Trofeo Series - New Zealand
The Trofeo Series is a group of Alfa Romeo, Fiat & Lancia drivers who get together each year to race the wheels off Italian race cars of varying ages & characteristics in a contest that is fun, friendly, competitive and relatively affordable. Initially the Series began as the Alfasud Trofeo Series, before expanding to accommodate other Alfa Romeo models, and more recently to include Invited Fiats and Lancias.
The rules provide for classes to accommodate cars from a relatively standard specification, through to fully race prepared vehicles. The completion each Season (September to April/May) takes us to 6 - 8 rounds at the North Island tracks of Pukekohe, Hampton Downs and Taupo. The competition format is a mix of scratch and handicap racing for Class and Overall Series points.
Trofeo Series drivers can be summed up in one phrase Cuore Spotivo!
TACCOC Spring Classic - Hampton Downs
The second meeting of the year was held at Hampton Downs in good weather on 8th November. Several drivers must be praised for turning up to race with cars that did not match the class they had entered. Wendy was running in her Trofeo Class Alfasud 'Rocky" instead of her red GT Junior Sud "Ralf", Chris Hunkin was driving Rob's Veloce Class 33 "Flash", and Darron Curphey had wheeled out his white 33 to get more track time while his Fiat is repaired. Not forgetting that Ross Olifent is racing in GTA with a standard engine while waiting for a rebuilt 16 valve engine for his 33. So the race results do not reflect the dedication of these drivers and their sporting spirit in racing despite the paucity of points from their efforts.
It was good to see Steve Cowie back with his superfast new engine in his Alfa GT: he proved that racing his little Fiat has kept his race skills polished as he won the first race. But Tony Olissoff and Gary Langsford battled it out for Second Place and might have threatened his lead if they had not been snapping at each other's heels.
In the Second Race the gremlins struck Steve's car with fuel starvation and a mechanical black flag forcing a pit lane halt that dropped him to last while Gary Langsford set the best Trofeo lap time of the meeting and romped in first with Simon Mills just 0.3 seconds behind.
The field had thinned to nine cars for the Handicap Race with Phil Neely taking line honours from Max van Maanen and Simon Mills in third place.
This one day meeting was excellent fun: close racing for most, good weather and no panel damage. And it was great to see more cars joining the grid. Let's hope this continues for the Summer Classic, our next meeting on 27th November at Pukekohe.