there really is very little opportunity to pass going clockwise. Even more so when it’s captain smooth himself who doesn’t seem to ever stuff up! He got me off the line in both races despite me getting fairly reasonable starts. I couldn’t find a way past and unlike previous races, I learnt when to pull the pin and take the points without falling off. I’m still pretty chuffed though, a new lap record of 29.914 on a 50 (good enough for 3rd in F4) and every pole position since I got the bike is something I’m proud of. Rick took third place in both races whilst Mark, Henk and Terrene showed good progression through each race.

Sidecars continue to provide some great entertainment, drawing hoots and gasps from the crowd including one wheel and grass karting action. Rick and Henk continue their sidecar dominance with two wins.

To see the current results of the F4 championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F4 B-Grade championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F4 C-Grade championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F5 championship, click here.
To see the current results of the sidecar championship, click here.