Records tumble at Offroad Racing Final Round

The 2014 ORANZ Offroad Racing Champion - NZ1 Owen Chang - on his way to taking the title during the Enduro at labour Weekends Championship Final

The 2014 ORANZ Offroad Racing Champion – NZ1 Owen Chang – on his way to taking the title during the Enduro at labour Weekends Championship Final

 

Christchurch unlimited-class offroad racer Owen Chang has become the youngest-ever national champion in the history of the sport.

Chang, 27, won his national class title with four class wins and one third placing over two days of racing at West Melton near Christchurch during the weekend. He survived a frightening near-rollover in the GT Radial Ford Falcon and completed seven laps of the 15 km endurance course before the organisers declared the race on safety grounds.

“Saturday was fantastic, the short course at West Melton is great to race on and the truck really handles the jumps very well.Sunday was quite scary because it was really dusty. You had to go as hard as you could but we really couldn’t see anything except when the wind dragged the dust away from the road. The organisers made the right decision when they pulled the pin,” he said afterward.

The year-long championship campaign has been supported by dad Bryan and a close-knit group of mates who have helped prepare the truck, which was the first to be built to American Prolite design blueprints and remains one of the few to retain a second seat for a navigator.

Competing against the fastest trucks in New Zealand, Chang first won the southern regional title across three rounds in April, June and August, which brought him to the final with a maximum 72 points and 20 bonus points for running in all three rounds.

Then in the short course racing on Saturday, Chang was up against the championship contenders from throughout New Zealand including Justin Leonard who won the northern regional title in his V8 Chev Silverado, Michael Cox of Rotorua in his American built ‘Prolite’ Toyota Hilux V8 and Gavin Storer of Christchurch in his 4.0-litre V6 engined four wheel drive Prolite Hilux.

The GT Radial truck but consistently beat the more powerful truck off the start, meaning Chang was able to simply drive away from his rivals over ensuing laps in each heat. His drop from first to third in one heat was after being tapped from behind by Mike Cox and spinning the Falcon ute across the dividing tyre wall.

“The truck tipped up on two wheels and could have gone over, but I just kept the accelerator on the floor and steered it through then spun her round to go back onto the track,” he said afterward.

Class nine Baja driver Maurice Bain had taken a clean sweep of his heats and would carry a points advantage through intoSunday’s racing. Chang said he was mainly focussed on his in-class standings and aiming to stay ahead of Cox, Leonard and Gavin Storer.

In Sunday’s enduro, Chang qualified far ahead of his rivals and rose to a podium finish despite the hazardous racing conditions. High winds had stripped the forest course of any hint of moisture and dried the silty soils to a flour-like consistency.

“The dust we kicked up was thicker than fog, and we had to hold off a bit but when it was blown away we were able to give the pace a push. When we started lapping slower cars it got very difficult. Tricky stuff but it was the most exciting drive of the year for sure.”

With Nevil Basalaj leading the race, there was no chance to go for the outright race win but Chang needed to stay well clear of his class rivals and make sure of a good finish. Both Mike Cox and Justin Leonard were watching for any sign of weakness from the GT Radial truck.

“Man it was tough out there. We even came up on Tony McCall in the dust and got past him – he’s an offroad racing legend!”

With the race stopped at half distance due to the dust hazard, Chang emerged national champion ahead of Polaris racer Ben Thomasen and Nelson unlimited class race car driver Ashley Kelly. Tony McCall was fourth. In the unlimited class trucks, Mike Cox followed Chang home and was sixth in the championship; Justin Leonard was ninth.

Chang’s win marks only the second time a truck-class competitor has been national champion. Andrew Thomasen was the first, taking the title in 2007 in his four wheel drive Toyota Tundra V8.

2014 ORANZ NZ CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS POINTS

 

 

Game on for Offroad Racers at National Final in Christchurch

#847 Owen Chang in action during the 2014 ORANZ Championship

#847 Owen Chang in action during the 2014 ORANZ Championship

 

·         Racers return to West Melton

·         Club 92 leads the championship charge

·         Four local drivers to defend Canterbury honours

Canterbury’s regional pride is at stake as offroad racers gather for the final round of the 2014 New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship.

