27th DECEMBER 2012
With the Boxing Day meeting at Western Springs postponed due to rain for the following night causing a clash with the New Zealand Sprintcar Grand Prix at Bay Park Speedway, Tauranga the Vernon & Vazey / ENZED team selected to run at the prestigious GP event with the rest of NZ’s top Sprintcar drivers and teams.
Heat one saw Daniel start on the front row alongside the #11 USA of Peter Murphy, Murphy stood on the gas short of the start cone but the race remained green and Daniel slipped back to 3rd behind the #88m of Keaton Dahm. Murphy pulled clear of the field until Daniel made a great pass into 2nd position and began to catch the flying American, in the last few laps Daniel was on the tail of the #11 USA and beginning to meet lapped traffic slipped underneath and into the lead. Daniel entered low into the next turn and coming off the turn lifted the wheels well off the ground having to back out of the throttle narrowly handing the win to Peter Murphy across the line.
View the on-board video here:
The next heat had the Vernon & Vazey / ENZED car start from position 10, Daniel made a good start to the race picking up several positions eventually finishing in the 4th spot qualifying him off the front row for the NZ Sprintcar GP.
Off the start of the A Main alongside one of Bay Park’s best local drivers, James Dahm in the #6 car got the jump and Daniel remained in 2nd. Several laps in and Daniel struggled to stay with the leader, a last minute setup change looked to not be working to plan as Daniel started slipping down the order to USA’s Jonathan Allard, Peter Muprhy and a couple of local drivers. Daniel moved up top to run the high line which nearly came to grief as he came close to slamming the wall off turn 4, every line he tried didn’t seem to work and the Vernon & Vazey car had to settle for 5th position which remained and outstanding effort to be proud of amongst the high calibre field of 20 cars that qualified through to the feature event.
“We started off well, just like the previous week we were down here but we didn’t quite get it right in the feature race which is a shame as we qualified so well. The team and I are still really happy with the result; the surface is a lot different down here and changes so quickly. It’s just a matter of us running down here more often and getting the car right later the night, we’ve learnt a lot from tonight and will take that on board for next time.”