Welcome


21/3/09 Wow, its been a few months since the site has been updated, and a load has happened in that time. As per usual, when Ray gets the time, he will sit down and give us his version of the last few months, but it has to be said that with such a busy and hectic schedule, we might just have to wait.

The Nissan seems to have been set up well for the NZ Super Saloon Title. The car qualified very well and was by far one of the quickest cars on the track. Where else would Ray have the chance to have a genuine crack at the NZ Title than at his own home track, in front of his very own home crowd? The first night, the track was spot on. A little rutty, but the drive was enough to impress the good field that attended from other parts of NZ. Many were amazed that usually when they race, the track starts to go off before they get to race in the next round. Not Cromwell. The track continued to get better as the night went on, and lap times reflected that. It was business as usual for the Nissan on qualifying night. The car hooked up very well around the newly laid track and there wasn't to much to moan about. The highlight of the night was the shoot out between him and the very rampant Dean Waddell. Waddell was flying in 81m car, and Ray was always going to find it tough to beat what appeared to be the fastest car on the track. The race went down to the wire. If you wish to see this race, visit the video section of the web site.

The second night was to be the undoing of yet another challenge for the elusive NZ Title. It seems that no matter what Ray does, in the big meetings, lady luck just doesn't want to follow him around. The ultimate let down was when a fellow competitor run into Ray coming out of the tight turn 1 and 2, that put Ray into the wall. This was purely just a racing incident that should of had Ray back into the origial position he was. The official did not agree with this, and put Ray to the back. Ok, we could go on about this for hours, but quite simply, this cost Ray any chance of a the top 3 placing. Going into the final heat, Ray was in 2 or 3NZ position. All that had to happen was for Ray to stay where he was, and he would of been assured one of the 2. But not our Ray! He decided that he wanted that top spot and pushed himself and the car to the limit. The old saying goes that its not how you race, but how others race around you. His race was soon to turn to custard. Ray did manage to carry on into a good 4th placing, always the bridesmaid, just never the bride. Many felt that Ray had been robbed, more so the man himself, but Ray took it on his chin and packed the car up and headed off for a big North Island excursion. Before we head off to the north, We at Ray Stewart Racing congratulate Shayne McIntyre for wining the NZ title along with Dean Waddell with the 2NZ and Dennis Bolt for his much deserved 3NZ.

Ray was to enter the North Island Series for the remainder of the season so he would get a chance to race with the best in the business. The Grand Prix at Bay Park was first on the list. Once again, the set up that worked in Cromwell, would not work At the Bay, which is one of the cars favorite tracks. A few changes to the car before heading to the North Island were simply just not going to work. Ray rolled at the Grand Prix which was eventually won by the newly crowned 1NZ of Shayne McIntyre, who proved that winning the NZ Title was no fluke. Ian Brson from Nelson in the 21N car did well to place 2nd and Mark Orchard placed 3rd. Once again, not a great result for the 34t team, but congrats to all the winners.

The North Island Title was the next big meeting for the 34t (34g for this meeting)car, and was something not taken lightly. As per the SNZ rules, if you race the North Islands, then you can't race in the South island Title. A little outdated that rule, but however, one that everyone has to live with.  Ray got off to a flyer placing 2nd in the first race behind Darren McKinley, who was racing a borrowed car after writing his one off at the NZ Title. The remainder of the meeting was yet another to forget as the results just got worse for the night.

Ray is currently racing in the North Island for the SSCAR Super Saloon Series where he is sitting on 14th overall. Not a good result for a car that usually is one of the quickest cars on some of the tracks. Gisbourne has seen some outstanding results for the Nissan over the last couple of seasons, but not this time. Neither has Meeane, Stratford, Huntly or Palmy been any good to the car this time round, and the final round of the series comes to an end on the 28/3 with a run at Wellington. Ray has changed a lot of the cars set up going back to the older type set up that has seen positive results in the North Island before.

After Wellington, Ray will be packing the car back up and heading to Cromwell for the Easter Racing, and then a much deserved break for both car and driver.

As per earlier, Ray will be putting together an update as soon as possible, so check back soon. Personally, I will have an update after the racing in Wellington on the 28th. Until then... take care.. Jase....


24/12/08 Its Xmas already so about time I put pen to paper and wrote something for the website. A big thanks to Jase for setting up and looking after the website plus keeping some results and information flowing. Thanks Jase you have made a neat website for the Nissan. (You are most welcome Ray.. Jase) Where to start, where did I finish the last write up? Oh yeah. Last seasons result were pretty ordinary with the only good result winning the South Island Super champs at Greenstone Park in Greymouth, traveling from Dunedin 3 times after 2 rounds were cancelled due to rain. The Greymouth track always suits the Nissan as the track staff normally provide a drivey track that has some banking.  For this reason I persisted with the long haul 3 times over the Southern Alps and it paid off with a convincing win, lapping several cars that had lapped us at Woodford Glen. That was especially pleasing. At the end of the 2008 season the car was parked in the shed until I
decided what the next move was in regards to keeping the Nissan or making the change to a new chassis plus a dinosaur V8. One issue I had with the Nissan was the poor handling on a slicked out track over the last 3 seasons as most of the track surfaces tended to be hard and dry very early in the race program. The turbo power rush didn't help either. Our results had been dismal although numerous changes were made to the rear suspension in an effort to find some side bite. The most beneficial change was from coil shocks to torsion bar suspension. Now some will say a spring is a spring, but every car is different and especially so the Nissan chassis that has a lower center of gravity and narrower wheel track compared to all the other supers. The lower mounting location of the torsions compared to the top mounting point of a coil over shock, allowed better weight transfer that improved side bite and a wider handling envelope. Weighing up the pros and cons of selling the Nissan for a new car I came to the decision to hang onto the 4 cylinder for one more season for several reasons.

1: I didn't want to sell a car that didn't handle as good as it should.  

2: Starting over with a new car with only a season or two left in me. 

3: The cost of a completely new car as I would transfer nothing from the Nissan.


4: Disillusioned with the lack of any forward thinking and progress in the Super Saloon class especially with the dwindling numbers and the Saloon class which is almost the same car.

