Gixxer Cup: Finding NZ's next Superbike champion
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Now's your big chance to go bike racing. Young riders wanting to go racing at places such as Manfeild, Hampton Downs, Taupo, Levels, Teretonga or Ruapuna, now have no excuse.
Starting this summer, the pre-nationals Suzuki Tri-Series and then the 2018 New Zealand Superbike Championships will include a class for entry level racing.
Called the Gixxer Cup -- with the tagline "growing future champions" -- the racing involves riders on identical Suzuki GSX150F bikes, for those starting out and on a limited budget.
For riders aged between 14 and 21, being part of New Zealand's newest class of production racing can also be a springboard towards a successful racing future.
The young guns will be ready to race for $5995. The package includes Alpinestars-brand race gear and a Bell helmet. These air-cooled, four-stroke, single-cylinder, fully-faired GSX150F bikes have been prepared in Suzuki's workshop by Suzuki's national superbike champion Sloan Frost.
Fitted with Dunlop AL13 tires and other handcrafted race parts, the GSX150F is delivered with a rear race stand.
"Our goal was to make this class not only one of the most competitive but also inexpensive for riders," said Suzuki New Zealand's general manager Simon Meade.
The eight summer events include the chance to win more than $5000 in Suzuki bonus money, along with further prize money in the Suzuki Tri Series.
"As the tagline suggests, we are wanting to grow future champions," said Meade.
"Riders can gain race craft without the inherent dangers of high speed or the worries of high cost.
"This is where the future champions, the next Sloan Frosts or Daniel Mettams of New Zealand, will come from. The racing will be an amazing competition where to miss a gear could mean losing four or five places on the race track."
New Zealand has abundant young road-racing talent and, in many cases, e sons and daughters of former racers who could be expected to take advantage of this latest opportunity.
It is equally attractive to novice riders who might have considered themselves only social racers, or the weekend warriors who have traditionally shown up only at public track days.
2017 Suzuki Series:
R 1: Dec 10, Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo.
R 2: Dec 17, Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon, Feilding.
R 3: Dec 26, Cemetery Circuit, Wanganui.
2018 NZSBK Champs:
R 1: Jan 6-7, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch.
R 2: Jan 13-14, Levels International Raceway, Timaru.
R 3: Mar 3-4, Hampton Downs.
R 4: Mar 17-18, Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo.