There will be at least seven Kiwis racing across the Tasman at Coolum this weekend.
Hamilton’s Darryll King has his sights set on once again caning the Kangaroos, albeit this time in the veterans class, while his younger brother Damien King, the current New Zealand 125cc and open class champion, will enter the open class.
Add to that Otorohanga rider Hayden Clark, taking up the offer to ride a Kawasaki for the Cool Air Troy Carroll Racing Team in MX2, and former Australian champion Daryl Hurley (Suzuki) also making a visit this weekend, to again race the MX1 class.
In addition to these riders, Taupo’s Emma Davis (Honda), Marlborough’s Alicia McLauchlan (Yamaha) and Palmerston North’s Rhys Carter (MX2, Kawasaki) will also be racing at Coolum.
Hurley is 23rd overall in this year’s MX1 championships but that’s after him only contesting two of the seven rounds thus far.
Meanwhile, Darryll King, a three-time former Australian champion in the open class, flies off to Queensland tomorrow to ready himself for an assault on the inaugural Australian Veterans’ Cup Motocross Championships this weekend.
The two-day, four-race championship shares the programme with the eighth and final round of the Australian Motocross Championships and the veterans’ component will be expanded to a full three-round series next season.
The three-time former Australian motocross champion — King was the No.1 man in the open class in 2001, 2003 and again in 2004 — has no doubts that it will be a tough competition but he is confident of featuring “near the pointy end of the field”.
The 40-year-old will re-join the Craig Dack Racing Yamaha team for the weekend, using one of the highly-rated Yamaha YZF450 bikes as he takes on some of the men he last battled with nearly a decade ago, top riders such as Glen Bell, Peter Melton and Lyndon Heffernan.
“I think the organisers were quite surprise at how many men over 40 wanted to race again and the bikes are so good these days that there’s no reason not to,” said King.
“I’m pretty excited about racing in Australia. I really wanted to be racing in Lommel, in Belgium, this weekend at the fifth and final round of the Veterans’ World Championships but, after suffering a few injuries a few months ago, that campaign was ruined for me.
“I’m still carrying a slight injury but I think I will be able to relax and enjoy this racing in Australia.”
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com