Off-road racing season opener
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It’s the beginning of the national title chase in another motor sport discipline this weekend.
A busy season of off-road racing starts this weekend of the All Terrain Racing Club’s Meremere venue on Sunday.
The Off-road Racing Association of NZ runs its Polaris-sponsored national championship with three regional events in each island and a Labour Weekend national final.
Following the Meremere event on Sunday the North Island rounds are the annual Woodhill 100 enduro at Queen’s Birthday weekend and a short course event hosted by the Waikato Club on September 30.
South Island competitors will contest one round at Nelson over the April 15-16 Easter weekend and two events on the Canterbury Offroad Racing Club track at West Melton set for June 15-16 and August 5.
The national final is a forestry event at Tapawera near Nelson, the second year in a row the South Island has hosted the final after the 2016 finals were raced at Twizel.
The headline event of the off-road racing season will be the biennial NZ 1000 endurance race (previously the Taupo 1000) near Tokoroa.
A new South Waikato venue near Atiamuri has been located for the September 8-10 event which will run its usual format of Friday qualifying and 500km of racing on both Saturday and Sunday.
The 2015 edition of the New Zealand 1000 was won by Tauranga’s Ben Thomasen driving a Polaris RZ-R 1000, a victory that is the most significant to date for the new generation of ‘‘side-by-side’’ UTV class racing machinery.