I love the Super Saloon class as it is not hampered with too many rules and one can play with engine and chassis without too many restrictions while at the same time no one car or driver is dominant. Any one of the top 15-20 super drivers are capable of winning at any time at any track and it comes down to the package on the day. However the car numbers are dwindling with several drivers moving to saloons, stockys or sprint cars that have been imported from the States at low prices in comparison to building a new super. Saloons are almost the same as a super with 250-300 hp the difference. Interesting that the Saloon Champs at Huntly this year only attracted 43 cars. I would have thought 60 plus cars so not sure for the reason there. I believe to boost the supers and move away from saloons, some not so big rule changes would lift the profile of the supers and draw more cars into the class. More on that later. So what to do with a car that refuses to hook up on cruddy, dry, slick black tracks that are served up to us as excuses for good clay tracks? Lateral location of the rear axle, roll center position and center of gravity height all must work in conjunction with each other. Change one and dynamically they all change. For years a Jacobs ladder was used on the Nissan to hold the axle in its sideways location. This was altered to a left side chassis mount, right side birdcage panhard with in-cockpit adjustment, and then for a short period a Watts Linkage. All had plusses and minuses but the side bite was still elusive, until torsions were installed near the end of the 2008 season. For the start of the 2008-2009 season a right side panhard mounted behind the rear axle was installed with mixed results but not satisfied with this a left side J bar was built into the chassis. A J bar can take time to find the ultimate setting but still remains inconsistent on a changing track. Bunter Pierce and Paddy North have both injured their spines when their cars rocked up sideways onto two wheels, then crashed back down onto the track compressing their backbone. We persevered with the J bar for a few meetings but the roll center was too far to the left on our chassis which made the handling very unstable constantly hooking the front left wheel in the air at any moment. What now? Look at the top cars that are consistently fast and what locater they use. Righto, another big change. A right side Panhard but this time forward of the axle and not behind. Actually a few tubes welded in the right position and simple mounting on the birdcage was relatively easy to install with a few holes for vertical adjustment and we are ready to go. Our first meeting with this set-up was at the Nov 29th Cromwell Gold Cup. A very competitive field of South Island Supers on a very drivey track was a good opportunity to check our speed against several of the top cars. The car performed just great thank you very much sitting out on the high line making outside passes without too much hassle. Shane Maaka kept the track consistent  and drivey all night, limiting handling changes to a few inches of stagger and tyre pressure. Car 34T won the inaugural Gold Cup event that hopefully Cromwell can turn into one of the main events on the Speedway calendar. Whilst the car was fast on the night there is still more to be had, and we will need to find some more speed for the champs at Cromwell especially with the likes of Dean Waddell, Brent Emmerson, Shane McIntyre and Pete Hemi who all excel on the outside racing line. However we still had to test the car on a dry slick track so off to Island Park the next week where the track surface dried out and went dusty early on in the program and the opportunity to play with set-ups. Keeping changes to one thing at a time, we had a reasonable slick track set-up by the third race and happy we had made the effort. Small alterations to stagger, tyre pressure, panhard height and angle, were all that were required but we still have a way to go to match Ritchie and Greg at the Glen. It's the 22nd Dec and I cant believe the car is packed in the trailer with a ton of spares, ready for the 4 meetings at Cromwell over Xmas. Elliot a.k.a. Prozac, finished all the million of things that I wouldn't have done in time, then time for a few beers and spit roast pig on the last day of work for the year. Cromwell has 4 meetings over the Xmas period, 30th Dec and 1st Jan, the NZ Super Saloon Nationals on 9th & 10th plus practice on Thurs 8th.The 30th and 1st give us an other chance to play with different shocks, stagger and pressure, plus fine tuning of the panhard position. Hopefully we find that little bit of extra speed required to be a serious contender for the NZ title.
 
Most of the organization for the NZ champs is in place and a good field of 35-38 cars have entered. The Cromwell Champs committee want this to be a great NZ champs for spectator and competitor in sunny Central Otago. Something that has not been done before is a huge 50' screen visible from most of the track with playbacks of racing incidents etc. Cromwell Speedway is in a nice laid back holiday town ideal for the family so get yourself along for 4 huge nights of racing. Come and say high at our rig before or after racing but not during please. After the champs it's a quick drive to Woodford Glen for the Hoopla where I trust they give us a decent track surface? for the majority
of those who raced at Cromwell. Until the next scribe please take care of your young ones and family, drink in moderation and be happy.

Cheers all for now.

Ray

 

There we go all .. Cheers Ray for that and we will see you I Cromwell for the meeting on the 30th.. Cheers Jase
 


5/12/08 Its been a few weeks since the last update, and already there has been some good results for the 34t car after some redevelopment. The car headed off to the Canterbury Champs at the start of the season, and with the car not doing 100%, Ray was still able to push it hard and place second over all for the Champs. Back to Woodford Glen and this time for the Champions of Champions Super Saloon event. Having won a heat or 2, it was obvious that the feature would not be the best for Ray who had little control over what was going to happen to the track. It got that bad, that Ray decided that he would not risk car or equipment, and decided to pull the car into the infield while racing in around the middle of the pack. Ray had made comment that he would not of been able to go any further ahead in the race, and didn't want to become a hindrance to the faster cars that were coming up from behind, so decided that it was time to pull in. Ray then decided that no more racing would happen at Woodford Glen until at least after the NZ Super Saloon Champs in Cromwell early in January. It was then off to Riverside Speedway for a run that hasn't seen Ray there since the South Island Title a few seasons back. Riverside had a very suspect track back then which did not suit the Nissan, and has given very little incentive to head back. A Saloon event organised by Barry Redpath soon had Ray thinking that it was time to head back for a looky. With a freshly laid track, it was certainly a huge improvement on the track of years gone by, and the Nissan seemed to go well on the new surface. Some good Saloon racing was had with a so so result for the 34t team.

Then off to Cromwell for the Super Saloon Shakedown which attracted some of the top cars in the South Island. The 34t was finally on its home track with some outstanding drivers to battle with, and the 34t car finally had some success winning the event. It was a touch and go situation for awhile as the 2NZ car of Josh Boulton showed that he will once again be a force at the Title in January. The racing was based off a marble draw for the first race, then reverse grid in the second which would secure the grid for the 3rd and then onto the 4th race being the main feature. The car went smoothly all night, not missing a beat. The odd little puff of smoke would signal that the turbo is due to be replaced, but other than that, there was no mechanical issues with the car. The car was handling beautifully, with some development being done over the course of the first part of the season. Changes included a new J Bar which seems to have made a huge difference to the overall handling. Going betweens turn 3 and 4, the car showed superior speed and handling, passing some of the fastest cars in the country with relative ease. Elliot has been working hard to ready the car for the main event in January, and has spent a load of time getting the car just right. All going to plan, last years dismal performance at the Title in Dunedin should turn completely around for this one.

Ray will be sitting down when he gets 5 mins to do an update of his own, but until then.. see you at the next update:


3/11/08 Ok ok, so its a slow start to get this web page up to date ready for the pending season. But that's be Frank here (instead of Ray), time flies when your having so much fun. The season has kicked off, and already the Nissan has been up to Woodford Glen racing, along with a couple of outings at Cromwell. This weekend, the rumour is that Ray will take the Nissan down to Riverside for a run. I have spoken to Ray and he has said that there is an update coming from him, but Ray is a business man, that needs to make sure business is booming. I can assure you that one is on the way.

In the brief conversation that I did have with Ray, he was telling me that he is having set up issues with the car already this season. Some changes have been made to the car and now has to have a wee bit more testing done on different tracks with different surfaces. As people are aware now, the NZ Super Saloon Title is not to far away, and this will be held in Cromwell this season. Effectively, right in the 34T's back yard. There will be no excuses for the performances that were seen last year, especially after a disastrous meeting for the NZ Title in Dunedin.

