The battle for national supercross honours hits full throttle on tomorrow evening.
The modern-day equivalent of gladiators battling for their lives in the Coliseum of ancient Rome, that’s the sort of spectacle that will unfold when this season’s Brent Scammell Honda-sponsored New Zealand Supercross Championships blast off in Winton soon after 6pm on Thursday.
The adrenaline-pumping racing, on the Cooper-Vetsouth Supercross Track at Ryan Road, Winton, is an integral part of the massively-popular Burt Munro Challenge week.
Gale force winds brought a premature end to last year’s edition of the “world’s southernmost supercross”.
The winds kept fire crews busy in Southland that night, forcing organisers to wind up the championships shortly after qualifying.
Although it really meant little more than bragging rights, Motueka’s Josh Coppins, Hamilton’s Josiah Natzke and Dunedin’s Campbell King had been the fastest three individuals in the senior grades, while Alexandra’s Bryn Gilbert, Reefton’s Bailey Banks and Balclutha’s Madison Latta had topped the junior 250cc qualifying timing sheets. Best of the junior 85cc qualifiers had been Dunedin’s Codi Lyn and Invercargill’s Jack Symon.
It is these riders who could again be expected to feature this time around, along with former national supercross champion and current national MX1 motocross champion Cody Cooper, from Mount Maunganui, Whakatane’s Mitch Rees, Ngatea’s Ben Broad, Tauranga’s Micah McGoldrick, Tauranga’s Josh Tredinnick, Tauranga’s former national and United States supercross champion Ben Townley, Timaru’s Josh May and Mount Maunganui’s Rhys Carter, to name a few.
Coppins and Cooper had been the stand-out riders at the Speedcross event during October’s MX Fest at Taupo.
“Hopefully the weather is a bit better this year,” said Coppins this week.
“The wind is the worst thing we can have for that event. Rain you can work with, but wind gets pretty tricky.”
The venue for Thursday racing is Cooper’s property, 243 Ryan Road, Winton.
BURT MUNRO CHALLENGE EVENTS:
New Zealand Hill Climb Championships at Bluff Hill, 10am.
New Zealand Supercross Championships at Ryan Rd, Winton, 6pm.
New Zealand Beach Race Championships at Oreti Beach, 5pm.
Teretonga Circuit Races at Teretonga, 9am.
Oreti Park Speedway Spectacular, at Pit Rd, 4pm.
Invercargill Street Races, Bill Richardson Dr, 11am.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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