One of the smallest cars in the 2011 Mickey Thompson New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship will go head to head with its faster, more powerful rivals this weekend deep in the Gwavas Forest south of Hawkes Bay.
Pukekohe racer Nick Hall, deposed earlier this month from the championship lead, heads south-east this weekend to reclaim his points advantage in the final northern region round of the championship, hoping his agile American-built single-seater can outrace the faster unlimited-class cars contesting the event.
Hall races in Leader products class five, which restricts engine size to just over 1300 cc, while the unlimited class cars are able to run any engine size and format and use turbochargers or superchargers; the cars in Bu-Mac Engineering class three are also faster, being able to use 1.6-litre engines.
Victory at the Palmerston North round in April had given Hall a narrow but useful early championship lead, but fell far behind when the South Island held its second of three regional rounds at Christchurch in early June. There, local racer Wayne Moriarty took the outright weekend win and leapt to the front of the championship.
With only this weekend’s endurance race at Gwavas left, Hall must aim to maximise his points – and will be hoping the weekend weather turns foul, limiting the advantage of the big V8 and turbo cars ranged against him.
Scrutineering for the weekend’s racing will be held on Saturday between 4.00-5:30pm at Duo Motors, 6 Husheer Place Napier; race start is at 11.00 am the following morning in Gwavas Forest.
2011 Mickey Thompson New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship leading positions (top 20 and key class leaders with that group)
1. Wayne Moriarty, Christchurch, 136 points (class 3 leader)
2. Dennis Andreassend, Christchurch, 135 points (class 1 leader)
3. Donald Preston, Winton, 134 points (class 8 leader)
4. Simon Smith, Christchurch, 133 points (class 4 leader)
5. Nick Hall, Pukekohe, 122 points (class 5 leader)
6. Paul McCormack, Auckland, 116 points
7. Chris Devereux, Christchurch, 116 points (Challenger class leader)
8. Donn Attwood, Auckland, 114 points
9. Wayne Rowe, North Island, 107 points
10. Glen Milroy, Canterbury, 106 points (class 10 leader)
11. Ron McPhail, Nelson, 106 points
12. Hamish Lawlor, Otago, 101 points
13. Nick Leahy, Auckland, 98 points
14. Murdock Halliday, Canterbury, 95 points
15. John Gray, Rotorua, 95 points (class 2 leader)
16. Trevor Brooks, North Island, 93 points
17. Bryan Chang, Christchurch, 89 points
18. Mark Morris, Canterbury, 81 points
19. Neil Falkingham, Christchurch, 79 points
20. Rex Croskery, North Island, 77 points