Thomasen survives ice challenge to dominate Nelson Enduro

#U20 Ben Thomasen takes the chequered flag and the outright victory in the 2014 Total Lubricants New Zealand Enduro Champs in his Polaris RZR 1000

#U20 Ben Thomasen takes the chequered flag and the outright victory in the 2014 Total Lubricants New Zealand Enduro Champs in his Polaris RZR 1000 – Photo and story by Mark Baker

Tauranga’s Ben Thomasen wasn’t keen on crashing through 10mm-thick ice in his Polaris RZR 1000, but he did what was required at the two-day 2014 Total Lubricants New Zealand Endurance Championship held at Dovedale over the weekend.

The event is the toughest offroad race on the 2014 New Zealand competition calendar, and bitterly cold days with sub-zero overnight temperatures made things extra challenging for the majority of the drivers, whose vehicles are open to the elements.

Thomasen won in emphatic fashion, starting with pole position in qualifying on Saturday morning  and following through into a determined drive when the flag dropped at 11.00 am that morning. Though the Polaris four wheel drives are light and agile and have excellent grip, Thomasen said the day-long near-zero temperatures with 120 km/h windchill and the tight, challenging hill course in pine forests made for a constant challenge.

“It was very, very cold out there in the wind and the ice in the valleys basically never went away, so I was ducking down behind the car’s single wind deflector a lot but the course was so tight I really had to work hard to stay on the road.”

A succession of icy water splashes and creek crossings soon soaked the drivers of all but the lone production-class race truck of Lucinda Maynard and Mike Hay and the challenge truck class Jeep of Wellington’s Don Morgan, which retain a windscreen and heater. The drivers in the nine-strong ‘UTV’ class entry – Thomasen going up against seasoned offroad racers – were completely exposed to the chunks of ice that flew up off the puddles as they completed each 42 km lap.

“I got a face-full on one lap and just about couldn’t breathe!”

Thomasen said his crew joked afterward that he had completed his own Ice Challenge, referring to the fundraising craze sweeping the internet over the past month.

Polaris, Can Am and Arctic Cat race cars are the latest class sanctioned for competition by the sport’s governing body. All-wheel-drive, engines that have excellent mid-range torque and car designs that are strong and light are their key advantages, though they are limited by their relatively short range and a top speed substantially less than the big unlimited class cars and trucks: 120 km/h vs up to 200 km/h.

The battle on the first day quickly became a David and Goliath affair with Thomasen fending off other UTV-class teams and the might of the unlimited class entries. Six of New Zealand’s fastest class one offroad race teams were entered in the event, three from the North Island and the others from Nelson. Only Nelsonians Nevil Basalaj and Ashley Kelly were  able to bring the fight to Thomasen.

Behind Thomasen as the first day of racing reached middle distance, local driver Kelly was striving to chase down the flying Polaris, but was slowed by a flat tyre and then power steering problems.

Winton’s Roger McKay in another Polaris was battling Kelly for second on the road by the end of the first day, Kelly narrowly edging him out. Nevil Basalaj had recovered from an abysmal qualifying sprint that saw him start toward the rear of the field and was pushing the big Jimco Chev through to catch the leaders.

Aucklander Ernie Hogg was also looking to claw his way up through the field in The General, his two-seater Scorpion Chev race car, but found the tighter sections of the course a challenge. As did the race’s international entry, ex-pat Kiwi Mike Hughes. His massive V8 engined Ford F150 was up against the Nissan Safari V8 of Carter Strang and the V8 supercharged Toyota Hilux of Paul Preston. All three were keen to stay on the same lap as leader Thomasen, but Hughes’ unlimited-class challenge was not helped by two flat tyres and an off-track excursion late in the race. He was extricated from the trees by Lucinda Maynard in her production class Toyota Landcruiser.

By mid-afternoon the first day of racing belonged to an elated Thomasen, who had managed to fight off the big unlimited-class race cars and the throng of UTVs despite having to pit for fuel after three of the day’s six laps. He took the chequered flag after 250 km with the fuel warning light blinking on the dash of his Polaris.