As this is just an update to get the ball rolling, we will be back later in the week with more of an update.

 

1/4/08 It might not happen over night, but it will happen. Finally an update from Ray. The thing is that the update was done awhile ago, but umm... well, Ray sent it to the wrong email. Not sure who's email, but I'm sure they will be interested in reading all about Ray and his car.

The car was on show a couple of weekends at the Sprint Car meet at Cromwell and was thinking to myself on the way up about how well the car was going to perform. It simply just has not performed all season. Granted, there has been the odd time that its fired, but nothing that is consistent. And I think to myself that it must just about be time for Ray to turn to a V8. But then, the whole reason I created this site for Ray was because of the interest I have in the car. Its the boy racer in me that keeps me interested, and I get a sense of satisfaction when Ray beats the V8's. Hell, if Ray decides to head into a V8, then he would just be like every other person in the country. And where's the fun in that ;-) Cromwell turned out to be just a bit different with the car performing beyond anything I had seen for a long while. Ok, so only 3 cars showed up, but they weren't easy beats. Ray just simply drove the car, and it headed into the right direction. Across the line first in every race for the weekend with the exception of one race where he had a flat tyre. But enough from me, and that's move on to the HUGGGEEE update from Ray.

How you doing.

Its Easter Friday and I'm in Cromwell doing zilch for the first time in yonks so finally have some time to scribe some info on the last few months of racing, although I probably have forgotten a fair bit.

Lets start with the NZ champs. 

The NZ champs at Island Park would be one of my worst meetings ever, but what hurt most was it had to be in front of my home town. A total of 38 cars entered for the champs with qualifying on the Friday night. Our first race in qualifying was a front row start alongside Steve Williams on a surface that looked good for the length of the 15 lap race. We got a great start and pulled out to a good lead, however about 5 laps into the race the track was already dusting off and caught me off guard when in turn two I ended up sideways and stopped in the middle of the turn. Almost everyone missed me except Mike Verdona who had a big shunt into my front that also wrecked his rear end and cost Mike the opportunity to make the finals. Sorry Mike, you would have got through if I hadn't spun out. The car was still able to race but with me being the prime cause of the stoppage I had to head off to the back for the restart. At this point the car was an ill handling pile of poo and I should have gone to the in-field but points were needed to make the finals so persevered with the car and finished last. Not the result we wanted and we were better than that.

Our second qualifying heat ended in disaster when the front right stub axle broke going down the front straight with no brakes into the corner and the wheel overtook me and bounced high into the fence. My concern was where the wheel had gone and fortunately it bounced off the fence back onto the track. Whew!!! The broken axle was the aftermath of a big shunt into the wall at Woodford Glen five meetings beforehand, and hopefully, nothing else will give problems. By this stage #34 was becoming pretty ragged looking and frantic repairs in the pits got us out for the repercharge, but well back on the grid and wasn't to confident of being able to get to the front and into the finals. I struggled with the car in the repercharge and decided to trailer the car and watch the finals from the grandstand.

Saturday night and the finals raced on a track that went black and slick early on and consequently minimal passing. Going into the third race of the finals any one of 8 or so cars had a chance to win, but as happens too often, only nine cars finished the third race and propelled the last finishing cars forward in the points and onto the podium. The top five places were all tied up in points so after an hour an half of protests and waiting, run-offs were required for first and second and third and forth.

Tony Cardwell bet off Josh Boulton and Greg Keegan was too good for Steve Williams. T.C. took out his forth NZ title with three of these at Dunedin.

Back to the workshop for us and two days straightening and replacing bent bars, shocks, rod ends and so-on. Scale reload the trailer and off to Hoopla mid-week at the Glen.

The majority of the cars from the champs stayed around for the Hoopla, a format that is raced over two nights and 5 races for each car with the highest points car in each heat going to the back. The highest 20 cars go to the final. Its a great format that keeps all the drivers pushing in every heat and usually gets the top drivers thru to the final. At least 8 cars here capable of winning but all the money would be on Greg Keegan as he has been the master at the Glen for some time in a Lovelady car perfectly set-up for this track. A first, second, third, eighth and DNF, caused by a flat tyre, gave just us just enough points to scrape into 19 on the grid. The Glen race track was smooth and super slick, with only a few cars able to make the passes with too much, follow the leader racing. The Nissan struggled on this type of track unable to put down the power which came on with a rush from 3500 rpm, but also the chassis set-up would not transfer weight left to right for side bite. We had lost the good set-ups from previous years not able to figure out the problem. I knew going into the final that we didn't have a set-up that would allow us to get to the front so decided to make some drastic changes to our set-up. Wrong move. We tightened the car so much I couldn't get thru the corners and for the full race watched as the leading cars lapped me. I hated every moment of that final as the first 4 cars lapped me twice. What was the problem? We checked and rechecked the shockies, looked for any suspension binds, set and re-set back to settings from previous years but found nothing. Maybe its the driver.

When then traveled to Nelson for the Grand Prix.

Over the years Nelson has treated us kindly and we usually come away with a good result, so with some confidence, I lined up for the first heat on a wet slippery track that took several restarts to get away cleanly. We led for most of the race, but on the last lap, I couldn't keep the car down on the pole line and Ian Burson snuck thru. The track went from slippery to dusty in 5 laps and our set-up went with it buzzing the tyres in an effort to find some forward drive and side bite. Some minor changes for the second heat, with a rear start, I quickly made some good places, but I still was not happy with the cars handling. Normally we can make passes on the outside, but not this time, struggling to stay on the pole, but mostly drifting wide in the corners and letting cars pass on the inside. Onto the final and I drew grid 4.We had made more changes to stagger and tyre pressures. The track was wet and greasy again, with another restart I made a big push on, losing 10 or more places until finally we blew the muck off the track and started to move forward taking several cars each lap. However our misfortunes continue when Greg Keegan spins out causing all behind him to pile into each other and the #99 car of Makka and I got tangled, putting him and us with a flat tyre.

Not a great week of racing for my crew and helpers. Daughter: Rebecca, Wife Gail, Son Daniel, Crew Elliot, Friends Rob and Sheryl, In-laws Wayne Josh and Gabes.  Thanks guys, there was no way I can keep this car going without your help and pushing me on.

Back home to rebuild the car ready for the South Island Champs at Greymouth. An 8 hour trip across the Alps into Greymouth and noticed wet and dismissal not encouraging for racing. Saturday looked okay for racing, but still clouds hanging around. The track looked nice and drivey, suitable for a 700hp Nissan.

GP format, first heat off grid 9 and its our track passing every car on the outside to take the lead after 6 laps and checkered flag. Second heat no changes to car. Grid 6, ready for the green flag and the rains come down, end of meeting. Wouldn't you believe it, best track we have had for the season to suit us and cant get a finish. Oh well next up; 

Cromwell round of the Southern Series.

