Rugby league has its State of Origin, now motocross has its own version of the “mate versus mate” showdown, the Club of Nations.
The Taupo Motorcycle Club will this weekend host the inaugural Club of Nations Motocross, ostensibly a fund-raiser for Motorcycling New Zealand to assist its three-rider national team to again enter the sport’s “Olympic Games of motocross”, the annual Motocross of Nations, this year being held in Colorado, in the United States, in September.
It’s very expensive to send a team of three riders, their bikes, mechanics and everything they need to compete, to the other side of the world each year and, with this in mind, the Taupo club came up with a domestic equivalent of the great international event, the Club of Nations.
As many as 20 New Zealand clubs have signed up to be involved in Saturday’s racing at the popular Digger McEwen Motorcycle Park, on the outskirts of Taupo.
The entry fee from each of the clubs, plus a gold coin donation from the hundreds of spectators expected to flood the circuit, and the proceeds from raffle ticket sales will be a welcome boost for the MNZ coffers.
Each club team comprises six riders — three junior and three senior riders – who will compete on 85cc, 125cc, 250cc and 450cc machines.
Event organisers Grant and Vicki Townley said they were very impressed with the entries received from clubs around New Zealand.
“We had hoped to fill the 20 team positions available and have exceeded with clubs now on a waiting list. This is a unique opportunity for the riders to represent their club and be supported by club members.”
Trophies will be presented to the overall junior team, senior and combined overall club team.
On paper, the team entered from the South Canterbury Motorcycle Club looks to be the favourite. The South Canterbury contingent includes world 85cc No.6 Courtney Duncan, New Zealand MX1 champion Justin McDonald and former national supercross champion and GP racer Scott Columb.
The host Taupo club’s team is Hadleigh Knight (85cc), Dion Picard (junior 125), Ryan Knight (junior MX2), Brad Groombridge (pictured above) (senior MX1), Nick Saunders (senior MX2) and Bevan Weal (veteran).
Weal, the Taupo club team captain said “all six Taupo riders have been doing the hard yards at the Digger McEwen circuit in preparation to elevate the Taupo team to the top spot on the podium and they are looking forward to having their fellow club members cheering them on”.
Entrance to Digger McEwen track is located at 111 Miro St, opposite McEntee Hire and racing will start from 10am with prize-giving and bar-be-que to follow.
Further information regarding team entries and race format, etc, can found at www.taupomcc.co.nz
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com