Kiwi motorsport comes alive for Labour weekend
Labour weekend is the traditional kick-off for a new season of summer motorsport.
A busy holiday weekend programme will see most motorsport disciplines hosting major events throughout the country.
There are two choices of topline motorcycling action for this holiday weekend.
The annual Huka Honda MX Fest at Taupo provides two days of racing at the Digger McEwen MX Park.
The Labour weekend event marks the beginning of a new motocross season with riders moving to new classes and competing on new machines for the first time.
Saturday sees the North Island Mini MX Champs and junior racing action while Sunday features the senior racing including MX1, MX2 and Nationals 125cc classes along with veterans and womens classes. Racing starts 10am both days.
Road racing is also on the calendar with the Shorai Batteries International being raced at Hampton Downs.
This event was formerly known as the Barry Sheene Classic is New Zealand’s premiere event for Classic and Post Classic racing with leading Australian and British riders among the almost 300 competitors.
The range of bikes in action range from pre-war machines to pre-1989 Superbikes with the feature event on Sunday being the Barry Sheene Oceania Challenge race.
There are classic and post-classic sidecar races, BEARS (British European American Racing Series) classes and also on the programme is the first national championship round for modern sidecars.
Practice is on Saturday with a full two-day racing programme on Sunday and Monday.
The six-round New Zealand 4x4 Trials Championship is another Labour weekend drawcard with extreme four-wheel-drive competition machines in action on Sunday near Wanganui. The venue is at Upokongaro (State Highway 4 and Kaiwhaiki Rd) with an 8.30am start time.
Also in action on rough terrain are leading Moto Trials riders with a three-day New Zealand Championship event hosted by the Taranaki Motorcycle Club. Venues are near Inglewood, Egmont Village and Opunake for the Saturday-thru-Monday event.
Labour weekend karting action is a double header with separate KartSport NZ North Island and South Island Championship events.
The Bay of Plenty Kart Club is hosting the Visi Line North Island Champs at its Fagans Valley Raceway near Te Puke with 10 class titles to be decided over two days of racing.
On Saturday the Vortex Mini ROK, Junior 100cc Yamaha, 100cc Yamaha Heavy, KZ2 and 125cc Rotax Max Light classes will be in action while Sunday sees the Cadet ROK, 125cc Rotax Max Junior, 125cc Rotax Max Heavy, Open and 100cc Yamaha Light titles decided. Racing starts at 10.30am each day.
Running concurrently with the North Island event — with the same classes racing on the same days — is the 2015 Kartsport NZ South Island Champs at Blenheim.
Throughout the weekend Mt Maunganui will be home to many of New Zealand’s best hot rods with the Bay Rodders hosting the NZ Hot Rod Association 2015 Street Rod Nationals.
The participants have a number of cruise events planned for the weekend while the Show ‘N’ Shine and Streetkhana event at Classic Flyers in Jean Batten Place is open to the public from 9am till 2pm.
Also starting during the long weekend is the 2015 edition of Targa New Zealand.
The week-long tarmac rally event begins with scrutineering in Auckland on Sunday and the prologue stages on Monday.
The event covers 1035km of tarmac special stages with overnight halts in Hamilton (Monday), New Plymouth (Tuesday and Wednesday), Palmerston North (Thursday), Havelock North (Friday) and the finish in Palmerston North next Saturday.