Racing is Saturday night and on Sunday the missus and I are off to Florida with Jason Scott and wife, Dennis and Jeanette Bolt and Ron and wife to watch the Daytona 500. Cant wait. Cromwell is a fast track but not so easy to make passes and coupled with a surface that goes dusty very quickly, it is difficult to come from back of the grid. True to form the dust beats us all. As we struggle to see our way around thru the dust. Mike Verdona and Ian Burson put in the fastest laps while Ritchie Taylor and I come together going into turn 3, not able to see exactly where the corner starts. Our car is badly damaged in the rear with bent shocks. Jacobs ladder, tyre and brakes, all replaced while they hold the gates open for us to make the start for the final. After 4 or 5 laps I pull in-field with a brake that locks on and a bind in the suspension. The car is not good. Burson takes the win and most of the points, to put him just a few points in front of Taylor. Load the car and arrive back home at 3 in the morning for a few hours snooze before hopping on the plane heading for the states.

I forgot about the car for 3 weeks and enjoyed some time out watching others smashing and crashing. 

Arriving at Orlando in Florida and the 8 of us hire out two 30' motor homes. By the way, these things do 86mph flat stick. Two hours driving and we are at Volusia Speedway for Speedweek, leading up to Daytona. Volusia is a half mile dirt track with good banking and even better racing surface that took 7 nights of racing before going slick. We went to three nights of racing at Volusia, coming away amazed at the speeds of the Dirt Late Models. Jeez these things are bloody quick and I come close to buying one to bring home but was aware of two in NZ, one that American Mike Maeler drove with success at Baypark. Other NZers have not been able to drive them with any success and probably comes back to our mind-set and the way we drive our cars. Only two classes raced each night. Late Models and Modifieds which are wingless and big blocks. 70 cars qualify for the final race in the Late Models. C-mains and B-mains weed out the slower cars with 26 for the final. Both classes of car lean over and the left side rear wheel moves forward 4-6 inches driving the right tyre into the track, but also hooking up the left wheel for forward drive putting your eyeballs in the back of your head. I want one!!! Lots of quick fire racing on a track surface that was sticky and never dusted off but did go black on the last night. We came away with some great ideas to put into action back home, so I trust we can put these in place.

We spoke to several drivers and the chassis builder CJ Rayburn who is 71 years old and FAST. Learnt a lot about their chassis set-ups, shocks, 430 cube alloy block, petrol carb 800hp and so on. Every Racer, Promoter and SNZ Director, should go to some major race meetings in the states, to see how they run meetings, as we could do so much better here if we would learn from their experience. But unfortunately I doubt we will ever change for the better. There is no excuse for the track surfaces we race on here in NZ but again the argument is time, money and people. Some promoters like Willy Kay have been, there and understand, what Willy is striving to do at Bay Park.

 Daytona was on the Friday night for the truck racing, 180mph of yank 1500 utes and just as bolshy as Aussie brute utes. Noisy looked great and fast. You don't get much better with some major pile-ups thrown in for good measure. Saturday for the Busch Series, not all of the top drivers in this series but still great to sit thru.

Sunday was the big one. Nascar Daytona 500, 43 cars thundering around the two and half mile huge banked track at 180mph +, so close that the drivers could touch the car alongside. 300,000 people jammed into 2 grandstands. Beer on tap in the stands. All the merchandising the yanks are famous for. We bought numerous 50th Daytona jackets, caps, plus other stuff, but what a beaut time. The yanks do it big all right. Everyone should get the opportunity to see this at least once. I'll go back. 

Back to reality, and home in time to prep #34 car for the final round of the Southern series at the Glen. Driving towards Ch-ch and checking on the crappy weather,  we stopped at Ritchie Taylors home and get the word the Glen is canned and postponed until the next week. Damn, we are committed to a family thingy, and I cannot make the final round. Ritchie Taylor wins the Series yet again. Ritchie has been the fastest most consistent racer in the south Island the last few years and congratulations to him. I wonder if I get my legs shortened will I be fast like him?

 The 2007/2008 racing season has been our worst result since we started racing, too many crashes, bad handling car. We had several race wins, but not able to put together 3 races for an overall win. It has become very noticeable during the last two years that the track surfaces have become very slick with no grip, especially in the South Island, and our wee car definitely struggles in these situations. Woodford Glen used to be one of the best tracks to race on in the south but now is the track that goes slick the quickest. People always say that its the same race track for everyone, which is true, but it isn't good racing playing follow the leader. I don't enjoy going to some of the tracks knowing that the track will not allow good passing moves and fast racing. I have mentioned before there is no excuse for our track conditions. Three tracks that used to have good material and excellent racing surfaces like the Glen, Nelson, Cromwell, are using inferior clay, or more like silt on the track, and consequently the big wheel cars like Super Saloons, are restricted by lack of good grippy surfaces which stops them from using their high H.P.

Preparation is the next piece of the puzzle and again how often do you hear that the grader has ripped up the track and re-laid it or new clay added. Not often.Not enough people with not enough time, and clubs with no money. Our Murray Gordge chassis is now 10 years old and we have managed to keep up with the latest cars altering the rear suspension arrangement to put the power to the ground. Now with the tracks becoming predominately slick, we cannot keep up with the new generation cars built to suit the slick conditions, and no amount of changes has improved side bite, so a last ditch major change has been made to the car. Over the last week the coil over shocks have been replaced with torsion bars. The reasoning is the left side weight of our car is of high percentage and unable to transfer weight from left to right over the top mount of the shock. Torsions are below axle height and most of the cars weight is above the torsions so theoretically, should transfer easily to the right wheel for more side bite and forward drive. WE THINK!!! Anyhow, the torsions are in and we are sitting here in Cromwell waiting for the Easter meetings. Failing this there is a V8 sitting in the garage, not sure what to do with it yet though.

Until the next delayed report, be nice to your mother.

Ray


 

 

9/1/08 Disastrous is the best way to describe Rays luck as of late, and the NZ Title for Supers was just that. Held at Island Park Speedway in Dunedin, Ray came out for the first of 3 qualifying races to secure one of the 20 spots for the final held the next night, with just 6 from each group making it through from 3 groups, there was a last chance repercharge, with just one car from those going through to the final.

Race 1 looked good for Ray. Starting off grid 2 beside 121h Steve Williams, Ray got a great start and showed Williams up going into turn 1 leading. The car looked like it was the quickest out there, but still appeared to have some issues round the corners, which has plagued the Nissan after the roll at Woodford Glen some 2 weeks earlier. With just a few laps in, Ray had opened up a huge lead and looked unstoppable heading for the win. But that would be a fairy tale start to the Title, and of course, Speedway is no fairy tale. Going into turn 1 on about lap 8, the car started to lose the rear and spun right round. Coming round the corner at a great rate of knots was 25d, Mike Verdona. Not seeing Ray in time caused him to slide it out sideways to try and avoid Ray, but it was to late. A huge hit. Damage to the 25d was enough that he could not continue on. But Ray managed to get the car back on the track after taking it over to the clerk of the course for a opinion on whether he could continue. The car was just not the same for the rest of the race and eventually, the dream start turned into a nightmare. Ray managed to climb back to 10th after being sent to the back of the field after the crash.

