Former New Zealand Super Saloon champ Peter Dickson compliments Tauranga track

19 Nov, 2020

Bay of Plenty Times

Southlander Peter Dickson says Tauranga is the right place to accelerate a new era in speedway.

The former New Zealand Super Saloon car champion says the wide open turns at Baypark Speedway and the resources available at Tauranga’s Cowling Motorsport offer an ideal opportunity to power US racing technology to the fore in New Zealand racing.

After success in the saloon car class, Dickson won the 2017 NZ Super Saloon Car title at his home track at Cromwell in his debut season.

Originally from Invercargill, he moved to Tauranga almost two years ago to work at Cowling Motorsport. He’s primarily a fabricator who builds and repairs speedway chassis and suspension components.

Over the winter he heavily modified his car to incorporate the latest rear suspension geometry ideas popular in US Late Model racing.

“The car is now 80 per cent the same as a late model with a few things changed to suit New Zealand tracks,”‘ Dickson said.

That means smaller size rear tyres and the use of four links and coil springs for the rear suspension in place of the torsion bars used on the majority of Super Saloons.

The cars have a visibly different cornering attitude and when set-up correctly they achieve impressive mid-corner speed.

Southlander Peter Dickson. Photo / Supplied
Southlander Peter Dickson. Photo / Supplied

“Baypark is the right track to get these cars working,” Dickson said.

“It’s wide with lots of room and if we use Baypark as our base then we can get the cars to work at other tracks.

Baypark Speedway starts the three-round Barry Muir’s Furniture Gallery Super Saloon car series on Saturday night and Dickson is looking to continue the development work on the car.

“It showed its potential on opening night and then we only got half a meeting last time out when I was involved in a crash,” he said.

“Track time is precious when you can only race once a week. So, the objective is to do well in the series and get valuable seat time to have the car working before the NZ Champs in Auckland and the GP at Baypark in January.

“The overall goal is to be consistently up near the front. That is the thing with this type of car, so far, they haven’t shown consistency.

“The torsion bar cars have been around forever and everyone knows how to set them up.

“My car is insanely adjustable. There are probably 10,000 different adjustments you can make. If we get that sorted out to suit different tracks, I think can we can start a new era.”

The Super Saloon series at Baypark runs across seven races at the next three meetings with a mixture of contracted drivers and visitors expected. There are two races each on November 21 and December 5 with the three-race final on Boxing Day night.

Saturday also features the return of the Midget Cars for a second time this season along with Stock Cars and a large field of Sprint Cars is expected as drivers prepare for the NZ Championship at Baypark over the January 8-9 weekend.