At Sunday’s restart, Thomasen had Ashley Kelly, Roger McKay and another Nevil Basalaj, crowding his rear bumper. McKay started third and shot past Kelly but then the superior power of Kelly’s Cougar VW saw him regain second, while Basalaj’s massive Jimco was close behind McKay and the Nelson driver was looking for a way past.

2014 Total Lubricants New Zealand Enduro Champs - FINAL RESULTS

2014 Total Lubricants New Zealand Enduro Champs – FINAL RESULTS

Kelly then made a wild overtaking charge in the fast road sections, but slid wide and rolled the Cougar into the trees. It was the end of his race.

Roger McKay retook second and set off after Thomasen, who had stretched out a lead of almost a minute by the end of the lap. Basalaj was close behind  but the battle for second between the pair meant Thomasen was able to preserve his lead and ease off the pace slightly, conserving fuel. He made his scheduled fuel stop and the third lap of the day and was out in front of Basalaj, who had pitted at the same time.

Many of the other drivers in the class were being slowed by punctures.

The sole Arctic Cat in the class, Donald Preston’s Wildcat, developed a misfire and he stopped on the track.

There were no such problems out the front as Thomasen continued to extend his lead and attrition reduced the field to ten cars or less.

“The second day was great because we knew we could do three laps okay, so I was watching the fuel consumption. But then in the final three Roger was closing in on me so I had to push a bit harder. That was a bit tricky, but I didn’t want him to get past,” he said.

The race was decided in Thomasen’s favour with one lap to run when McKay dropped back with a deflating rear tyre. He overshot the pit entrance and was forced to continue on the failing tyre, stopped and changed it and then had the opposite rear tyre also go flat.

Thomasen flew through the final lap and took the chequered flag to the obvious delight of his pit crew. At the pits, Thomasen was quietly confident he would have enough time advantage to take the event victory. The race is on accumulated time over the two 250 km legs.

McKay’s flat tyres had dropped him behind Nevil Basalaj on the road and Basalaj was second car through the finish line on the Sunday. The time deficit between Basalaj and McKay meant the local would have to be happy with a well-deserved third place while McKay was safely second overall.

Thomasen was the only driver to go under eight hours for the race distance of 500 km: he completed his winning run in 7 hours, 52 minutes. It is the first major endurance title won by UTVs in New Zealand offroad racing, though Thomasen served notice of the race-winning potential of the new class and the Polaris RZR when he won last year’s Gwavas 250.

A total of 30 drivers entered the 2014 Total Lubricants NZ Enduro Championship which was presented in association with Greg Winn Contracting.

Click the following link to view the final results from the 2014 Total Lubricants New Zealand Enduro Champs:

Final Placings 2014 NZ Enduro Champs

North vs South in Offroad Endurance Champs in Nelson

Basalaj in action at Twizel 250

Basalaj in action at Twizel 250

North vs south is the grudge-match agenda this weekend as Aucklander Ernie Hogg brings The General – his Scorpion Chev two-seater V8 unlimited class racer – to Nelson to go up against the proven Jimco Chev V6 of local racer Nevil Basalaj.
At stake is the biggest prize in the 2014 calendar – the New Zealand Endurance Racing Championship title. The biggest endurance race in New Zealand offroad racing’s 2014 calendar is a matter of days away. It is a 500 km race run over two days – 250 km a day – on a fast and challenging forest course at Dovedale, southwest of the South Island city.