Race 2 was just as brutal.

Ray came out starting off grid 8, but this was to be a race worst than the first. The car was coming into turn 1 at full noise when one of the tyres came off and ended up hitting the lights above the track. Ray had no choice but to post and DNF for the second race which was eventually won by Ritchie Taylor from the Woodford Glen track. It was obvious from seasoned professionals that the 34T Nissan was not handling like it normally would and was causing Ray great concern.

Onto race 3 and starting off grid 10, Ray could do nothing right and the car was only able to make up one place for the whole race. Not a memorable moment for this NZ Title, and Ray was thinking of not even going to the Super Saloon Hoopla in Christchurch or the NZ Grand Prix in Nelson this weekend. But true to form, Ray decided that he was not going to give up that easy. He needed to race the car to find out what was going wrong with it and by putting it in the shed, this was not going to resolve the issues.

Off to to the Hoopla, and a great start for the Nissan winning the first heat of the qualifying night. This was to be the best result for qualifying, but did manage a 2nd place on the second night. With a DNF in one race, Ray still managed to get into the top 20. The final was a shocker. The car would not handle, and even when the tyres came right, Ray lost all confidence in himself and the car. Having spoken to Ray today, he described it as "gut wrenching" the way the car is going at the moment. He feels he is letting himself and his fans down. The only thing that I can quote at this stage is the lead up to the NZ Title for Tony Cardwell, who had recently had a very bad run in his super. Patience paid off for Tony and he claimed the ultimate prize. Ray will continue to battle on, puzzled as to why the car that has been performing so well for quite some time, just wont handle. Bent chassis could be one reason or something else bent... its safe to say at this stage... he just doesn't have any idea. With the Nissan having some of the fastest times around tracks in New Zealand, it would have to be only a matter of time before Ray gets it sorted.

Ray is moving onto the NZ Super Saloon GP in Nelson this weekend with high hopes of the repeat from 2 seasons ago when Ray won the event in the North Island. We wish him the best of luck.

Also in this update, check out the video that started Rays bad run at the NZ Super Saloon Title by visiting the Videos Section. This video is of its highest quality so is large 15mb ... If using dial up right click and SAVE TARGET AS. Or broadband just click on the file.

Jase


 

19 December 2007 Update from Ray,

Well our season is turning out to be lousy so far. Here is my report on the last 2 meetings. Just one week to Xmas and lots to do after 2 poor race meetings for us at the Blenheim and Nelson rounds of the Southern Series. We made it to the Blenheim round with a make shift motor and kept the revs under 7800 rpm to look after the motor and finish the 3 races to accumulate points. With a 6th overall after Blenheim we are still in the hunt but cannot afford to drop too many points against the front runners. Ian Burson took the line honours and looked fast on a dusted track against 15 supers with only 7 finishing the main race. On the Sunday we drove over the hill to rainy Nelson and waited for the good motor to arrive. However as luck would have it the train derailed somewhere in the north island and the motor arrived late on Thursday. With help from Rob at Seeker Panels the motor was in and running late Friday ready for the next days racing.

Nelson usually puts on a good show and normally we have a good run there but this was another dismal showing for us with a car that wouldn’t handle or perform up to expectations. With a car that won’t hook up and move forward and not enough horsepower from lack of boost it become very frustrating not being able to overtake cars that normally were not a problem.

Ritchie Taylor took the major points for the meeting on a track that saw almost no passing.

The car will be stripped and all shocks, suspension parts etc, checked over as I believe we still have some problems after the roll at Woodford Glen. Hopefully it is something simple like a dead shock that has caused the handling problems. It is not unusual after a big crash for problems to continue to pop up for several meetings until you have identified each one. We still have a few race days before the NZ Champs to sort out the gremlins which means more busy nights ahead.

Ray


16 December 2007 Round 2 of the South Island Super Saloon Series was held at Nelson and once again it was a mixed bag of results for the 34T car. A full report will come through from Ray on his arrival back to Dunedin, but here were the results from Nelson.

Race 1: 7th Race 2: 8th Race 3: 9th Race 4: 8th

This result puts Ray firmly in 8th after 2 rounds of the championship

The Overall Standings
Pos No Driver Rd1 Rd2 Rd3 Rd4 Total
1 58c Richie Taylor 46 49 - - 95
2 21n Ian Burson 49 27 - - 76
3 46e Paddy North 31 44 - - 75
4 891d Josh Boulton 37 30 - - 67
5 261e Dave McCallion 25 27 - - 52
6 32c Martin Harcourt 25 24 - - 49
7 98c Adam Gent 31 14 - - 45
8 34t Ray Stewart 25 19 - - 44
9 25d Mike Verdona 23 18 - - 41
10 12n Shane Carey 0 35 - - 35
11 7n Ron Taylor 16 12 - - 28
12 881d Bruce Boulton 2 20 - - 22
13 15c Rex McIllrick 2 13 - - 15
14 91t Andy Erskine 0 1 - - 1
15 66gm Dave Manera 0 0 - -

0


11 December 2007 Blenheim proved a mixed bag of results for Ray at the start of the Super Saloon South Island Series. With the patched up motor hanging together for the meeting, it was clear to see that Ray is looking forward to having the number 1 race engine ready for the next round in Nelson. Ray is still away on business and will give us a full report on his return. Results for Ray were:

Race 1: 10th Race 2: 3rd Race 3: 10th Race 4: 6th

Also in this update: Check out how Josh Boulton showed Steve Williams why he will have to have his full race face on when he heads south for the NZ Super Saloon Champs in Dunedin. Click on Movies and Pics to download the full run off from  the Otago Super Saloon Champs.


6 December Want the chance to see the flying Nissan run??? Check out Schedule Page for all the meetings Ray will be attending leading up to the NZ Title in Dunedin.

4 December 2007 This update comes courtesy of Ray:

 

Its one week before the first round of the Super Saloon Southern Series at Blenheim and I don't have a motor that's going at this stage. Not a good start to the season with DNF's from crashes and motor problems. After the Island Park meeting running on 3 cylinders, we stripped down the motor to find a screw from the throttle butterfly had come out and sat in the bottom of the intake manifold until we ended upside down at Woodford Glen which dislodged the screw and found its way into number 4 cylinder. The top of the piston and head looked like moon craters with imprints of the screw threads wrecking the head and piston. We had a used set of pistons and will build the motor with an oddball piston and hope that it will do the Blenheim round. I have just spent a full week rebuilding the head so that should be okay but not confident about the make shift piston.