Four race drivers carry Canterbury’s hopes into this weekend’s national offroad racing championship final at West Melton with maximum points and a chance at glory over the two day event.

In what has been dubbed ‘Club 92’ Christchurch unlimited-class truck driver Owen Chang and production truck racer Steven Boyd are the only truck/4WD class drivers to take taken a maximum 92 points forward to the final after they won their respective classes for the southern sector of the championship.

Another Canterbury driver, Rob Palmer, tops the points for the Challenger VW race car class and Graham Fleming leads the southern challenge in the 1.3-litre race car class.

They are part of a 59-strong entry list for the event which has attracted drivers from as far away as Auckland and Otago.

Heading south from Auckland with their eyes on the title are unlimited race car class entrants Ernie Hogg, in his Scorpion Chev V8 84 points) and northern region class champion Tony McCall in his BSL Terra Chev V8 (92 points). Mal Langley of Whakatane (80 points) is bringing his Mitsubishi Evo powered car, while Nelson’s Neville Basalaj comes to the event with the full 92 points and Christchurch’s Vinnie Harvey has 80 points.

Racing at West Melton takes place over two days, with spectacular ‘stadium’-style short course competition on Saturday starting at 11.00 am and an endurance race the following day that takes competitors out of the West Melton track and into nearby forest.

Gate admission is $10 per person, children under 16 free.

 

Class 9 points leader heads South to race for National Title

#900 Maurice Bain and co-driver Alison Bain racing the Crumco Class 9 Baja at the 3rd round of the 2014 Championship held recently at Matata

#900 Maurice Bain and co-driver Alyson Bain racing the Crumco Class 9 Baja at the 3rd round of the 2014 Championship held recently at Matata

After taking out class 9 and the North Island championship outright the car is all serviced, loaded and ready to head to the South Island to take on all the top runners in New Zealand. Looking forward to some clean, hard racing. 

“After intensive treatment with the psychiatrist (aka Alyson – Navigator/favourite daughter), I am now in the zone to chase hard and have fun, as the sport is meant to be.”

-Bain Motorsport (The Father Daughter team)

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Logistics Manager,   International Motorsport.  Ph. 021726711

Email.  tony@internationalmotorsport.co.nz    Authorised Interislander Motorsport discount agent.

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Racer’s return – McCall masters Matata Offroad Racing Championship

Manukau’s Tony McCall has dominated racing at the Sunshine Capital Showdown, the final northern round of the 2014 New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship.

Tony McCall in action during his "clean sweep" at Matata

Tony McCall in action during his “clean sweep” at Matata

In a stunning return to form on Saturday 4 October, McCall – the sport’s most successful racer – won all the morning’s heats for the unlimited class one race cars, then battled with pole-man Raana Horan of Albany through the opening laps of the afternoon’s 150 km endurance race until Horan’s Nissan Titan race truck destroyed its front differential. A consistent winner at national level, McCall recently built an all-new car and has suffered uneven performances while fine-tuning the design but was short course national champion in 2013.

The Horan-McCall battle overshadowed a similar fight for the other podium placings, with another Albany racer, Richard Crabb, going wheel to wheel with Whakatane’s Malcolm Langley  until the closing laps of the race. These two were in turn shadowed by Drury racer Nick Hall in the Elf Toyota Hilux V8 until his truck lost a wheel.

In the new U class for the popular ‘side by side’ Polaris and Can Am all-wheel-drive vehicles, Ben Thomasen led the championship chase for points but was facing tough opposition from the most competitive turnout of these cars yet seen in the championship. Mike Small was keen to challenge the might of the factory-back Thomasen team, and a new arrival in the sport, drift racer Carl Ruiterman, also in a Polaris RZR 1000.

Raana Horan had similarly won all the heats for the unlimited class race trucks with comparative ease, carving through the nine-strong field in his four wheel drive Nissan Titan V8. In the process he set fastest time of the day and secured pole for the afternoon’s enduro.

