Daniel Cook gets finish he wanted

TOP SPOT: Gisborne’s Daniel Cook took out the North Island saloon car championship in Huntly on Saturday. It was a hugely satisfying result for Cook (77G), who has had more than his share of misfortune on the track this season. He is pictured with the chequered flag at a Gisborne event. Picture by Liam Clayton,
Daniel Cook atop the podium after his Huntly win. Picture by Sam Hogan





GISBORNE saloon car racer Daniel Cook got the top podium finish he had been after all season when he won the North Island title at Huntly Speedway on Saturday night.

Going into the weekend, Cook’s best results had been second in a Speedweek round in late December and fifth at the New Zealand championships in Christchurch.

Cook, in his 77G car, topped his group from three heats of qualifying on Friday night.

The field was split into three groups of 13 cars.

Two further heats on Saturday night decided grid positions for the 20-lap final.

“In Heat 1, I started 20th on the grid and made up half the field to finish 10th,” Cook said.

“In Heat 2, I went from Grid 1 and won it. That meant in the final I went from Grid 2.

“I got a lead from the start, and held it to win by about five car-lengths.”

Cook, who won the North Island title on his home Gisborne track in the 2013-2014 season, said it felt great to finally stand on top of the podium this season.

“I had a bad roll-over in Palmerston North between Christmas and New Year in Speedweek. I have had more than my share of bad luck this season and I reckon I was due for a good run.”

His car ran perfectly in Whanganui.

“All weekend it was on rails.”

Cook’s brother Ethan (76G) also topped his group in the heats but was unable to do better than ninth after he started from Grid 18.

Gisborne driver Dave Moorcroft, contracted to Mt Maunganui, was the other group top qualifier, but finished back in the field in the final.

“It was hard racing,” Daniel Cook said.

“But it was a well-run meeting and I’m stoked to have done so well.”

Podium finish for Rob Miller and 'Red' George

Sidecar duo Rob Miller and “Red” George (8G) had another podium finish at the weekend.

They were third behind bikes from Palmerston North (1NZ) and Whanganui in the West Coast championships in Whanganui.

“We battled all day with Russell Stuart and Andrew Parker but couldn’t get past them,” Miller said.

“It was close and hard racing. The track conditions were a bit tricky, too.”

The pair will race again in Whanganui this weekend, with Miller defending his North Island title.

Miller and George have made the podium four times in their past five meetings.

Brenden and Sean Gooch raced in Rotorua streetstocks

Gisborne streetstock brothers Brenden (1NZ) and Sean Gooch (9G) competed at Paradise Valley Raceway in Rotorua at the weekend.

National champion Brenden was runner-up at the meet, with a second, a third and a fifth out of 14 cars.

“He had a target on his back in the third race,” his father Neil said.

“But he managed to keep his head and get through the close attention to make the podium.”

GISBORNE saloon car racer Daniel Cook got the top podium finish he had been after all season when he won the North Island title at Huntly Speedway on Saturday night.

Going into the weekend, Cook’s best results had been second in a Speedweek round in late December and fifth at the New Zealand championships in Christchurch.

Cook, in his 77G car, topped his group from three heats of qualifying on Friday night.

The field was split into three groups of 13 cars.

Two further heats on Saturday night decided grid positions for the 20-lap final.

“In Heat 1, I started 20th on the grid and made up half the field to finish 10th,” Cook said.

“In Heat 2, I went from Grid 1 and won it. That meant in the final I went from Grid 2.

“I got a lead from the start, and held it to win by about five car-lengths.”

Cook, who won the North Island title on his home Gisborne track in the 2013-2014 season, said it felt great to finally stand on top of the podium this season.

“I had a bad roll-over in Palmerston North between Christmas and New Year in Speedweek. I have had more than my share of bad luck this season and I reckon I was due for a good run.”

His car ran perfectly in Whanganui.

“All weekend it was on rails.”

Cook’s brother Ethan (76G) also topped his group in the heats but was unable to do better than ninth after he started from Grid 18.

Gisborne driver Dave Moorcroft, contracted to Mt Maunganui, was the other group top qualifier, but finished back in the field in the final.

“It was hard racing,” Daniel Cook said.

“But it was a well-run meeting and I’m stoked to have done so well.”

Podium finish for Rob Miller and 'Red' George

Sidecar duo Rob Miller and “Red” George (8G) had another podium finish at the weekend.

They were third behind bikes from Palmerston North (1NZ) and Whanganui in the West Coast championships in Whanganui.

“We battled all day with Russell Stuart and Andrew Parker but couldn’t get past them,” Miller said.

“It was close and hard racing. The track conditions were a bit tricky, too.”

The pair will race again in Whanganui this weekend, with Miller defending his North Island title.

Miller and George have made the podium four times in their past five meetings.

Brenden and Sean Gooch raced in Rotorua streetstocks

Gisborne streetstock brothers Brenden (1NZ) and Sean Gooch (9G) competed at Paradise Valley Raceway in Rotorua at the weekend.

National champion Brenden was runner-up at the meet, with a second, a third and a fifth out of 14 cars.

“He had a target on his back in the third race,” his father Neil said.

“But he managed to keep his head and get through the close attention to make the podium.”

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