Ernie Hogg on dramatic debut at the 2013 ENZED Taupo 1000

Ernie Hogg on dramatic debut at the 2013 ENZED Taupo 1000

The pair met at the Twizel 250 earlier this year, but Hogg found his tyres short on grip as he tried to go wheel to wheel with the Basalaj Jimco.
Hogg’s Wilco Racing Team – one of the most professional in the sport – have completely rebuilt the Scorpion ready for the challenge and head south from Auckland mid-week.
Twizel 250 winner Basalaj meanwhile has been getting his car rebuilt in Christchurch after rolling it at a southern championship round.
In total, six of New Zealand’s fastest unlimited-class cars have entered the event with three North Island and three South Island teams ready to do battle.
Half-rally stage and half-extreme race event, the race is a stand-alone title in the sport. It runs every two years, alternating with the Taupo 1000, and is sponsored this year by Total Oil. Organisers of the Nelson event say recent storms have not affected the venue’s 42 km lap significantly though there have been fallen trees to clear.
Spokesperson Darrin Thomason says the course is equally suited to race cars and trucks and switches seamlessly between high speed logging highways and ‘skid’ roads through established pine forest.
“The race start will be two-side on a big fast arterial road built for the logging crews and the next five kilometres continues in that style, allowing drivers to get sorted before diving into the trickier tracks. We have created a lap that builds on the course we plotted last time and has something to challenge every driver,” said Thomasen.
Spectators will have a range of viewing areas around the start-finish and pits and can also see the cars where they power through a water splash to return to the start-finish area.
There is a new firebreak downhill that will test the nerve of drivers and navigators and the course has its share of muddy sections, fast roads and narrow tracks.
“These days getting access to a course in a production pine forest is almost impossible in many parts of New Zealand, and this one is a ripper. The top cars will hit 180 km/h or more in the fast stuff, everyone will be snagging second gear in the tight and twisty single-lane tracks, and we are looking forward to the battle for the outright title between the big unlimited-class cars and trucks and the smaller UTV class racers,” he said.
The defending champion, Daniel Powell, came away from the 2012 race raving about the challenge. This year Powell is sidelined building a new car, meaning there will be a new name on the enduro trophy on Sunday afternoon. The race has attracted a number of North Island entries and one international, Mike Hughes, in a Ford F150 desert race truck.

In wretched conditions, Polaris Pilot, Ben Thomason wins the Gwavas 200 Enduro and takes a historic victory for UTV racing in New Zealand

In wretched conditions, Polaris Pilot, Ben Thomason wins the Gwavas 200 Enduro and takes a historic victory for UTV racing in New Zealand

The most numerous class this year when ‘normal’ entries closed was UTV, with nine confirmed and several more likely to front for the race.
Racing in the 2014 Total Lubricants NZ Enduro Championship – presented in association with Greg Winn Contracting – starts at 11.00 am on Saturday and 10 am on Sunday.
-End-
Leading entries in the Total Lubricants NZ Enduro Champs 2014

Class one, unlimited race cars
100 Richard Crabb
171 Paul Smith
173 Nevil Basalaj
182 Blake McDonald
190 Ernie Hogg
192 Ash Kelly

Class two, production four wheel drive race trucks
205 Lucinda Maynard
250 Ron Crosby

Class three, race cars with engines up to 1632cc
375 Cam Stratford
353 Blair Prebble
371 Greg Winn
372 John Van Dyk
376 John Claridge

Class four, sports/improved race trucks
454 Paul Milne

Class six, challenge trucks
618 Don Morgan

Class eight, unlimited race trucks
800 Paul Preston
801 Mike Hughes
832 Carter Strang
864 Neville Taylor

Challenger VW class
C22 John Strickett
C52 Barry Phillips
C99 Paul Cooper

Class 10, motorcycle-engined offroad race cars
1069 Rosco Gaudin

Class U, UTV race vehicles
U01 Donald Preston
U08 Phil Smart
U15 Grant Dickson
U20 Ben Thomasen
U21 Mike Holmes
U22 Dave Henry
U55 Bob Uttridge
U66 Roger McKay
U69 Tony Radisich

DRIVER BULLETIN 13 July 2014 – from Clerk of the Course – Glenn Goosen

DRIVER BULLETIN DATED 13th July 2014
On behalf of ORANZ we would like to bring your attention to the official rule regarding race gloves.
RULE 6
t) All vehicles shall be checked prior to the start of any race or heat and when re-
entering a race after pitting or refuelling, to ensure all occupants must have their
harnesses, helmet, neck brace, flame retardant race gloves and eye protection
(visor/goggles) secured correctly, and these must remain in place for the duration of
the race.

Some examples of gloves that do not meet the flame retardant race gloves specifications are:
- Gardening gloves
- Motorcross gloves
- Mechanics gloves
This will be enforced at future ORANZ sanctioned race meetings including the Enduro champs in Nelson this weekend. Anyone not complying with this rule will be unable to race. No exceptions.