Neil Hook was second fastest and would have started ahead of McCall but had barrel-rolled his class 10 motorcycle-engined single-seater car at high speed at the end of his in-class heats.

Third fastest put McCall behind Horan with Auckland’s Scott Buckley – who built McCall’s new car – sitting in fourth.

Off the start, Horan took the early lead, Buckley making the most of his class 10 car’s light weight to slot into second and McCall holding third ahead of Nick Hall.

Two corners later the McCall car swung wide and went around the outside of Buckley to set off in pursuit of Horan.

On the northern end of the circuit, the McCall car and Horan’s truck were side by side, and as the bunched field of race cars turned toward the pits McCall thundered past Horan to take the lead.

The move set up a dramatic fight for the race lead, Buckley slowly falling behind the two front-runners who took it in turn over the next four laps to lead the race. Lap after lap, Horan would push back through to lead, and time after time McCall would use the faster, more open parts of the farm course to take control.

Whakatane’s Mal Langley led the chasing bunch of racers.

Race organisers had expected laps of the tight 10 km track to take around 10 minutes, but both Horan and McCall were posting lap times at or under nine minutes. McCall recorded fastest lap of the day with an 8:32.

Three laps into the race, Richard Crabb had fought through to third overall and was engaged in a tussle with Malcolm Langley, while Nick Hall was staying in touch with this latter group, and Carl Ruiterman had inserted his Polaris RZR into the fray as well.

Championship leader Ben Thomason was chasing hard but destroyed the front and rear suspension of his Polaris RZR and retired.

Aucklander Ernie Hogg was a steady sixth in The General, his Scorpion Chev unlimited class car until he rolled at the northern end of the course.

Nick Leahy in Graeme Steedman’s Camco Toyota hit the narrow gateway back into the start-finish area, having to reverse clear of the post to continue; he also later tipped the truck over after the steering was damaged.

Tony McCall would hit the same post three times over coming laps.

Then Horan was gone from the race, a smashed front differential putting him off the track and into the pits.

With five laps to go, Tony McCall was able to control the race as he wished. He ran to the flag well clear of the pack. Behind him were local driver Malcolm Langley and Auckland’s Gregg Carrington-Hogg, both also in unlimited class cars., then Wellington’s Justin Leonard in an unlimited-class Chev truck and Paeroa driver Mike Small in the first UTV home, his Polaris RZR 1000.

PROVISIONAL UNOFFICIAL RESULTS GENERATED BY MYLAPS:  http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/1085785

Provisional results from ORANZ Champs at Matata

ORANZ North Island National Championship – MATATA – results by class:

Class 1: Tony McCall 1; Gregg Carrington-Hogg, 2; Malcolm Langley 3.

Class 2: Anthony Hewitt, 1; Jared McGillivray, 2

Kiwitruck J class: Marcus Runciman, 1; Trae Carrington, 2; Travis Buckley, 3

UTV: Mike Small, 1; Ben Thomasen, 2; Tony Radisich, 3

Challenger: Campbell Witheford, 1; Peter May, 2; Ash Carlyle 3

Class 10, Scott Buckley, 1; Colin Buckley, 2; Neil Hook, 3

Class 9: Maurice Bain, 1

Class 8: Justin Leonard, 1; Mike Cox, 2; Martin van der Wal 3

Class 7: Dyson Delahunty 1; Tyler Castle 2; Jayden Carrington 3

Class 6: Keri Louie 1; Darrin Neeley 2.

Class 5: Taine Carrington, 1; Nick Magness, 2; Alastair Manning 3

Class 4: Rex Croskery, 1; Glenn Turvey, 2

Class 3: Brendon Old, 1; Dean Graham, 2; Devlin Hill, 3

Bay Offroaders will turn on the racing thunder at Matata

SUNSHINESHOWDOWN HEADER lores

 

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  • First international entry confirmed
  • Biggest field of V8s in the championship
  • Gold-level sponsor signed: Inline Builders are on board
  • Race trucks and race cars throw down the challenge to the UTVs

The biggest fields of V8 race cars and trucks in the championship will take to the track at Matata early next month as Bay Offroaders present the 2014 Sunshine Capital Showdown international offroad race.

