V8 Thunder rolls into West Melton
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West Melton will shake to the roar of race-tuned V8 engines on Saturday when Christchurch hosts the second southern round of the 2015 ENZED Offroad Racing Championship
A full day of stadium short course racing will start at 11.00 am with three heats for every class. The short course events are the sport’s most spectacular, with some of New Zealand’s fastest offroad racers going wheel to wheel on a course viewable from many locations.
Making its southern debut at this weekend’s Mainland Challenge is the unlimited-class Nissan Navara V8 built by Gary Baker in the Bay of Plenty.
Recently bought by Christchurch’s Andrew Johnstone, the big blue truck features a 4.5-litre quad-cam Nissan V8 driving the rear wheels with more than 20 inches of suspension travel at each end.
A double class champion and holder of the all-time truck class lap record at the Taupo 1000, the truck is capable of 225 km/h in endurance races.
There are five unlimited-class trucks entered including the Australian V8 four wheel drive Nissan of Dunedin’s carl Gardiner and the Ford Falcon turbo of current defending champion Owen Chang.
Also showing strongly are the new ‘Side by Side’ or UTV racers. Six Polaris RZRs have entered, promising spectacular action in their three heats of racing.
In the unlimited race car class, Nelson’s Cam Stratford goes up against the mighty Jimco Chev of Nevil Basalaj, who has the championship lead in his sights.
The track at Weedons Ross Road is one of only two permanent race venues for the sport in New Zealand. Race day admission is $10 per person with children under 14 admitted for free. On Sunday there is an endurance race that uses forest roads between the West Melton circuit and the nearby Waimakariri River.