It's all over except for the celebrating. The Yanks beat the Kiwis in a five race amateur driving competition by a final score of 115 to 80 and but by all accounts it was a success despite of the points differential.
“We had a wonderful time and were treated royally,” noted New Zealand’s Gavin Cook who put the Kiwis on the scoreboard at Freehold Raceway on Friday afternoon when he won the final leg of the driving competition. ”In amateur racing it’s not whether you win or lose it’s the camaraderie shared by all the participants. It’s always a good time getting together making new friends and renewing old acquaintances. That’s what it (amateur racing) is all about .”
Cook, who won the World Cup of Amateur racing in 2008 scored an upset victory at Freehold raceway on September 7th when he guided 12-1 shot Anything But Plain to a gate to wire 2:01 triumph and survived a tight photo over 1-2 shot FD White Diamonds, driven by the Yank’s, Dave Offenberg. The USA’s Tony Verruso finished third with Rachel.
Events were held at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday(Sept.5) and then moved to Yonkers Raceway on Thursday and finished at Freehold on Friday (Sept. 7).
Winning drivers at Monticello were the Yanks Mike Weiner and Alan Schwartz. At Yonkers, the following night Dave Siegel and Bob Hechkoff, of the USA team were victorious. And Gavin Cook’s triumph at Freehold gave the Kiwi’s something to cheer about.
The highest individual point earner in the competition was the Yank’s Mike Weiner, who also had a second place finish to go along with his driving victory at the Mighty M.
“It was our pleasure hosting the New Zealanders and we really enjoyed their visit. Sharing a common language allowed everyone converse with one another at every venue,” noted NAADA president Joe Faraldo who was instrumental in putting the competition together.
“ Yeh, we (Team USA) won… but that was immaterial. Everyone enjoyed the time we spent together and we look forward to events like this in the future. After all, amateur racing is a good venue for human relations.”
After the races at each venue the group broke bread together . But on Friday evening the entire group of participants in the competition , and their significant others, were treated to a cruise around Manhattan Isle on the World Yacht ; dinner and drinks included.
by John MANZI