Organiser Gary Baker says the one-day event is the final northern round of the championship and has attracted more than a dozen of the fastest – and loudest – V8 racers in the sport. It has also brought the first international entry in the 2014 championship: hard-charging Australian racer Tom Dixon will cross ‘the ditch’ to contest the event in Big Blue, Gary Baker’s championship-winning Nissan Navara V8. The venue for this round is a farm course off Pokerikeri Road, Matata. It is 20 minutes from Whakatane; 40 minutes from Tauranga and 210 minutes from Bombay

“We’ve got a huge day lined up for spectators and racers alike, with spectacular ‘short course’ heats in the morning and an endurance race of up to 200 km in the afternoon. This event will turn on non-stop excitement for Bay of Plenty race fans,” he said.

Entries for the one-day spectacular on October 4 broke through the 30 benchmark at the start of last week and organisers expect up to 50 race teams to take part in the event.

Among them are a slew of former and aspiring national champions including Tony McCall, Ernie Hogg, Alan Butler, Murray Kitt, Richard Crabb and Whakatane’s Malcolm Langley, all in unlimited-class race cars.

In the unlimited race truck class Jono Climo goes wheel to wheel with Justin Leonard, Nick Hall and Rotorua’s Mike Cox. Raana Horan, recently returned from racing in Australia, is bringing his massive Nissan Titan four wheel drive truck and Aussie Tom Dixon will race Gary Baker’s Nissan Navara V8.

The organisers have just confirmed local company Inline Builders has signed up as naming-rights sponsor for the event, and there is also a ‘chosen charity’ – Camp Quality – on board.

“It’s great to have the guys at Inline Builders commit to our event, our club has built a reputation for staging some great race days but we’ve been a tad quiet the past couple of years. All that is about to change!”

Mr Baker said the race day will begin with short course heats at 9 am, with three heats for every class in the sport. The youth Kiwitruck category will have its own race on a specially marked-out course separate to the main heats.

There will be a lunch break to allow teams to prepare for the final endurance race, during which rides in top race cars and trucks will be raffled with the proceeds going to Camp Quality.

The all-in endurance race, over multiple laps starting at 1pm with a total distance of up to 200 km, will then conclude the day’s racing and will crown outright and class northern champions.

Spectator admission on race day is $10 per adult, $20 per family or carload, children under 12 free with a paying adult.

The 2014 Inline Builders Sunshine Capital Showdown international offroad race is also supported by sponsors Sun FM, Ocean Can Am, Ocean Ford, Ocean Yamaha, Protec Roofing, Razorback Decks, Battery Town, W&R Wills and Leader Products

2014 Inline Builders Sunshine Capital Showdown

Entries to date (driver name and car number)

Class one (unlimited race cars)

Murray Kitt 117

Tony McCall 157

Malcom Langley 192

Richard Crabb 100

Ernie Hogg 190

Alan Butler 110

Alan Hilliam 109

Class two (production race trucks and 4X4s)

Anthony Hewitt 230

Jared McGillivray 232

Class three (race cars with engines up to 1650cc)

Allen ‘Bundy’ Entwistle 357

Brendon Old 333

Brendon Midgley 324

Peter Hogg 323

Alan Scott 379

Jarrod Marwood 367

Class four (sports-modified race trucks and 4X4s) 

Rex Croskery 450

Class five (race cars with engines up to 1300cc)

Nick Magness 517

Pete Tinsley 559

Class six (challenge-class race trucks and 4X4s)

Dan Connor 627

Keri Louie 680

Class seven (race cars with engines up to 1650cc)

Dyson Delahunty 777

Tyler Castle 714

Class eight (unlimited race trucks)

Nick Hall 861

Mike Cox 875

Justin Leonard 882

Jono Climo 869

Raana Horan 899

Tom Dixon (AUS) 830

Class nine (Baja, saloon and prototype)

