Siblings leave dad in the dust
The Baker boys have beaten their dad on the race track.
Brothers Scott and Ryan Baker of Waimauku won gold and bronze in the North Island TQ Midget Championship.
They were chased by their father Lawrence in 10th place during his first race in three years.
"I'd rather be beaten by them than by anybody else," Lawrence says.
"But by the same token I'm always happy if I beat them as well."
The 52-year-old had been racing a TQ midget at Western Springs for more than 25 years.
He stopped driving to recover from hip replacement surgery in 2010.
"I never said I was going to retire," the 1995 TQ midget Auckland champion says.
His return to the Western Springs Speedway this month saw him master a new car, the lightest competitor at 261 kilograms running on smaller 10-inch wheels.
"That was only my second meeting in the new TQ," Lawrence says, who works as a car restorer in Waimauku.
"I was just thrown in the deep end."
Gold medal winner Scott, an accountant, says he got a jump on the start and managed to open up a small gap on second place.
"This allowed the second-place car to catch right up to the back of me again.
"One of the lap cars slipped wide so I tried to go up the inside but the door closed and we had contact, spinning the lap car around and bringing on the yellows."
The yellow light warns drivers to slow down and bans passing.
"This helped a lot as it gave me clear track where I could pull away from second place again," he says.
Scott, 24, and Ryan, 21, a university student, have found the balance of good-natured competition.
"They change about on the race track; they've got no problem with each other," Lawrence says.
Earlier in the season the siblings crashed together fighting over second and third places.
at a race night in Western Springs. They were both trying to overtake the leader.
"Ryan got it a little bit wrong and crashed into Scott," Lawrence says.
"Scott went up in the air, spun around and landed on four wheels.
"An article about the race says Scott's landing would have got a 10 at the world diving champs for technique.
"That was a good explanation."
Ryan rallied to keep racing and came second.
"Scott was left on the infield with a car wounded to the point that it broke the motor."
The Baker boys are hurtling towards their next challenge, the New Zealand TQ title in Christchurch next month.
"We've got to be in to win," Lawrence says.
He is grateful to wife Christine, who cheers the lads from the sidelines and keeps their race suits clean.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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