The fastest and toughest offroad racers in the country are heading to Feilding for this weekend’s UTV Bits New Zealand Offroad Racing Short Course Championship.
Entries for the event had topped 50 by Wednesday, with up to 20 more expected over the final days of this week or on race day (Saturday).
Manukau’s Tony McCall, the most successful offroad racer in the history of New Zealand and a former short course champion, is bringing his unlimited class BSL Chev race car south.
Ben Thomasen, multiple New Zealand champion from Tauranga, is bringing his giant-killing Polaris RZR 1000 to the event. The modified class for UTV or ‘side by side’ race cars also includes front-runners and championship contenders Joel Giddy from Silverdale and Bob Uttridge of Christchurch (both running Yamaha UTVs).
Justin Davies of Waiuku is bringing his powerful Cougar Honda turbo single-seater.
From the South Island come leading unlimited-class racers Jacob Brownlees (Christchurch) in his Mitsubishi Evo powered single seater car and the spectacular Greg Winn of Nelson driving The General, his Scorpion Chev two seater.
Facing the onslaught are several local drivers including William van der Wal in his unlimited-class V8 race truck. There are six unlimited class trucks one production class truck entered.
The two biggest classes in the event are the unlimited race cars and the U-class (stock) UTVs, both with grids of eight.
Racing starts at 10 am on Saturday at the Palmerston North Offroad Race Club’s purpose-built track at 125 Kawakawa Road, Feilding. Organisers say there is also a chance to get a closer look at the race machinery during scrutineering on Friday at the former Write Price car park between 3 pm and 7 pm. Spectator admission on race day is $10 per person or $20 per family.