Maurice Bain 900

Class ten (motorcycle engined race cars)

Neil Hook 1005

Phil Johnston 1001

Challenger VW (cars with VW engines up to 1.6 litres)

Campbell Witheford C75

Louis Carlyle C83

Ash Carlyle C84

UTV

Paul Sutton U17

Ben Thomasen U20

Kiwitruck

Marcus Runciman J05

Fergus Crabb M95

Click here to download the entry form: Sunshine Capital Entry Form

About our event charity

The Sunshine Capital Showdown supports Camp Quality, an organisation of volunteers dedicated to bringing fun, hope and happiness to the lives of children aged 5 to 16 living with cancer, their families and communities.

We encourage all racers, teams and spectators at the event to support our partner charity organisation in its work by donating to the ‘bucket shake’ or buying a ticket for the lunchtime racer rides.

Offroad Racing Showdown in the Sunshine Capital

#U20 Ben Thomasen in Enduro winning form in 2014

#U20 Ben Thomasen in Enduro winning form in 2014

Tauranga UTV racer Ben Thomasen will go wheel to wheel with the might of the unlimited class offroad racing elite in his Polaris RZR 1000 when the Bay of Plenty hosts the northern final round of the 2014 New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship in early October.

SUNSHINESHOWDOWN HEADER lores

The 2014 Sunshine Capital Showdown is a full day of spectacular offroad racing action brought to racers and spectators by the same team who created the epic series of Matata national championship events over the past decade including the Wild Offroad Stampede. It is the last chance for North Island competitors to score points before the national finals in Christchurch at Labour Weekend.

Thomasen, the newly crowned New Zealand Endurance Champion, is racing toward his first championship title. At Matata he will race against all North Island UTV-class competitors in short course class-by-class heats before taking on the likes of multiple New Zealand Champion Tony McCall, Toyota Hilux V8 Thundertruck driver Jono Climo and Raana Horan’s Nissan Titan V8 in the afternoon’s 200 km endurance race.

Tony McCall leads the unlimited class in his spectacular BSL Terra Chev single-seater race car with 106 points; Thomasen similarly leads the UTV class and carries the hopes of Polaris into this round of the championship with 124 points. Jono Climo did not contest the opening round and is second in class 8 behind Wellington’s Justin Leonard.

In the fast-growing UTV (side-by-side) class, Thomasen will be racing for points against Paeroa’s Mike Small and a likely record turnout of other fast North island entrants.

Showdown organisers Gary Baker and Jared McGillivray say the top racers could hardly be more different in character but share one trait: an aggressive driving style born of their absolute passion to win.

“We’re plotting a fast and spectacular course to test these guys and aiming to put on a fantastic show in the process. One thing is certain: the truck and race car classes will get to use top gear at this round and the UTVs will be watching their mirrors all day,” said McGillivray.

The event will be staged at one venue in a valley behind the coastal town of Matata, scene of many spectacular battles for national titles in recent years. In a departure from other championship rounds, all racing will be held on the Saturday. Baker, who is a long-time competitor in the unlimited class 8 for Thundertrucks, says the course will be fast and will be designed for maximum thrills and minimum mechanical mayhem.

“We make jumps that let racers grab big air but don’t smash up their gear, we create fast speedway-style corners where drivers can show their skills, and we pack all the action into one day at one venue which is great for racers, families and spectators. It’s going to be a heck of a day,” he said.

Nelson Drivers take clean sweep at Offroad Championship Enduro

· Basalaj comes back to win · Top cars too fast for rising stars in UTVs · Strong turnout for final points grab

Class 1 racer, Basalaj takes the Jimco to victory in Nelson for the 2014 Ruff n Tuff 250

Class 1 racer, Basalaj takes the Jimco to victory in Nelson for the 2014 Ruff n Tuff 250