  

We should have the number one motor ready between Blenheim and Nelson so will drop this in during the week ready for round two of the series. The number one motor is superior in horsepower and torque and consequently requires different chassis settings so I hope we get the right combination for each track especially Nelson which is a balls out flat out momentum track and difficult to make passes on as everyone has their foot up it.
 
After Nelson its a few weeks off and preparing for the Saloon Champs in Dunners.
 
Here's the best to all for Xmas and the new year. Keep your fingers crossed for us.
 
Ray

Left: Ray Stewart takes on Ex 1NZ, 21H Steve Williams. Right: Brian Scott loses a sump plug during a race, but managed to get the car back on the track with little or no damage. $10 says someone would of been right up s..t creek if the motor had blown.. considering it had only just been rebuilt


26 November 2007 Dunedin was not the place for Ray to be after last nights racing for the Otago Champs for Super Saloons. Ray was quoted as saying that the car just hasn't been right since the roll over at Woodford Glen. Managing to get it off the trailer, Ray went out for the warm up and it was apparent from there that the car had some problems, with blue smoke coming out of the Nissans pipe. Race 1 was the only race that Ray raced, as the car just would not deliver the HP needed to be able to drive that car properly. The problem was isolated to the number 4 cylinder which had little or no compression in it. And when your producing 175HP from each of the 4 cylinders, you tend to need that extra pot to fire. The engine that is in the car at the moment is the number 2 engine, and has been sitting around for 3 years with not even a spanner put to it. The car was bought back into the pits, and put straight into the back of the trailer. Ray also mentioned that there had been some other problems with the car since rolling, with no brakes being one of the major issues. Elliot had come in during the week and straightened the cars chassis and got things looking a little better than they were, but still needs some work.

The rest of the supers proved to be a great watch, even if the numbers weren't large. Eventual winner, Josh Boulton, proved that he is going to be very hard to beat on the Island Park circuit, with the Lovelady Mustang making great progress on a very poor track surface. Josh was racing hard with Steve Williams in the second race and managed to pass him with just a couple of laps to go, but then pushed to hard going into turn 3 and spun out giving Williams the win. But Josh came out firing in the 3rd Heat and blasted his way into forcing a run off with the ex 1NZ car, who took a spin in the 3rd. In the run off, Josh proved just to strong and went on to take the Otago Champs. Congrats goes out to Josh and his crew for a well prepared and fast race car. As for the Nissan?? Work will continue on the number one race engine in preparation for the NZ Title, and the small niggly probs that have popped up will be taken car of quick smart.


24 November 2007 Ok ok, so it has been awhile since the last update, and Ray and myself apologise for the lack of. As many know, Ray has been expanding his business which has kept him all over the place, even in different parts of the world. And as for myself, with the relaunch of The Pits web site on the 1st of December and with trying to organise a couple of T.V deals for speedway with Cue110, it has been a hectic few months or so. Finally, Ray and I had the chance to catch up during the week, and Ray has sent through an update for the web site. Here is the update that Ray has sent:

 
 
During the off season I worked on the car an hour or so each night as no crew at present. Actually if there are any clever guys out there who think they know a bit and can help out during the week working on the car, give me a call.
 
Managed to strip the car out, sandblast and paint and reassemble over a 4 month period. The number one motor FJ20 block was sent off to Reg Cook for machining as we still have some problems with blowing water from  the head gasket on full load. In crack testing the crank, rods etc Reg found the block was cracked. I had several blocks in my supply so sent these off to be sonic tested for maximum cylinder wall thickness. We found just one block with 12mm thickness from about a dozen blocks and the rest were under 10mm. Without this wall thickness the cylinder walls crack with the boost we are running and about 175 hp from each cylinder.
 
When the tracks go hard and slick we struggle with finding grip so a new panhard (J) bar and new Jacobs set-up was built for the rear end in the search for side bite.
 
A new set of headers were built using a split pulse exhaust system instead of 4 into 1. This has definitely worked to reduce the turbo lag with good boost starting at 3000 rpm. The downside is a loss of horsepower at high revs but I'm not concerned about this, yet.
 
We tried another system of head sealing that incorporated a stainless steel ring in the block and a receiving groove in the head. With a composite gasket the gasket lasted about one race and gone. Next we used a copper gasket that held on for three races and this leaked also. Out with no.1 motor and off to be refashioned back to the original s/s W style rings that worked most of the time. In the meantime no.2 motor was slotted in. After two hours of attempting to start this motor, checking the ignition, fuel, cam timing and so on, I stood back and noticed the cap was still on the turbo, walked over removed the plastic cover and vroooom. Silly old bugger.
 
So far this season we have been at two Cromwell club meetings and one Island Park club day with just 2-3 cars.
First big race meeting was at Woodford Glen for the Champion of Champions. I love this format of 30 drivers and 15 heats to find the top 16 for a final 25 lapper. With 8 top drivers from the North Island, this was the best field you would see outside of the NZ champs. The track was just great with lots of drive. The final did dust off but otherwise real nice.
 
Unfortunately we needed some luck to be on our side as 2 DNF left me out of the final.
The first non-finish came when running in second and following Bruce Boulton, Bruce got very sideways in turn 1 and I had nowhere to go, slammed into his front left straightening him up sending him on his way leaving me with a $1000 wrecked corner.
 
The second night we finished third in our first heat and going into the fifth and final heat I knew we had to get second place to amass 28 points to be in the top 16 cars for the final. Off grid 7 with a good start and into third after a few laps behind Martin Harcourt, couldn't find a line on the inside so on the last lap went to the outside line and into turn one Martin for some reason turned right at the end of the straight, bump smack crunch and we end upside down on my lid. A few cursed and choice words from me and we are out of the final with another $1000 repair bill and bent bits.
 
To sit and watch the final was frustrating for certain. Greg Keegan drove his usual cool calm race to take the top position by over half a lap from Dean Wardell. Pity a few top cars were crashed out in the first few laps. Best wall ride crash and roll goes to Tony Cardwell. His repair bill about $15,000. 
 
Back home and into repairing, checking we found instead of about 28 psi boost we had raced with 19 psi which was 50-70 hp down. Explains a few things.
Chassis is straight again with lots of new bits, $$$$.
 
Our new panhard definitely worked with tons of side bite but the right rear tyre had a pogo action in the corners but we couldnt eliminate the bounce so back to the Jacobs ladder for the second night. Will play with the panhard at club meetings as it has potential.
 
Next meeting is sunday at Is Park for the North V South Saloons. Will take the car for a run to check all okay for the start of the Southern Super Saloon Series with the first round at Blenheim and the following week at Nelson. This year their are just 16 supers entered in the series. Lots of travel but good racing with the best in the south island.
 
 

 

14 March 2007 Update this time is courtesy of Ray, as I was unable to head to Blenheim for the next round of the Super Saloon Teams. Please excuse the delay as Ray has been overseas on business.

