Interview: With Scott Miers (#NZ8)

F1 Stockcars.Com caught up with New Zealand visitor Scott Miers at Coventry for a few words.

Photo Paul Tully.

Photo Paul Tully.

Welcome to the UK Scott. Is this your first visit?

No this will be my second racing visit, my first was back in 2000. I borrowed one of John Lund’s (#53) cars to race in the World Final at Coventry, I think he still might use that car.

In those nine years have you noticed much change in our cars?

No, not really. Basically the cars look about the same. A few of the newer cars do have a more advanced braking system; along with left foot braking and a few other subtle improvements and developments but from what I’ve seen they’re pretty much the same.

What tracks did you race at in 2000 and any favourite out of them?

I raced at Sheffield, Skegness (shale), Belle Vue, Coventry (World Final) and Northampton. I’d probably say Coventry was my favourite track.

How did you find Tarmac racing?

That was a bit different all right. The main difference I’ve found is the level of control you have. You gotta be a lot easier on the accelerator, letting off a lot sooner. And you’re more in control of the car so trying to be smooth and fast, that’s not easy in these things. I had a go at Skegness (tar) the other day in Stuart’s car and felt pretty good. Very different from what I’m used to.

How long are you over Scott, and you looking forward to another bash at Northampton?

We’re not over long at all this time. We’re flying back the Monday after the World Final. So at this point I can’t say whether I’ll get to race at Northampton again.

How about Kings Lynn, have ever been there before?

No, not even as a spectator. So I’m really looking forward to having a go on the Friday meeting and then the World Final. I’ve been told a few things about the track, but it will be totally new to me on the Friday.

I believe your son is over here with you?

Yes that’s right, Jack’s with me; and he’s going to getting a ride in a Ministox while he’s here. He’ll be at Skegness on Thursday and then at Birmingham on the Saturday. He’s looking to get a few points and to qualify for their Gold Top Race on the Saturday with us at Kings Lynn. So hopefully that will be pretty awesome for him.

Do you have any expectations for the World Final?

To Finish. I think for us foreigners, to just finish is an achievement. In 2000 I was the first foreign driver home in 8th place and that’s pretty special. The World Final is such a huge race; to just be part of it is something, and as a foreigner to just finish it is something to be proud of.

Any rivalries or scores to settle while your here?

(laugh) No, No. It’s pretty hard to just come over and race a few meetings. You don’t know the cars or the drivers. Like when you’re racing week in week out, you know who’s around you, who you can trust who you can’t. But here I’m really having to think which car is which, and you don’t know who you can trust and who’s going for you. It’s pretty hard working out who’s who from just a glance at a bumper or flash of the cab.

So what would you say are the main differences in driving styles between the UK and NZ?

We can get away with a lot more from our cars. We run full wheel guards all round, a bit like your V8 Hot-Stox. So, all our wheels are well protected; even the front, so we can rub up against each other without getting locked together. And our tracks as well, apart from the clay they all have a concrete outside wall so if you make a mistake you can bounce back off them and rejoin the race pretty fast.

Any rule changes or car developments you like to see brought into out stockcars?

No. Your rules are your rules. I’ve thought it might be interesting to see how your cars went with full wheel guards. See your cars going in to the corners, throwing the back-end out to take an opponent out without getting hooked up. But no, your sport is your sport.

Have raced both a Small and Big block engines in the UK?

No, I’ve only ever raced a Big-Block in a F1. And that’s another thing we need to get used to. Your cars are so much more powerful than what we run back home. We run ours pretty much fully on for the entire lap; whereas yours with so much more power you’re on – off, just easing it on then quickly backing off. You gotta train yourself to back off.
I would like to try a Small Block so I can compare, but I’m pretty happy with the Big Block.

How did you become interested in Stockcar racing? and when did you first race?

We used go quite often as kids, not loads. We lived pretty much out in the country. And my brother got into Stockcars first, I used to help him out running his car. I first raced in a demolition derby (banger racing) in 1984; then I had a go in brother’s Stockcar, and I thought I’ll have some of this. Saved up for my own car, that would of been about 1986 and it just went from there.

Scott Miers (8p). Photo Colin Casserley

Scott Miers (8p). Photo Colin Casserley

Your probably best known for ‘the tank’, what’s the story there?

That goes back to about 1989, and for the casual observer it probably looks exactly the same but we’ve done a a lot of development on that car. I’d say in the last 12 months we’ve got the best out of the car. Back home your Ford / Chevy Two-Valve Engines are really expensive to do. I’d say probably 80% of our guys run Jap’ers – Toyota’s or Nissan engines but I’m not a fan of those engines. So we went back to running a Quad-Cam Ford Engine and we’ve spent about two years developing that engine to where it is today, which is probably the best I’ve ever got out of it.

What do you make of our guys that come over to NZ?

The likes of Frankie and Stuart are always going to be good and a lot of the other guys were quite impressive. The first trip can be a little strange for your guys and normally they do better on their second trip. It’s good that we come over and your guys come over.

What about our guys coming over for the Team Champs?

Personally that is something I would like to see go on forever now. A lot of people worked really hard to get last years UK team off the ground both in NZ and the UK. I was involved in the NZ side of things and I am really happy with how it all went and turned out. Yes that is something I would like to see as a permanent fixture now.

Thank you for your time Scott. We at F1 Stockcars wish all the best for your trip, is there anyone you’d like to thank?

Not a problem. This trip has all been a bit last minute. Probably two weeks before we landed we decided to do it. But I’d like to thank the Johnson Family (#4) and the Smith Family (#390 / #391) along with Richard Baldwin Motorhomes. They really helped out on this trip. And if all goes well I’ll be back over next year – with all the family and a few friends.

Stephen Cording

For more information about Scott Miers see his website.

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