The biggest Endurance race of the year – The Total Oil NZ Enduro Champs

2012 Enduro Champion, Daniel Powell in action

2012 Enduro Champion, Daniel Powell in action

The biggest endurance race in New Zealand offroad racing’s 2014 calendar is a matter of days away. Over the weekend of July 19 and 20, Nelson will host the New Zealand Endurance Championship, for the second time. A 500 km race run over two days on a fast and challenging forest course at Dovedale, southwest of the South Island city.
The race runs every two years, alternating with the Taupo 1000, and is sponsored this year by Total Oil. Organisers of the Nelson event say recent storms have not affected the venue’s 35 km lap significantly though there have been fallen trees to clear.

2014 Enduro Champs track loop

2014 Enduro Champs track loop

Spokesperson Darrin Thomason says the course is equally suited to race cars and trucks and switches seamlessly between high speed logging highways and ‘skid’ roads through established pine forest.
“These days getting access to a course in a production pine forest is almost impossible in many parts of New Zealand, and this one is a ripper. The top cars will hit 180 km/h or more in the fast stuff, everyone will be snagging second gear in the tight and twisty single-lane tracks, and we are looking forward to the battle for the outright title between the big unlimited-class cars and trucks and the smaller UTV class racers,” he said.
The defending champion, Daniel Powell, came away from the 2012 race raving about the challenge.
The most numerous class this year when ‘normal’ entries closed was UTV, with nine confirmed and several more likely to front for the race.

New Zealand Enduro Champs – 19 & 20 July 2014 – Nelson

2014 Enduro Champs

Entries are already coming in for the 2014 Total Lubricants NZ Endurance Championship, to be held in Nelson July 18-19. The track will be a loop of approximately 44km with the start line being two-wide staggered on a main logging road.

Endurance Champs 4x4

The first five km is wide arterial roads then winding down Brandy Creek Road through a creek crossing then winding back up the top to more fast roads with sections going off and back on the road heading to Trass Valley then through another creek crossing (pictured) winding back up the valley heading into Crowds Road which consists of a lot of trees and clay sections and a few more water holes. This section has some tight windy pieces and clay. Club spokesperson Darrin Thomason says a working bee at the weekend has opened up a new firebreak downhill section (hold on) then at the bottom another creek crossing before the track winds up a narrow,tight section through gorse and scrub, then down a slippery mud piece onto gravel through another creek crossing and wind up a fast winding track to Pits.

Daniel Powell winning the 2012 Enduro Champs

Daniel Powell winning the 2012 Enduro Champs

Darrin says the event is going to top the 2012 Enduro champs – which winner Daniel Powell (pic taking chequered flag end of day two) said was the best enduro track he has ever raced.

Southern offroad racers turn up the heat

Class 1 racers, Neville Basalaj and Ashley Kelly battle at the tabletop jump at West Melton

Class 1 racers, Neville Basalaj and Ashley Kelly battle at the tabletop jump at West Melton – Photo by Ten Nineteen Photography

 

Spectacular crashes and an unprecedented five way tie in racing at West Melton have reshuffled the points table in the New Zealand offroad racing championship, with Nelson’s Nevil Basalaj crashing out of the event and Christchurch drivers sharing top points with other southern racers.

Bryan Chang dominating his class at West Melton

Bryan Chang dominating his class at West Melton

Basalaj tangled with Vince Harvey in the unlimited-class heats, barrel-rolling his American Jimco Chev race car.
The racing at West Melton near Christchurch on 1 June handed local drivers Steven Boyd and Wayne Moriarty 72 points along with Rob Palmer, Damian Halliday and Roger McKay. Owen Chang won the first heat for four wheel drives in the GT Radial Ford Falcon Pro Lite truck, while Gavin Storer rolled his four wheel drive version. Chang blew a transmission, his second of the year, handing a narrow unlimited-class class points lead to Storer.
The next southern round is at Nelson on August 30.

2014 ORANZ New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship Series – South Island –  Round 2 –  results and points – 2014 Mainland Challenge. Click this link:  Sth Island Rnd 2 Shortcourse

Images of Owen Chang winning the first truck class heat and of Nevil Basalaj and Ashley Kelly over the West Melton ‘tabletop’ jump by Ten Nineteen Photography.

King of the ‘Hill

The Winners of the 2014 Stihl Shop Woodhill 100 celebrate trackside. From right: rene Sciarone (2nd), Clim Lammers (1st), Ernie Hogg and co-pilot Mike Fraser (3rd).

