Big Poster Super 1600s are set to steal the show in Canterbury at the upcoming Mainland Challenge, Round 4 of the Asset Finance National Offroad Racing Championship. Local Hero Wayne Moriarty, driving the Euroblast Cougar, was unchallenged at the last South Island round of the championship in Nelson, beating out the big unlimited cars to win the 175km enduro. Moriarty was helped into the lead at the start when several of the leaders went the wrong way causing mass confusion. Moriarty never looked like being caught after this, lapping the majority of the field.
There are several drivers who will be looking to make things a bit more difficult for Moriarty this time round. Amongst them is ‘international’ driver, Richard Crabb, from Auckland. Crabb is coming down to display the new youth development vehicles which he is building but will also be bringing down his spectacular looking mid-engined, Toyota powered, offroader. Crabb's vehicle is quite unique in its layout, being the only mid-engined super 1600 competing at the Mainland Challenge.
Moriarty’s biggest challenge is likely to come from long time rival and fellow Cantabrian, Nigel Sutherland, who won the super 1600 championship last year. Sutherland’s win last season was largely down to reliability, although there was a fair bit of skilled driving as well. Things have changed drastically since the last national round though and Sutherland will now be racing an extremely competitive Cougar Evo, which should put him wheel to wheel with Moriarty. The new car is running a 20 valve Toyota engine like most vehicles in the class and has proved its competitiveness in the North Island, winning the Taupo 100 and Woodhill 100, among other things.
Another local driver with a good shot at winning the event is Bruce Rolls driver the ex Dennis Andreassend super 1600. The car is powered by a V-Tec Honda engine and took Andreassend to a class victory in the 2008 championship where he also ended up second outright. Rolls was absent from the Nelson round of the Championship but is excited about getting back in the drivers seat for this one. And with extensive work being done to the car he is likely to be a real competitor come race day.
With all four of these drivers equally likely to win the event and a bunch of others nipping at their heals the only sure bet is that this will be some of the most exciting racing this country has ever seen. The Cruizin’ Limousines Mainland Challenge, held at The Rock Fm Offroad Raceway in West Melton, is set to be a truly unmissable event.