Summercross is on … the Bay of Plenty Motorcycle club’s 40th anniversary running of this event is cause for celebration as much as the most popular motocross event itself.
Attracting top fields across all classes makes Summercross a must … competitive racing over two days, on a designer-built track, spectators galore and prizes like no other.
Tony Rees Motorcycles/Yamaha has made further positive contribution to the annual event … on behalf of BikesportNZ.com, Sharon Cox caught up with Tony Rees to see how preparations are going.
SC: Summercross 40th anniversary is a special celebration as much as the event itself, have there been any special plans put in place to mark the occasion?
Tony: Yes we are having display and parade laps for some of the Vintage MX bikes from the very early years. It is hard to have much from the early Summercross years because no-one from that era is very active in the club these days so sadly a lot of the history has been lost. That being said there are a lot of riders who ride in the modern era who have ridden at the event for many years.
SC: The event is huge in terms of organisation, running two days of racing, attracting top rider’s, drawing spectators to Awakaponga, how does it all get done?
Tony: The Bay of Plenty M/C has a very strong positive group of people who always step up to the mark and help for no benefit to themselves they just love to be part of the event.
SC: The track layout is key for racing…what changes have been put in place?
Tony: With the help of Ben Townley the club has made huge changes to the track out the back section. The hill where number 4 table top was has now gone – there is a new roller section and better spectator viewing. The feedback from the riders has been very good and the club will keep tweaking it to make it better. You could say it is one of the special things the club has done for the 40th.
SC: All rider’s who compete at Summercross always appreciate the effort from the club, the commitment to make it the best two days of motocross before heading into the New Year… what have you focused on this year to mark 40 years of Summercross?
Tony: We have made the track the main focus – something new for the riders, it has cost a small fortune but we want the riders to enjoy racing at Awakaponga. The club has limited rider numbers this year – it is always good to get 500 plus riders but it makes it very hard to fit it all in. By limiting numbers we hope to have more of a quality event. We also need the time to fit back to back MX2 & MX1 races plus the final. This means the spectators get to see them race five times and we aim for them to be in the middle of the day when the spectators are there.
SC: Finally, what are your thoughts on what makes Summercross one of the most successful events on New Zealand’s Motocross calendar?
Tony: I think it is popular mainly due to the track and time of the year. The club pays out very good prize-money across all classes and most riders walk away with something if they stay around for prize-giving. I would like to say the weather makes it successful, but last year was crap on the second day – so hopefully we don’t have another one of those. A lot of families make it part of their Christmas holiday and camp at the track and enjoy the atmosphere.
See you at Summercross- December 27th and 28th, 2011.
Summercross Race Secretary- contact firstname.lastname@example.org
From Nicole: New online entries are a great success with approx 80 percent of riders using the MX Timing Ltd new service.
Race schedule will be available on MX Timing Facebook page a week prior to Christmas.
Also Summercross will have live results and commentary via www.mxt.co.nz
© Words by Sharon Cox
© Photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com