NZ Update #5

NZ-Navigation Page

NZ-Original announcement (Sept. 2003)

NZ Update #1 - Preparation (Oct. 15, 2003)

NZ Update #2 - Shipping the cars (Oct. 24, 2003)

NZ Update #3 - The second container (Late November)

NZ Update #4 - A Small Glitch (December 8th)

NZ Update #5 - Cars in NZ and OK (January 9, 2004)

NZ Update #6 - Arrival in NZ (Jan. 24)

NZ Update #7 - After first race weekend (February 2)

NZ Update #8 - Levels Raceway-Timaru

NZ Update #8.5 - Touring Queenstown Area

NZ Update #9 - Teretonga Raceway in Invercargill

NZ Update #10 - Dunedin Street Race

NZ Epilogue - The Last Update (March 6, 2004)


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Well. Since my last update earlier this month, a lot has happened. Namely, both containers have finally arrived in Christchurch . All the cars and contents are now safe and sound. WHEW!

Update #4 told you about the snafu on the second container and how "the pros from Denver" (Phil and Bob) had run out to LA and rescue the damn thing. What went unsaid in that missive was that the first container, which left Denver 30 days prior to #2 was, for all practical purposes, lost. We'll not exactly lost — it was just that our Denver freight agent couldn't really tell us for sure where it was or when it would actually arrive in NZ. Pretty scary, actually.

As it turns out container #1 took the REALLY LONG way to NZ, via Asia and Australia thus meaning took FAR longer to get there than any of us had ever anticipated. Thanks to some great efforts by Larry Detrich and a new-found agent in Auckland, they finally located Ye Ol' #1 container and determined that it would be getting there just before Christmas, but not in time to get it thru customs and unloaded before the Holidays when everything sort of comes to a halt for a couple of weeks.

While the delay in #1 was OK from our standpoint (Cars not needed in NZ until late January), what wasn't realized is that Larry and Kay had a bunch of Christmas presents in the first container. Ya, a real bummer! They really got the short end of that stick! We'll make it up to them somehow.

Then the second container (the one Phil & I reloaded in LA) did arrive last week, only a few days later than originally planned. So, both containers are now safely at the Ruapuna race track in Christchurch. Container #1 with my and Diane's cars has been unloaded and those cars are safely tucked away in John Crawford's nice race shop at the track. Larry's newly-acquired Lola F-5000 race car is also safely ensconced in Crawford's shop. And container #2 is now on the ground at the race shop and will be unloaded within a week or so. No rush.

Importantly, everything is there and in good order, apparently non the worse for wear during the long journey.

Diane and I have decided to leave on Wednesday the 21st, less that two weeks from today (the 9th). We're really getting excited now that it's becoming a reality. The pictures from Larry in NZ make it all very real (see below for for pics.) Due to losing a day from passing the international dateline, we will get there either late that Friday (the 23rd) or early Saturday AM (NZ local day). This is a full week before we actually start racing, but I wanted to get there early, get acclimated, do a little shopping, get the cars cleaned and prepped, and hopefully get a day of track time for some test & tune and track familiarization. Going to a track for the first time and racing right out of the box is to be avoided, if at all possible. We should be able to do this in that week. And, as a bonus, the weekend we arrive, a national Formula Ford race is taking place at the track and we'll be able to watch it. Should be great fun.

The rest of the "NZ or Bust" crowd, Terry Hefty, Dean Meiling, Paul Morgan, and Phil Shires, Bob Hildreth and spouses PLUS Diane's sister, Elaine, all plan on arriving that following week, about the 28th. They too hope to get in some track time on Friday before the racing beings on the 31st (Saturday). Heck, maybe we can even get Elaine in a race car for a ride.

That's about it for now. The laptop is all set to go so the next Update will probably be sent to you from the road.

allcarsinshop-5b-web.jpg (55921 bytes)

This is inside John Crawford's nice race shop at the Ruapuna track in Christchurch. You can see our two cars safely stashed away. Also shown is the yellow Lola T-142, a beautiful F-5000 built by Garry Tapp and recently purchased by Larry Detrich. It, our two cars, and Phil Shires' Elva were in container #1, now safely unloaded.

johns-rig--5a-web.jpg (16254 bytes)

Larry provided this picture of the big Crawford rig which will be taking our race cars to the second event in Timaru. As you can see it is one of those fancy trailers that has a lift gate to put cars up on the top deck. Not shown is the nice full length awning. Pretty damn first class accommodations, huh?

69f-numtwo-web.jpg (24088 bytes)Container #2 with Terry's and Paul's cars as it arrives safely at the Ruapuna track facility. As you can see, they have these neat "Side Loader" trucks that set the container right on the ground for easy loading/unloading. Crawford's shop will be building us a double-decker rack for one of these containers allowing us to put six cars in one container. This will serve as our "trailer" for the trip down to Invercargill for the third race in the series. Truckers will pick it up at John's shop, truck it down to Invercargill where we can "pit" out of it, then pick it up after the race weekend and return it to Christchurch for preparation for its return to the States.

outside-of-johns-shop-5d-we.jpg (15018 bytes)

This a view just outside of John's race shop. The building also has a race school classroom and a hospitality area overlooking the race track (second story porch left of picture). On the grassy area you can see our cars and Phil's Elva. This grassy area is where all the U.S. racers will be pitted during the race weekend. Should be fun having us all together.
4fruapunahospitalityinside-.jpg (13228 bytes)

This is the classroom/hospitality suite on the second floor of Crawford's facility. As you can see there are sliding doors going out to a second floor balcony overlooking the track. You can see the entire track from there. We hope to observe a national FF race there on the 25th, the weekend before we race there.

6f1-larryporch-web.jpg (24373 bytes)

Larry and Kay live about 30 minutes from the track, up on a ridge overlooking the ocean. This is taken from the deck of their beautiful home which sits on the top of the ridge. Very, very cool.


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