 

Blenheim was 1 1/2 hour late starting due to over watering of the track and we refused to wheel pack the swimming pool which it was. After 39 minutes of attempting to start their old grader they finally graded off the swamp surface and then we wheel packed. The track was still a single lane racing line which did not make for good racing.
 
The teams race was on a still very slippery track and most of the drivers drove to the conditions. I cant remember the finishing order but I think I finished 2nd not wanting to attempt a pass in the conditions.
 
The Super series is run on a Grand Prix format so from two qualifying races we ended up 2nd equal and no. 3 on the grid for the final race of 20 laps.
 
Ron Taylor was on 1, Martin Harcourt on 2, us on 3, Paddy North on 4.
The track was not great and mostly a single liner. After a couple of restarts we got underway and was in 3rd position for sometime until lapping a slower car and Paddy got past me. There where a few yellow lights. One car that was on the infield was leaking methanol and they stopped the race for this?? They were going to call the race at that point until someone said to move the bloody car away from another car. The officials and organisation was very poor probably due to lack of numbers.
 
After the restart we passed Ron Taylor and moved up to Paddy North. At this stage Martin Harcourt was in the lead and driving a very good race. It took a few laps to finally make an inside pass on Paddy which he definitely didn't like and turned back into me to put me off line, but I was to quick. I sat in behind Harcourt and was looking for a passing line on a track that was difficult to pass on. I needed another 3-4 laps to make the pass but the chequred flag beat us. Harcourt drove smoothly on a slicked out single lane race line.
We finished a close second with Paddy North 3rd. Ron Taylor was also fast in an old car.
 
The series points after 3 rounds;
Ritchie Taylor        117
Ray Stewart          107
Josh Boulton         92
 
The points are close enough that any one of 6-8 drivers can take out the series win.
 
The final is in Dunedin on the Friday night of a 2 night race weekend

Great stuff. It looks to be a very close series for the Supers.


26 Feb 2007 What a month!!! This update will cover two meetings including the Super Saloon Top Gun at Dunedin and the bigger one for the month, The Canterbury Champs, held at Christchurch's Woodford Glen Speedway.

Dunedin at least proved fruitful for the Nissan, as Ray went on to take out the Top Gun challenge on offer by Island Park Speedway, but not without some issues.

Race one was a good one for the Nissan, and was pretty much an unstoppable force. The main resistance came from up and coming Super driver, Mike Verdona in the 25D car. The format was simple, with the first 2 races being used to find how they would line up in the shoot out. The fastest qualifier would be the last car to challenge for the title. With only a few Supers running on the night, it really only came down to a 2 car show. Bruce Boulton was off the pace along with Jason Scott, but had a good battle further down the field with each other in the qualifying. The car itself performed a text book race in the first, but the second, the car developed a miss that seemed to bug the car for the rest of the night. The car still seemed to have the speed, doing enough to stay out front, but not enough to pull away from the competition. The story remained the same for the shoot out, as Ray came up against Mike Verdona for the final. Mike pushed hard for the entire race, but did not quite have the power to get round the Nissan. Ray went on to claim the trophy for the second year running. We at Ray Stewart Racing congratulate Mike Verdona for his second placing and his obvious climb up the Super Saloon ranks in a local sense.

Off to Woodford Glen for the Canterbury Champs on Saturday 24th Feb, with high hopes being set for the car. 19 Super Saloons took to the track with 1 car coming all the way from Palmerston North. Dennis Bolt in the 6C car, made his intentions quite clear from the get go, winning the first race in a dominant performance. Bruce Boulton in the 881T car put on a great display to get 2nd and Mike Verdona was on the pace in 3rd. Ray placed in around 5th place in the first race, and the car seemed to perform very well, but once again, when the motor got hot, the car started the miss that haunted him at the Dunedin meet. Race 2 had the 12N car of Shane Carey doing the business up the front followed by the usually dominant car of 54C Ritchie Taylor and Kevin Huddlestone in the 444C car up there for the 3rd placing. Ray had shocker to say the least, due in part to the track conditions. As many have noted, the Glen surface was not ideal for Super Saloon racing, with only one lane able to be used due to a dirty big step in the middle of the racing line around turn 1 and 2, and some horrible looking ruts in turns 3 and 4. For this reason, Ray tried to use the large step to his own advantage, hooking the back wheel into it to give the car more bite. Sadly, this did not go according to plan and the car dug in and had a very close encounter with the wall. Ray went on to place 5th with a very sick sounding car. Race 3 featured a 25 lap finale. Off the mark quickly was Mike Verdona, with Ray chasing hard along with 881 Bruce Boulton and 32 Martin Harcourt. This race would have a dejavu feeling to it as 46E Paddy North run into the back of Ray causing him to spin along with a couple of other cars. This type of thing happened at the NZ Title, which effectively, cost Ray then. But at least there was no damage this time, and Ray managed to restart, but then later in the race, had Bruce Boulton give him a good shunt in the rear. Ray was in third place, and was thrown off sink and slipped back to 5th. Mike Verdona, however, was flying up the front. He was leading for most of the race, but then had some type of either mechanical, or fuel problem, which resulted in his slipping back to 4th placing. Once again, another outstanding drive from Mike. At one stage, it even looked like he had it wrapped up. But hey... that's racing. Final placings went out to 6C Dennis Bolt in 1st, 881T Bruce Boulton in 2nd and 32C Martin Harcourt in 3rd. Well done to all those competitors for an outstanding night of Super racing. Due to the weather conditions leading up to the night, the track was of a very low standard, however, this could not be helped.

Overall, it has not been the best of seasons for the 34T car. The pace is definitely there, but needs to be a load of luck, which is the missing ingredient. Ray heads off to Blenheim this weekend for the next round of the South Island Super Saloon Series. A report for this meeting will be uploaded next week.

Web site news: Note the new section that has just been created. Archives will house the back updates.


9 Feb 2007 A belated update I know, but as many know, the speedway season has been just that. Sometimes the combination of work and racing is hard to get the balance.

Ray headed to Cromwell for the South Island Saloon Title. Right from the get go this event was never going to be his. On his arrival to Cromwell, the car failed to fire and it took the great skill of Rays pit crew to sought the problem out. It must be great to know that you can head off to the drivers briefing knowing full well you have the confidence in your pit crew (Elliot) to sought your cars problems out. I had the great pleasure in watching Elliot eliminate every possible problem with the car, and then eventually find what it was. The car had some injector problems and failed to fire, but after a quick tweak. the car fired up ready to take on the best in the South Island. This would not be a night that would go Rays way. Right from the get go, the car failed to run correctly.

Race 1 had Ray running off position 12 on the grid. The car never gained, nor lost any ground, until it hit a bit of sloppy ground coming out of turn 2 causing the car to drift a little sideways and lose a couple of positions. From there finished mid field. Eventual winners of the race were Ritchie Taylor in the 58C car followed by 28T Jason Scott in second and the visiting Greymouth driver in third.