Basalaj wins! A month after he was third overall in the Total Lubricants New Zealand Endurance Championship, Nevil Basalaj has taken a hard-fought home town victory at the Nelson round of the national championships. In dry and dusty conditions, he headed a Nelson 1-2-3 in the 2014 Nelson Ruff’n’Tuff 250, with Ashley Kelly finishing second and Greg Winn third. Basalaj battled all race long with Kelly, and looked to have lost the race when forced to pit for fuel, but brought his Jimco Chev two-seater home for the win well ahead of Kelly. The 250 km one-day enduro was the final chance for southern racers to accumulate championship points before the final round, to be held at Christchurch in October. The course in the hilly Dovedale forect block was almost identical to last month’s New Zealand Endurance Championship. Qualifying saw the race take on a bright yellow hue, with the Hydraulink Cougar Evo of Kelly taking pole and Cam Stratford in Kelly’s older Nissan SR20-engined car alongside him. Christchurch’s Wayne Moriarty, rated a chance for outright victory, instead found himself putting his car on the trailer after an off in qualifying tore the left front wheel almost completely off his Euroblast Cougar Toyota. The UTV class, hailed as the coming sensation in the sport, filled the next three places in the two-wide grid, championship points leader Roger McKay of Winton third fastest ahead of Mike Holmes and Grant Dickson. Basalaj had the Jimco in sixth position with a time four seconds adrift of the motivated Kelly. Off the start, Kelly and Stratford made the running, the 31-strong field throwing a thick plume of dust in the air on the fast logging roads that lead away from the pits.

Off the start, Kelly and Stratford made the running, the 31-strong field throwing a thick plume of dust in the air on the fast logging roads that lead away from the pits. Stratford’s race ended with a blown transmission after just one lap of the 42 km course. Basalaj moved up and managed to edge past the Polaris racers, then set off after Kelly. Likewise local racer Greg Winn had pushed his tough RV Magnum Toyota up to challenge and then overtake the top UTVs. The see-saw battle for the lead was pushing both Nelson class one racers to the limit. Kelly half-spun and recovered, attacking Basalaj’s lead in a magnificent charge. Basalaj, meanwhile, had to concede the lead and pit for a ‘splash and dash’ fuel top-up two laps from home. The big Chev V6 in his Jimco could not complete the 250 km on the contents of its 167 litre fuel tank, while Kelly’s Cougar Evo has been designed to run more than 250 km on a tank with little risk of running dry.

On that fourth lap the complexion of the race changed. Basalaj sped up the hill to the start-finish area and the pits, sliding the massive Jimco through the cambered corners aiming to eke out precious seconds ahead of Kelly. He entered the pits to add fuel as Kelly started up the hill and it was Kelly who swept past and into the lead, the Cougar Evo throwing a thick cloud of white duct into the air as he headed back down the logging highway into the forest. Basalaj had missed the exit and lost the lead by a matter of ten seconds and was now having to race in Kelly’s dust. Another lap and the race would be as good as won – but not for Kelly. After a stirring drive, the Nelson racer disappeared from the leader board with a broken steering arm, almost literally in sight of home. Instead, it was the race-built V6 that echoed up through the valleys as Basalaj brought the big car to the chequered flag. Kelly repaired his car and brought it slowly over the line to the finish to claim second place, while Greg Winn had not put a wheel out of place through the entire distance and claimed a well deserved third. All three top placings were Nelson drivers, Vinnie Harvey of Christchurch the first visitor home in fourth overall. Steven Boyd won class two for production four wheel drives and was ninth overall in his giant-killing Suzuki; Owen Chang was tenth overall and won class 8 for unlimited race trucks. Carl Gardner was seventh overall and won class three for race cars with engines up to 1650cc. Graham Fleming was 12th overall and won class five for race cars with engines up to 1.3 litres. New racer Tim George was the first in the popular UTV class, fifth overall.

In the Kiwitruck youth category, which runs on a shorter version of the main track, Brooke Storer beat her sister Jorja.