The Winners of the 2014 Stihl Shop Woodhill 100 celebrate trackside. From right: rene Sciarone (2nd), Clim Lammers (1st), Ernie Hogg and co-pilot Mike Fraser (3rd).

Hikurangi racer Clim Lammers has won his second Woodhill 100 title in a dominant driver through 250 km of the roughest and fastest roads and tracks Woodhill Forest, hitting speeds of up to 200 km/h on his way to victory.

Lammers, one of the sport’s toughest drivers, is an enduro specialist, and also won last year’s gruelling two-day Taupo 1000.
He had to fight for the 2014 Stihl Shop Woodhill 100 win against the massive Nissan Titan V8 truck of Albany racer Raana Horan. Horan was aiming to add a third Woodhill title to his trophy cabinet, and had qualified on pole for the race against 71 other entries. A flamboyant and spectacular driver, Horan was crowd favourite to take the win.
The race entry was studded with former winners: Horan’s pole start lined him up alongside 2009 winner Alan Butler; 2003 winner Lammers had qualified ninth and would line up alongside multiple Woodhill 100 WINNer Tony McCall. Missing was west Auckland racer James Buchanan, who has won the race for the past two years but has a new American car being prepared for next season.
From the green flag it was Horan who dominated, powering away into the forest with only Alan Butler able to match the big Nissan’s speed. Before that start, Butler had set out his strategy: to let Horan lead, and stay in touch though not so close that his Millennium Evo turbo race car was pelted with rocks thrown up by the Horan truck.
For the first three laps of the nine-lap race the battle for the lead was between these two as Richard Crabb, Mal Langley, Lammers and McCall fought their way up through the pack. Horan and Butler eked out a gap of almost two minutes on the field, setting lap times in the 22-minute bracket for the punishing 27 km of logging roads and sand tracks.
Of the new championship class for ‘side by side’ or UTV four wheel drive cars only Tauranga’s Ben Thomasen ha d managed to qualify in the top ten, lining up on the second row at the start, but he was now fighting for position as the faster unlimited class cars forged their way to the front. Paeroa’s Mike Small and Dave Boniface were second and third in the class. As became evident in the 2013 race, the Achilles Heel of the UTVs is their limited range, with the little cars forced to pit for fuel regularly throughout the punishing enduro. These stops would push all the UTV entries down the race order as the day progressed.
Then on lap four, Raana Horan was out of the race. From the previous lap he and Butler had caught up to stragglers in the field and had been weaving their way through the slower traffic. Tryining to overtake a four wheel drive truck the big Nissan had tangled with the other vehicle, damaging the front end of Horan’s truck. Shortly after that Horan pulled off and out of the race with damage to his truck’s alternator.
Alan Butler then swept into the lead, chased hard by a throng of unlimited-class cars: Lammers was now second, McCall third but coming under intense pressure from Ernie Hogg in his Scorpion Chev two-seater.
Almost unnoticed by this high speed lead group, Woodhill regular Rene Sciarone had put in a gritty drive in his less powerful 1600-class car, coming through from 12th at the start to hold fifth. Many of the more powerful and more fancied entries were now behind the Toyota-powered single seater of Sciarone, who was putting in the drive of his career.
The experienced racer said afterward the key to the race is to know the character of the deep sand tracks, whether the car can ‘float’ over the worst of the holes and bumps or whether it will dig in; and to learn where to go fast and where to hold back and preserve the car.
As the race progressed through half distance there was heartbreak for Alan Butler, who disappeared from the lead with mechanical issues. This put Lammers into the lead with four laps to run. Tony McCall’s BSL Terra had fallen out of contention with a persistent misfire and then a flat rear tyre, which put him back in fifth overall under challenge from the first unlimited class race truck, the four wheel drive turbocharged V8 Toyota of Jono Climo.
Climo and Colin Sandford, both in unlimited-class Toyota Hilux trucks, and Wellington’s Justin Leonard in a Chev Colorado were battling for the class lead, Climo forcing through as high as fifth briefly and pushing McCall to sixth overall before almost running out of fuel on the last lap. The deep, cloying sand of Woodhill meant Climo’s turbocharged V8 engine had been using more fuel than expected.
“It spluttered on a long sandy uphill and the engine died and I thought we were done! But we rolled her back down the hill to the flat and got some fuel through then nursed her round to the finish,” he said afterward.
The delay had allowed Tony McCall back into fifth and Gregg Carrington-Hogg into sixth place.
At the front Lammers had made closing laps of the race look easy, short-shifting his car’s big Nissan V6 to save fuel and picking the best lines through the now deeply-rutted sand tracks. He took the chequered flag with a race time of three hours and 20 minutes for the 250 km distance.
Rene Sciarone was a clear and creditable second overall; Ernie Hogg third. Capping a memorable weekend for the Lammers family, son Clim Tristan Lammers came home fourth overall.
“This race is the one everyone wants to win and it’s always a huge challenge but the car never missed a beat. The sand tracks are probably harder on the driver than the car if you know what you are doing. But now I need to have a relax under a hot shower!”

