EASTER WEEKEND SET TO BE FULL OF ACTION, WRITES COLIN SMITH
There’s plenty of Kiwi holiday weekend horsepower to keep motorsport enthusiasts revved up over the Easter break.
Among the long weekend attractions is the traditional Easter national motor race meeting at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo.
The programme includes the final round of the Toyota Finance 86 Championship along with the SsangYong Actyon Ute Racing Series and Central Muscle Cars plus SS2000 saloon car, Kiwi sports sedans, Porsche Club championship, Super Six saloon and Mini Challenge categories.
Qualifying and one race for each class takes place on Saturday with two more races for each category on Sunday. Easter is also the traditional date for the Kartsport NZ Sprint Championships and the Hamilton Kart Club is hosting the 2016 Giltrap Group-sponsored event at its Agrisea NZ Raceway near Hamilton Airport.
Nine Kartsport category titles will be decided over the weekend with 158 entries received for the event. The Saturday action will decide the Vortex Mini ROK, Junior 100cc Yamaha, 125cc Rotax Max Light, 100cc Yamaha Heavy and KZ2 titles.
On Sunday it is the turn of the Cadet ROK, 125cc Rotax Max Junior, 125cc Rotax Max Heavy and 100cc Yamaha Light classes to battle for national title honours.
A busy March schedule of drag racing comes to a close with an Easter double-header at Meremere Dragway.
Saturday sees street car competition at the NZ Hot Rod Magazine New Zealand Club Champs while on Sunday the front-engine “rail” dragsters are the main attraction at the Bay Rodders’ annual Nostalgia Drags event.
Four Australian teams are competing at Meremere including the low six-second nitrous injected front engine dragster of Peter Duffy.
There’s a Nitro Nostalgia challenge with match racing between the Chevrolet Vega funny car of Southland’s Karl Boniface and the 34 Ford Coupe Fuel Altered of Te Puke’s Dave Gauld.
A T-Bucket Challenge and categories for Four-Banger, Flat Head Challenge and Classic Gassers are also part of the Sunday quarter-mile action.
There’s also plenty of Easter action on the dirt.
The high-flying buggies and trucks of Kiwi offroad racing are in action north of Auckland with round one of the ORANZ (Offroad Racing Association of New Zealand) national championship.
There’s a short course format for the opening round which is being held on a rolling farmland track at Hilltop Rd, Mangawhai. It’s the first of seven events in the ORANZ series building to a final round at Twizel over Labour weekend.
With national championship motocross titles decided last weekend the two wheel attention switches to the first two rounds of New Zealand Enduro Championship with the series opener at Christchurch on Saturday and second round at Mosgiel on Easter Monday.
Tackling the mud and hillsides will be competitors at the final round of the 2015-16 New Zealand 4x4 Trials Championship in Taranaki.
The Mt Egmont 4WD Club is running the sixth and final round of the national series at a Hill Rd venue near Egmont Village.
It’s a close fought national title race with Wellington’s Phil Conwell in his Class C (four-cylinder) super Modified machine on 485 points leading from the V8 machines of Wanganui’s Dan Cowper on 483 and Scott Biggs (Auckland) on 482.
Speedway fans will be busy this weekend with Sprint Cars in the limelight in Manawatu. The North Island Championship is raced at Palmerston North Speedway on Saturday night and on Sunday afternoon the seventh annual Winged Thunder event is raced at the Harrisville Raceway at Ohakea.
There are two day events at Napier’s Meeanee Speedway (Friday and Saturday) and Rotorua’s Paradise Valley (Saturday and Sunday) along with Saturday night stock car teams racing and a demolition derby at Auckland’s Waikaraka Park and the South Pacific Six Shooter Champs at Mt Maunganui’s Baypark Speedway.