Top ten finishers, 2014 Ruff’n’Tuff 250 at Nelson:

Nevil Basalaj, Nelson, 1

Ashley Kelly, Nelson, 2

Greg Winn, Nelson, 3

Vinnie Harvey, Christchurch, 4

Tim George, 5

Bob Uttridge, 6

Carl Gardner, Dunedin, 7

Roger McKay, Winton, 8

Steven Boyd, Christchurch, 9

Owen Chang, Christchurch, 10

2014 ORANZ New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship Series – South Island – Round 3 – Results and Points -
Click this link: 2014 Rnd 3 Sth Island National Results

Offroad Championship hits Nelson Forests

  • Polaris RZR1000 racer, Roger McKay, in action at the New Zealand Enduro Champs in July - Picture by Mark Baker

    Polaris RZR1000 racer, Roger McKay, in action at the New Zealand Enduro Champs in July – Picture by Mark Baker

     

  • Racers return to Dovedale
  • New challenge for new UTV class
  • Strong turnout for final points grab

Nelson’s Dovedale Forest has barely stopped echoing to the sound of high performance race engines and the offroad racers are back for more: the Total Lubricants Nelson Ruff N Tuff 250 brings the south’s top drivers back into the course used for the recent Endurance Championship, won last month by Ben Thomasen.

The event is the third round of the 2014 New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship, and with the northerners absent the battle remains between the high performance unlimited class trucks and race cars – and the new wave of UTV racers.

Absent from the enduro championship event but making sure he’s in line for a final top-up of points in the championship is Christchurch racer Vinnie Harvey in his Ryan single-seater, now repowered with a Mitsubishi Evo engine from the Nissan V6 he campaigned last year. He goes up against fast locals including Nevil Basalaj in his mighty Jimco Chev V6 and Ashley Kelly in the Hydraulink Cougar Evo VW.

Christchurch’s Wayne Moriarty leads a six-strong entry in class three for race cars with engines up to 1650cc, with local driver Greg Winn keen to make his mark in the RV Magnum Toyota.

Clint Densem and Graham Fleming go wheel to wheel in class five for race cars with engines up to 1.3 litres, while Challenger VW class regulars John Strickett, Rob Palmer and Paul Cooper will be joined by enduro challenge organiser Darrin Thomason, a dedicated truck-class racer until this year.

There are six UTV-class racers entered, with championship southern leader Roger McKay of Winton aiming to maximise points to carry forward to the national finals in October at Christchurch.

Damien and Wade Halliday are entered in class 10 for race cars with motorcycle engines.

There are two racers in the Kiwitruck youth category, Christchurch sisters Jorja and Brooke Storer.

Their dad Gavin is one of two unlimited-class race truck entries, bringing his V8 four wheel drive Pro Lite north to go up against Owen Chang in the GT Radial Ford Falcon Pro Lite – the original truck built to the popular American design in this country.

Steven Boyd heads up a three-strong production race truck entry in his giant-killing Suzuki.

Nelson Offroad Racing Club has secured the enduro track after careful management of roads drew praise from the forest managers. Scrutineering and time trials happen on-site in the forest from 7:30am with racing to start at 10:30am.

Leading entries for the 2014 Ruff’n’Tuff 250 at Nelson:

Frontline projects/Phoenix Engineering class one

125 Vincent Harvey
173 Nevil Basalaj
185 Cam Stratford
192 Ash Kelly

Class two production race trucks

218 Steven John Boyd
231 Teun Buijs
250 Ron Crosby

Class three race cars up to 1650 cc

312 Wayne Moriarty
341 Carl Gardner
352 James Fleming
353 Blair James Prebble
371 Greg Winn
375 Josh Rutledge

Class five race cars up to 1300cc

572 Graham Fleming
577 Clint Densem

Class 8 unlimited race trucks

840 Gavin Storer
847 Owen Chang

V-Dub Shoppe Challenger class

C22 John Strickett
C82 Rob Palmer
C99 Paul Cooper

Polaris class u

U01 Donald Preston
U15 Grant Dickson
U21 Mike Holmes
U55 Bob Uttridge
U66 Roger McKay
U68 Tim George

Kelso Kontracting class 10

1019 Damian Halliday
1026 Wade Halliday

Kiwitruck

J31 Jorja Storer
J39 Brooke Storer