5 Jan, 2021 09:09 AM3 minutes to read
Baypark Speedway has extended its unrivalled record for producing Super Saloon Car champions with Tauranga’s Peter Dickson racing to victory in the 2021 New Zealand Championship.
Dickson moved past Cowling Motorsport teammate Chris Cowling 10 laps into the 30-lap final at Auckland’s Waikaraka Park last Saturday and stayed in front to clinch his second national title.
At the time of his first title win in 2017, Dickson was based in Cromwell. Now living in Tauranga, he becomes the 10th different driver to clinch the Super Saloon title while registered at Baypark.
With the racing schedule at its most intense point of the summer, Dickson said his success hadn’t really sunk in yet.
“We’ve been so busy getting the cars back into the workshop and getting them ready for this weekend.
“It was the same the first time I won. It’s only when you get the No 1 on the car and turn up at the track for the first time and realise there are more people wanting to take photos, that it really sinks in.”
Dickson said the feeling of achievement was slightly different second time around.
“The New Zealand championship is the title everyone wants to win but you never expect to win it because the competition is so tough.
“My first one was special but it was with a car that was a proven package. It’s a different sort of satisfaction this time to win with a new and unproven package that we started to work on three years ago.”
Dickson’s car, built and developed at Cowling Motorsport, employs US Super Late Model design ideas including a four-link and coil spring rear suspension which is a departure from the torsion bar set-up used almost universally in Super Saloons.
Until recently the package had shown bursts of potential but hadn’t performed consistently. Dickson’s recent run with three feature race wins in his last four starts suggest the design is being perfected.
Dickson’s first appearance as the 2021 New Zealand champ will be this weekend at Baypark Speedway chasing the NZ Grand Prix title in which he has previously finished second and third.
Cowling, and last weekend’s third-placed Craig Cardwell from Auckland, will also be in action in a 25-strong field including visiting South Island teams.
The 25-lapper will be a chance for Cowling to secure a GP hat-track after winning in 2019 and 2020.
Other leading contenders include 2020 New Zealand champ Sam Waddell (Tauranga), 2019 champion Steve Cowling (Tauranga), three-time national champ Mark Osborne (Christchurch) and three-time GP winner Ian Burson (Nelson).