2014 ORANZ New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship Series – North Island –  Round 2 –  results and points – 2014 Stihl Shop Woodhill 100. Click this link: Nth Island Rnd 2 Enduro Woodhill,

Click this link for Woodhill 100 initial results: Woodhill overall

Click this link for Woodhill 100 initial Class placings: woodhill class places

 

OFFROAD RACING CHAMPIONSHIP ACTION IN NORTH AND SOUTH

National Title challenger, Neville Basalaj in Sprinting for pole at the recent Twizel 250

National Title challenger, Neville Basalaj in Sprinting for pole at the recent Twizel 250

A feast of top level offroad racing action is in store in New Zealand’s two biggest cities as the second northern
and southern rounds of the 2014 national championship hit Auckland and Christchurch over Queen’s Birthday Weekend.
In Auckland, unlimited-class V8 thunder goes up against the diminutive Polaris and Can Am ‘UTV’ race cars in the
rough tracks of Woodhill Forest at the 34th Woodhill 100, New Zealand’s fastest and toughest one day endurance
race. The entry for the race has already exceeded 65 cars, with the ultra-fast unlimited-class race cars and agile
class three 1600cc cars both hitting grid numbers of 14. Organisers expect to see a full-race grid of 70 or more
cars start the race at 11.00 am on June 1.
In Christchurch, Nevil Basalaj aims to continue his dominant form in his newly rebuilt Jimco Chev V6 at the purpose
built West Melton track on Weedons Ross Road. The Mainland Challenge is a one-day event that features competition
in heats for the 13 classes of car eligible for the national championship. These range from the diminutive
Kiwitrucks used in the youth category all the way to ‘anything goes’ unlimited-class trucks and race cars. Racing
starts at 11.00 am.
Scrutineering for the Christchurch event takes place on Saturday 31st May at Roydvale Vehicle Testing Station, 518
Wairakei Road, Harewood.
The 34th Woodhill 100 will be held in Woodhill Forest north of Auckland on the same day. It is the oldest running
offroad racing event in NZ and is also the longest continually running endurance motorsport event in NZ.
The Woodhill is a 50-50 mix of gravel forest roads and rough sand tracks and every year attracts the top race
drivers and teams. This year the race is set to be a battle between the unlimited-class V8 race trucks and cars of
class one and eight and the tiny but potent ‘UTV’ class Polaris and Can Am race cars that have swept through the
sport in the past two years.
Albany’s Raana Horan leads the race truck entries in his mighty Nissan Titan V8. Horan counts this race as his
‘home’ event and has won it twice. He was the first driver ever to win the Woodhill in a race truck.
Proudly carrying the Chevy flag among the 14 strong class one entry are Ernie Hogg in The General, his Scorpion
Chev two-seater; multiple Woodhill 100 champion Tony McCall in his BSL Terra Chev and Gregg Carrington-Hogg in Blue
Thunder, a V8 two-seater unlimited-class race car built by ShoresNZ. Alan Hilliam from the Waikato is also racing
in the unlimited class, running a Porsche flat six engine.
Ben Thomasen, Mike Small, Rocket Ron Kirkman, Phil Smart, Paul Sutton and Tony Radisich are the first entries in
the UTV class.
Scrutineering and qualifying for the event will be held from noon on Saturday May 31 at the Steele family’s sand
quarry north of Kumeu; the race on Sunday June 1 is accessed off Trig Road north of Parakai. Racing starts at 9.30
am for the youth category and the main event starts at 11.00 am.
The Stihl Shop Woodhill 100 will also be filmed for TV3’s CRC Motorsport programme.

