The Northern Experience Track ‘n’ Trail Series kicked off in the Te Arai Forest last weekend with local brothers Mitchell and Damon Nield finishing the day 1-2.
The first annual running of a new series is always a challenge, especially when trying to get riders to venture further north than they are used to.
So it was to be expected that entry numbers were lower than we hoped for. However, the event was a still a success, with the weather gods turning on a beautiful day for round one, held at Te Arai Forest.
The junior race were first up in the morning, with riders on the start line for their 1 ½ hour cross country. Their laps were approx 8kms long and taking most riders an average of 12–15 minutes a lap. All riders managed to complete at least one lap of the course, with the top 4 overall achieving 8 laps in their race time.
Ricky Massey, a 15-year-old from Riverhead won the junior race overall, also winning the 14-16 yr 125 2 stroke class, riding a KTM 125exc.
Myke Te Momo (16) was 2nd both overall and in class, and Ben Bennett (15) in 3rd, overall and in class, both these riders from Whangaruru.
Younger brother Hiki Bennett (14) won the 14-16 yr 85cc class, coming in 8th overall. Cassidy Nield (14) from Hokianga, won the Ladies class overall, coming in 7th overall in the race. Troy Gielen,(13) a new rider, also from Hokianga won the 12-13 yr 85cc class.
After lunch was the senior 2 hour race. The seniors raced a longer track, with 30 minutes being the fastest lap time and most riders completing laps in around 40 minutes.
Mitchell Nield (21) from Hokianga, convincingly won the race overall, being the only rider to complete 5 laps, also winning his Expert 301-open 4 stroke class, riding a sponsor’s Husaberg FE450.
His brother Damon Nield (19) was 2nd overall and 1st Expert 0-300 4-stroke.
Kelvin Platt from Kaiwaka Suzuki was 4th overall and 1st Intermediate 0-200 2 stroke.
The track was physically tough on the riders, being soft sand based forest, but excellent marking saw riders enjoy the course without anyone needing the services of the St Johns ambulance, which was at the event on standby just in case.
On Sunday, a trail ride was held on the same course, with shorter tracks for small children and learners. This was a great family day, with mum, dad and the kids all enjoying riding together.
Round 2 is to be held on Saturday 14th November (x-country race day) and Sunday 15th November (trail ride day) at Clements farm, signposted from Hikurangi.
More info on www.onlinemotorcycles.co.nz or phone Kiri 021 263 1171
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com