Two firsts, two Ambulance trips love the day?
Oreti Beach, New Zealand
The Burt Munroe Challenge is proving to be a very tough event as todays rraces proved.
The day was taken up with the Road Racing Sprint series at Teretonga Park Motor Racing Circuit and the evening at the Oreti Beach Speedway.
These two tracks are unique in that both hold the title of being the World's southern most FIA road racing circuit and Speedway circuit so to attend both in the one day was yet another first for me.
Teretonga Park Motor Racing circuit is a multi functional complex,constructed in 1957, that can host quarter mile drags,motorcycle races, car races and truck races using the one circuit. It has hosted both current and later to be World Champions such as Graeme Crosby & Andrew Stroud (who was today out again on the Britten). Infact over 50 Formula One drivers of which 9 were or became World Champions have raced at this venue. Names such as Jim Clark,Jackie Sewart,Sir Jack Brabham,Denny Hulme,Phil Hill,Graham Hill,Keke Rosberg,Jochen Rindt,John Surtees (also a Grand Prix motorcycle World Champion),
Today the Burt Munroe challenge was road racing at this track. They had record enties in over 10 different classes so many that the meeting was expected to run 2 hours late but infact was some 4 hours late in finishing.
The crowd began arriving in time for the first race at 9am and promised a day where motorcycles from the 1930's to 2018 would be doing battle.
The action was non stop from handchange bikes to the latest V4 Ducati's.
Fields were always large as classes were run together to try to speed up the program.
Lots of Australian people were in attendance and a number of Australian registered bikes were found in the parking area.
All went well until the afternoon program when the announcer said i don't remember seeing all the bikes cross the finish line. Next one ambulance went onto the track followed shortly by a second, the course was soon in lockdown and the Clerk of the Course left his control to attend "an incident"personally. Not long after a Police Car also entered and headed down the back of the track. We got no updates and as the Speedway meeting was already underway I left to attend it.
Oreti Beach Speedway (next to Oreti Beach raceway) was already crowded when I arrived but as luck would have it two local ladies soon "befriend"this international visitor and arranged trackside viewing as my photo's show.
Three main types of events were held, the solo riders, the sidecar boys and the juniors who entertained the crowd on scaled down speedway bikes from 50cc to 200cc.
The sidecars are always spectatular and have more then their share of spills as up to 5 outfits jockey for space on the track.
While we were amazed in the solo's finale that a top rider walked away after being flung from his bike which then cartwheel and in the process landed on the riders head while he was standing up.
However like the road races the sidecar crew were not so lucky as the foinal A Grade event saw 3 out of the five cars collide leaving a rider prone on the track until an ambulance took him off to hospital, again no update.
For me the evening finished with a coffeee and chat with new found friends Dave and Bryant McKenzie. By do incident the same name as my travelling companions,