DAVIDS MEET GOLIATH AT 34TH WOODHILL 100

Auckland Offroad Racing veteran Greg Carrington-Hogg in action at the 2013 Woodhill 100 in his Shores NZ built Class 1 racer

Auckland Offroad Racing veteran Greg Carrington-Hogg in action at the 2013 Woodhill 100 in his Shores NZ built Class 1 racer

Offroad racing’s big banger unlimited class race cars meet the tiny but quick UTV four wheel drives in Woodhill
Forest this Queen’s Birthday weekend for 250 kilometres of all-out high speed racing.
This year the race is set to be a battle between the unlimited-class V8 race trucks and cars of class one and eight
and the tiny but potent ‘UTV’ class Polaris and Can Am race cars that have swept through the sport in the past two
years.
A race-day grid of 14 or more unlimited-class cars – most of them V8 powered – will play ‘Goliath’ to the UTV
‘Davids’ the 34th Woodhill 100, New Zealand’s fastest and toughest one day endurance race.
Proudly carrying the Chevy flag in the unlimited class are Ernie Hogg, multiple Woodhill 100 winner Tony McCall and
Gregg Carrington-Hogg, all of them using high output modified LS-series V8 engines.
Alan Hilliam from the Waikato is also racing in the unlimited class, running a Porsche flat six engine in his
single-seat race car.
The Polaris and Can Am UTV racers are a new arrival in the sport and Tauranga’s Ben Thomasen (Polaris RZR 900) made
his mark last year with pole position followed by runaway dominance in the opening laps. Ben Thomasen, Mike Small,
Phil Smart, Paul Sutton and Tony Radisich are the first entries in the UTV class and the entry is likely to edge
toward 10 of these new race vehicles.

Top trucks
Meanwhile, Albany’s Raana Horan leads the race truck entries in his mighty Nissan Titan V8. Horan counts this race
as his ‘home’ event and has won it twice. He was the first driver ever to win the Woodhill in a race truck. local
racer Jono Climo is bringing his Toyota Hilux Trophy Truck and Justin Leonard brings his Tulsi Pies sponsored Chev
all the way from Wellington. Mike Cox has just confirmed his entry and is the only Pro Lite class 8 in his Toyota
Hilux V8.
Race entries had exceeded 65 cars a week out from the event and organisers expect to see a grid of 70 or more on
when the action starts at 11.00 am on Sunday 1 June.
The Woodhill is open to cars complying with the 13 classes of car eligible for the national championship. These
range from the diminutive Kiwitrucks used in the youth category all the way to ‘anything goes’ unlimited-class
trucks and race cars.

The most punishing enduro in the sport
The Woodhill is a 50-50 mix of gravel forest roads and rough sand tracks and every year attracts the top race
drivers and teams. The course is plotted so that drivers go from fast 200 km/h roads into mud bogs or sand tracks
that force them into first or second gear. The fastest race cars are likely to lap in an average speed of more than
120 km/h and top out at 210 km/h on the longer straights.
Scrutineering and qualifying for the event will be held from noon on Saturday May 31 at the Steele family’s sand
quarry north of Kumeu; the race on Sunday June 1 is accessed off Trig Road north of Parakai. Qualifying is open to
the public by kind permsission of the Steele family. Racing starts at 9.30 am for the youth category and the main
event starts at 11.00 am.
The Stihl Shop Woodhill 100 will also be filmed for TV3’s CRC Motorsport programme.

2014 Stihl Shop Woodhill 100 confirms TV Coverage

Woodhill_start header

AORC are pleased to announce that with the support of Stihl Shop, Polaris and ORANZ that we are filming this years Woodhill 100 to be shown on TV3′s CRC Motorsport show later this year. Make some note that it would not have been possible without the special assistance of Polaris and ORANZ.
It will be a half hour show and we have a new production company from within the sport with multiple cameras who will ensure that the sport is shown in the very Best light and make sure it looks as exciting as it actually is.