North - South offroad racing championship clash comes to Nelson
NORTH-SOUTH OFFROAD RACING CHAMPIONSHIP CLASH COMES TO NELSON
Nelson is the battleground as the fastest southern racers line up for their first chance to grab points in the 2016 Polaris New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship.
They won’t have things all their own way, with a contingent of northern bandits heading south aiming to steal points and championship glory. Racing on a new farm-based short track course at Kinzett Creek Road, Tadmore, the southern racers will be looking to fend off an aggressive challenge from the northerners.
Leading the charge for the south are local racers Nevil Basalaj (Jimco Chev), Ash Kelly (Cougar VW Evo) and Cam Stratford; all three in the spectacular unlimited race car class.
Also racing in that class and making a debut of his new Mazda rotary-engined car is former national champion Daniel Powell of Christchurch. Their northern challenge is also likely to be the racer who travels farthest to compete: Clim-Tristan Lammers is coming from Hikurangi, near Whangarei.
Bryan Chang, also Christchurch-based, brings his GT Radial Ford Falcon turbo out for the first competitive run of the season, and goes wheel to wheel with the biggest unlimited-class truck grid so far this season. Even with the withdrawal of Gavin Storer due to illness the ‘big banger’ grid is packed with trucks including Carl Gardiner’s big black Nissan, the Nissan Navara of Andrew Johnston, Mike Blackmore’s Honda, and the double northern threat of Martin Van Der Wal in his four wheel drive Hilux V8 and Grant ‘Rowdy’ Rosenburg in his bright green truck, now repowered with a big Chev V8.
The biggest grid on the day will be in class three for race cars with engines up to 1.6 litres. There, local racer Greg Winn will be battling for class honours and top points with six others including Alex McIndoe, Grant Adamson and experienced Christchurch racer Wayne Moriarty
The 2016 Nelson Ruff’n’Tuff gets under way at 11.00 am on Saturday. The new race venue will be signposted from the Kohatu/Tapawera turn-off, south of Wakefield. Spectator admission is $5 per person, $20 per car load with under fives free.