MOTORSPORT

Wayne Moriarty Catches Some Air at the 2008 Mainland Challenge Wayne Moriarty Catches Some Air at the 2008 Mainland Challenge CREDIT: Unknown

CAN THE SOUTH HOLD ON TO NZ1?

Monday 18 October 2010, 1:33PM
By Scott Campbell
359 views


With the top three places so far all sealed up by North Islanders and only one Southerner in the top 5, you might be forgiven for thinking that the biggest trophy in offroad racing will be heading back to the North Island. However with 144 points up for offer at the Asset Finance National Championship Finals this weekend this championship is far from over.
Former Super 1600 champion Wayne Moriarty is currently leading his class and sits fourth overall. He is easily our best hope of another South Island champion.
Unlimited class racer Mal Langley leads the championship so far on 204 points with Nick Hall sitting second in his Super 1300 on 182 points. Raana Horan has placed his V8 Thunder Truck in 3rd with Moriarty only 4 points behind on 162 points. Super 1600 racer Don Attwood rounds out the top five with 151 points.
With such a variety of classes chasing the outright title the championship may be decided by other drivers taking points from the main competitors in the heat races. If current 2NZ Daniel Powell makes it to the finals then Langley will most likely find himself losing points to the big twin turbo Jimco in every race. This will give the other competitors a chance to close the gap and should see the top 4 separated by only a handful of points going into the second day.
The 175km Enduro will be a test of man and machine. Nick Hall won’t have the pace to keep up with the others in the top 4, which will leave us with a 3 car race for the title. Langley proved his enduro winning ability when he took the enduro win at round one but Horan has proven himself almost unstoppable in enduros and manage to take outright victory at Woodhill earlier this year. If Horan can keep his truck together all weekend then we could likely see a Thunder Truck racer taking the top spot for only the second time in the history of the sport. The enduro may be where Moriarty shows just what he can do with the underpowered Super 1600. His Toyota engine produces a fraction of the power that the Unlimited and Thunder Truck class vehicles produce but that hasn't stopped Moriarty from being one of the fastest racers in the country. A faultless run at the first two rounds meant Moriarty went into the final South Island round looking unstoppable but a broken transmission in the second heat saw him slip back to fourth in the championship. Last time Auckland hosted the finals Moriarty set the fast lap time on the Manakau track where the enduro will be held and if he comes to the event with this much pace again then NZ1 will be well within his grasp.

Colin Dale Park, Prices Rd, Manukau City
23rd and 24th October 2010
Racing starts at 10am