It looks as though Honda’s Ryan Hampton will be one man worth watching this summer.
The Christchurch superbike rider was crowned the king of the Burt Munro Challenge which wrapped up at the weekend.
For the second consecutive year, Hampton set the challenge alight, shattering his own record in the Bluff Hill Climb with a time of 45.99sec, and also gaining open class wins in the Teretonga Sprints and the Wyndham Street Race on board his Honda CBR1000.
The 22-year-old, who has been touted as one of the rising stars in New Zealand motorcycling, finished ninth overall in last year’s New Zealand Superbike Championship and said his form over the weekend was a good early season confidence booster.
“It will be the third year for me (in the New Zealand Superbike Championships) this year. I’ve got a bit of a positive mindset. Hopefully this year, I’ve got a bit more experience under the belt and a better set-up being involved with Castrol.
“The key is going to be consistency. I’ve got to finish every race and confidence is the big thing. If I can have a good run leading into nationals, you go into it feeling confident.”
Hampton will warm up for the championship with the Tri Series, which begins on December 10, and said it was important to gain some pleasing results and keep improving.
At the Wyndham street races, Hampton enjoyed an exciting battle with Southland-raised rider Lee Munro, before going on to win both of the open class races.
Christchurch’s Kevin Orr had a successful day at the Wyndham Street Race, securing title wins in the classic pre-82 and pre-89 classes.
Other major winners included Wellington’s Chris Swallow in the classic pre-63, Rotorua’s Malcolm Pearce in the pre-72s, Ashburton’s Bryan Hill in Formula Three, Hawera’s John Oliver in the super motard open and Christchurch’s Peter Jones in the girder forks.
Winton’s Brent Scammell was a popular winner in the super motards up to 450cc, while Munro claimed victory in the Bears class.
Nelson’s Heath Botica took away the annual Burt Munro Challenge Trophy, awarded for overall contribution, after featuring in four of the five events at the challenge.
Open 1. Ryan Hampton (Chch) 45.99, 2. Damian Perriton (Ashburton) 47.31, 3. Dan Ornsby (Chch) 48.58
Up to 600cc 1. Brent Scammell (Winton) 49.02, 2. Chris Manson (Oamaru) 49.59, 3. John Oliver (Hawera) 49.99
Classic Pre 89 1. Doug Wood (Melbourne) 56.89, 2. Garry Jamieson (Invercargill) 63.74 Classic Pre 82 1. Chris McMeeken (Invercargill) 51.92, 2. Adam Dennis (Wyndham) 51.96, 3. Kevin Kinghan (Waikino) 53.28
Classic Pre 63 1. Andrew Drake (Hamilton) 55.04, 2. Peter Dearness (Gisborne) 55.53, 3. Chris Swallow (Wellington) 55.87
Quads 1. Tim George (Amberley) 50.57, 2. Craig Pointon (Cromwell) 52.64, 3. Alistair MacRae (Rangiora) 57.26.
Special thanks to Lionel Benjamin for the amazing random photos from the week-long celebration of motorcycling.