It was full throttle at an Orini farm last weekend, as a new bike track saw riders vying for title glory at the annual New Zealand Miniature TT Championships.
Competitors relished the perfect riding conditions over the two days, says BikesportNZ.com editor Andy McGechan.
The event wasn’t held last year as a suitable venue couldn’t be found, but Orini landowner Mark Fuller came to the rescue with his property at 456 Rutherford Rd. Mark Fuller is a former national enduro and cross-country frontrunner and father of 16-year-old Zak Fuller, a rising star on the road-race scene.
TT racing is like superbike racing on soil instead of tarmac – the racing is off-road and the competitors use dirt bikes or quad bikes, but, unlike motocross, there are no steep hills or skyward launch ramps to slow things down.
The entry list for the Kawasaki-sponsored two-day event included the stars of motocross, cross-country, enduro and even road-racing, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and super motard.
In terms of actual race action, there were several dominant performances, with Taupo’s Cohen Chase almost unbeatable in the premier MX1 bike class, West Auckland’s Hayden Smith totally untouchable in the MX2 (250cc) bike class and Te Awamutu’s Rachael Archer in command of the women’s grade.
Hamilton’s Reef Wheki won all five races in the combined Junior 12-16 years’ 125cc and 14-16 years’ 250cc class, while Oparau’s Hunter Scott cleaned up in the Junior 13-16 years’ 85cc class and Cambridge’s Jared Hannon was similarly dominant in winning five races from five starts in the Junior 8-12 years’ 85cc class.
Former national motocross champion David Furze, of New Plymouth, finished with a 1-1-2-2-1 score-card in the Enduro class to take that title from Pukekohe’s Nigel Gainfort, while Taupo’s Jake Tomblin edged out Kumeu’s Logan Maddren in winning the Classic Bikes class.
The two Veterans’ classes – for riders aged between 35 and 45 years or riders aged over 45 years – were won respectively by Cambridge’s Damien King and New Plymouth’s Mitch Rowe.