The North Island rules the 2011 Mickey Thompson New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship: after three regional rounds in the north, Nick Hall of Pukekohe is back on top of the points table in his agile class five race car.
The South Island has one more chance to salvage regional pride. Heading to their final points-bearing regional round of the championship at Twizel this weekend are four or more South Island racers who stand a strong chance of tipping Hall off top spot before the anything-goes, high stakes final round in October.
Christchurch racer Wayne Moriarty in his Euroblast Cougar Toyota stands to benefit most. If he wins at Twizel, Moriarty will win the South Island championship outright and carry maximum points forward into October’s National Final. Nationally, Moriarty is currently second in class on 136 points behind Auckland’s Paul McCormack on 168. He trails Hall by 45 points, but has a narrow lead in the South Island standings.
Second in the Mainland points battle is Dennis Andreassend on 135, just one point behind; Donald Preston of Winton is third on 134 and Simon Smith is fourth in a Nissan Terrano V6 on 133.
Moriarty has carried out suspension work to ensure his car will stay competitive over the 250 km distance, replacing front suspension arms damaged in a rollover at the previous round and getting his car’s shock absorbers refurbished. He is racing in Bu-Mac Engineering class three for race cars up to 1.6-litres and will go head to head with Bruce Rolls in his fast Chenowth race car.
Also racing are Steven Boyd, current South Island AFWE production class leader, in his Suzuki Vitara; Murdock Halliday and Glen Milroy, keen rivals in the Coms4U Odyssey class; Tim Culling in Whakatane Commercial Spares class one; Clint Densem in Leader Products class five and Terry Munro and Andrew Johnston in the Coms4U Challenger VW class.
The Twizel race is a one day endurance event that will cover 250 km and takes place on Saturday August 6.