Race 2 was to be the race of the night for Ray whom right up to 4 laps to go lead the field in convincing fashion. Coming up behind lap traffic, and being nearly a lap ahead of everyone else, Ray got caught up in the spinning out of the 19t A Grade Saloon, to which evasive action had to be taken, causing Ray to slam into the side of the 19 car with enough force to cause a flat tyre. Ray tried to nurse the car around, but had to be taken off due to the flat tyre. In was once again, just the way that Rays racing for the season had gone. Winners were 128E Dave McCallion  first, followed by 46E Paddy North and 32N from Nelson in third.

Race 3 had Ray start off the back and fight his way up to midfield position. In was great to watch the aggressive driving style of Ray as he plucked off each racer one by one, but could not impact any further up the field after battling hard with Paddy North and not getting passed him. The race went out to local contracted car, Brian Scott in the 53T car followed by 21N and the 128E Dave McCallion car.

Overall the car performed very below average, and Ray was not happy with it for the entire night. Congratulations goes out to Ritchie Taylor in the 58C car from Christchurch, for yet again, another great display of driving. Ritchie knew exactly where he was and what he had to do in the last race to get the title, and drove a text book race to take the title.

The next outing for the 34T Nissan is the Dunedin Top Gun champ on the 17th Feb. We look forward to seeing you there.

 

2 February 2007 The defending NZ Grand Prix champ had no luck this year after the Heavy Trax Hire car blew the turbo early on in the night. Disappointed with the whole night at Wellington, Ray loaded the Nissan onto the trailer bring an end to a very unlucky North Island campaign. On the upside, however, Ray did get another opportunity to foot it with the countries best, and went from the meetings knowing full well that the 240SX has what it takes to take on, and if luck was better, beat the best in the business. Lap times for Gisbourne were quicker than any other driver, but the luck factor was not, resulting in the failed attempt to secure that elusive 1NZ title. Ray had enjoyed the banked Gisbourne track, and had felt that the car was set up right on.

Rays next move is to head into Cromwell on the 3rd of January for a chance to grab the South Island Title which is currently held by Nelson driver Nevelle Wood. Damage thought to of been received in the North Island was not as bad as first thought, and the car should be up and ready to go at full pace around the egg shaped Cromwell track. Full details of the nights racing will be available on this web page.


16 January 2007 Anticipating a better update after the NZ Title was something that I had prepared myself to do. It even got to the point where I had written out something for Ray placing within the top 3 in NZ. Based on information that has coming through from Gisborne, Ray was one of, if not, the quickest car circulating around the highly banked Gisborne track.


Having spoken to Ray, I asked him what had happened that he didn't have the NZ on the side of the car. The first race should not of happened, due in part to the dangerous conditions that were before them. Not the track or facilities, but in actual fact, the sun. Many drivers had complained to the officials that they were not happy with this and the it was likely there would be a smash if they allowed it to go. Of course, that was the end result. Ray started 19th and was making his way through the field nicely, when he then headed into one of the straights and got caught up in a huge nose to tail crash. This left the car with two flat tyres, and out of race 1. Race 2 feared the same result, once again resulting in contact that gave the Nissan another flat tyre, which caused another DNF. Race 3 was an impressive race for the spectators wanting to see how quick this Nissan could go. Ray started 3rd off the grid and was soon in first place with little effort required. He soon was lapping the tail of the field and as bad luck would have it, ended up in a tangle with the 46E car of Paddy North's. This was not to be Rays NZ Title.. Many have noted that the quickest car on the day was having the worst luck.

More information on the racing from Gisborne can be found by clicking here

Ray remains in the north and will be heading to Wellington to defend his NZ Grand Prix win from last year. More information on that later.

A full detailed report will be uploaded on Rays return to home.


10 January 2007 Its been awhile since the last update on this site, mostly due to the work that has been carried out on the car preparing it for the NZ Super Saloon Title.

Ray has traveled to Gizzy a week early to race in the meeting before the NZ Title, to get a hang of how the track is, and what set up to use for the title. Ray managed to finish first equal on the night and had a run off with Paddy North after both finished on 21 Points. Paddy got the jump on Ray, and no matter how hard Ray tried, he could not pull back the Blenheim driver. Information about this can be found at the following address http://www.gisbornespeedway.co.nz/report_07.htm .

On to the NZ Super Saloon Title. The grids for the title are now up on the Gisborne web site click the following web link to check out the list of entrants as well as the grids. http://www.gisbornespeedway.co.nz/preview_08.htm I will have results on the night, but how frequent, I'm not to sure.

Until then... good luck to all the Super Saloon drivers from around the South Island. There's not many of you guys, but I'm sure you will take it to the North.


19 December 2006 The site is quickly taking shape, and as you will note, the page is on a Domain. In this update we have just a small video, well small in running time but big in size. Whip over to the video page to listen to Rays car going around the Island Park circuit on his way to taking out 2nd in the Otago Champs. The size of the video is only really for broadband users as I didn't really want to compromise the sound that this car makes when it comes tearing past you. Dial up users will be able to download it... but beware...it will take time. Head over to the Videos section to download this movie.


18 December 06 Here we go! The first update for this newly constructed site. In this update, we now have some links up and ready to go, with some nice new pictures of the Nissan now up in the Pictures section. Most of the photos on this web site are courtesy of Shelly Corbett Photography, to which we are very appreciative.

Please note, that this web site is only on this temp address while we get her up and cranking. The site will move to a new web address within a few days. We will be at  www.raystewart.racing.org.nz  so check this out periodically as it gets sorted.

Crew man (Elliott), is busy working on the car readying it for the NZ Champs. Elliott is busily organizing new panels and spare parts for the trip North as well as a touch up paint job. Major work was required on the car after a nasty incident at the last meeting at Woodford Glen. Damage sustained was a bent axle, broken brake caliper and disc plus shocks rod ends and so forth. The repairs took some work to get back together and reset the chassis to where it should be.

Sad thing to note for the fans attending the Cromwell meet, will be the exclusion of the 34T  from the racing programme at the New Years meet. Due to the closeness of the NZ Title to the Cromwell meeting, Ray has elected to head to Gisborne a week earlier on the 4th of January, to race in the Southern Stampede to get a feel for the track before the NZ Title the following weekend, being the 12th and 13th of January. After taking the 1NZ (fingers crossed), its off to Wellington for the NZ Super Saloon Grand Prix, where he will attempt to defend his NZ Grand Prix win from last year.

This week will see the guys from Performance car magazine catching up with some Dunedin Super Saloons, to which Ray is one that will be interviewed. We will have more info on this to find out when this will appear in the magazine.

This about concludes this update. Over the next few weeks, Ray will be doing some write ups on his thoughts about racing, Super Saloons and Speedway in general. Don't forget to save us into your favorites and visit back often.

On behalf of the team at Ray Stewart Racing, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Xmas and a great New Year. Drive safe, and have loads of fun

 

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