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Wilco Racing Team at 2013 ORANZ National Round Meremere

Mike Fraser battles teh Class 1 field in ORANZ competition at Meremere

Mike Fraser battles teh Class 1 field in ORANZ competition at Meremere

Mike Fraser competed in WRT102 on Sunday in the first round of the ORANZ North Island National Rounds at Meremere hosted by the All Terrain Racing Club.
We spent last week repairing the right rear trailing arm, repairing also the fuel tank which was split from the last event and carrying out our routine race preparation in the workshop.
On a wet Saturday we loaded up WRT102 onto the WRT trailer and headed out to Leader Products, the venue for driver registration and vehicle scrutineering.
The rain cleared and after successfully getting WRT102 through scrutineering, we were able to spend a bit of time checking out the rest of the vehicles on display including new cars and then some old cars with new paint jobs and also some old cars with new modifications.
Was certainly great to mix and mingle and this all added to the excitement for the weekend.
Certainly seemed like there were going to be plenty of entries, especially when we considered “out of town” entrants were allowed to be scrutineered on race day the following day so were not here today.
Sunday morning dawned a bit drizzly in Auckland but soon cleared once we had cleared the Bombay’s heading south to the track at Meremere.
Arriving at the track, we soon had WRT102 unloaded and our pit area setup good to go (tools, tyres, chairs, chilly bin, spares, fuel, driver safety equipment etc) – we were ready.
With plenty of time on our side, we were able to walk the pits and view the rest of the machinery on display.
It was good to see the boys from the Palmerston North club had trundled their way up North and were there in force with my old man Peter Hogg in his Class 3, Martin van der Wal in his Class 8 (and current Class 8 National Champ), William van der Wal in his new Prolite based Class 8 and Ivan Booth in his newly acquired Class 5 – the buggers even nabbed a couple of trophies with Dad taking 2nd place in Class 3 and Martin taking 2nd place in Class 8 for the day – another daylight raid by our hillbilly mates!!
The pits are certainly very impressive nowadays, with immaculately prepared race cars and race trailers, sponsors flags and banners, ezyup gazebos galore – it was great to see and as a sponsor, was also great to see the importance placed on getting the class sponsor decals onto the vehicles.
After the “out of town” entrants were scrutineered, the drivers briefing was held and everybody was given the outline and run down for the day.
There were going to be four races for the day for each of the groups including 3 x 5 lap sprint races and 1 x 15 lap all-in feature race.
The Class 1 vehicles (unlimited 2WD buggies) were grouped with Class 3’s (1600cc buggies) and the Class 9 vehicles (unlimited vehicle with manufacturers body type – i.e. Baja bugs etc).
The other Class 1 vehicles on show today were Tony McCall, Mal Langley, Clim Tristrim Lammers, Paul Smith, Clive Thornton, Paul Eayrs and Alan Hilliam – pretty much a lot of the top drivers in the North Island and covered everything from turbos to injected V8’s.
Other groups racing were 1) Kiwitruck J’s and M’s, 2) Challengers, Class 7’s, Class R’s and Class 10’s, 3) Class 5’s, 4) Class 1’s, Class 3’s and Class 9’s, 5) Class 8 and 6) Class 2’s, 4’s and 6’s)
First race was very wet after all the rain during the previous weeks, but as the day went on the track conditions improved into a great track, albeit with some massive holes developing in places around the course – crikey you gotta love offroad racing!
Mike was like a proverbial “pig in #*&^” and did bloody well during the day, at times getting himself into the lead during a couple of the races and finished the days racing with a couple of thirds as his best results and also managed to finish every race, albeit only just in the feature race!
The racing was intense and wheel to wheel, even wheel on wheel and in some case wheels on bodies as everybody competed as hard as they could for positions. It was good old fashioned racing at its best, fast cars, good fields and close racing!
As with previous events that WRT102 had been entered, this event was a good learning curve for the setup of the car as we played around with tyre pressures, tyres (changing to hand cut tyres for the first race), adjusting bump stop pressures etc.
We had not realised that we had the car set up with some toe-in on the front which we believe contributed to the amount of feedback through the steering wheel, but we were unable to adjust this on the day, as we did not have enough adjustment in the steering arm rod ends.
Disaster came for WRT102 when in the last race of the day when the gearbox finally blew up, and although Mike was able to finish the race, the gearbox didn’t sound great with all the clunks and knocks coming from it – blowing the gearbox up had been a long time coming and we’d been surprised we’d been able to get away with it like we had – but t’is no more – so time to park it up in the corner of the workshop and save some pennies and get on with an gearbox upgrade!
Not sure of the individual placing’s for each of the Class 1 races except that Tony McCall pretty much out and out dominated Class 1, so much so that he lapped the rest of the Class 1 field in the feature race only to be lapped himself by the rest of the field as he stopped short of the Start / Finish with a few laps to go unable to restart the car to finish the race with I believe more fuel issues. Can’t have hurt his results too badly as he finished 1st overall in Class for the day!
Overall, another great day for the sport, a shame about the gearbox but we knew we were living on the edge with it, but awesome to be out there amongst it!

Congratulations to ATR for an awesome event!


Ernie – Wilco Racing Team

2013 Stihl Shop Woodhill 100 – Sprint lap preview

A must see preview of the 2013 Stihl Shop Woodhill 100 qualifying Sprint for Pole position. The sprint lap is a major determining factor in how the race plays out. A top 5 starting position in the race is where we will find our race winner. This years Sprint takes place the day before the race. Competitors will arrive at the sprint track to be scrutineered and then to post their sprint time.


2013 STIHL SHOP Woodhill 100

the 2013 Stihl Shop Woodhill 100

the 2013 Stihl Shop Woodhill 100

AORC are very pleased to announce that STIHL SHOP have come on board as the main sponsor for NZ’s most iconic offroad endurance race and the event is to be promoted as the 2013 STIHL SHOP Woodhill 100

 We also welcome the following class sponsors for the event:-

Class 1 and 2      Frontline Projects Ltd & Phoenix Engineering Ltd

Class 3 and 4      Alert Anodising Ltd

Class 5 and 6      STIHL SHOP Ellerslie

Class 7 and 8      CSBC Builders Ltd

Class 9, 10 & C   VW Shoppe Ltd

Class R/UTV       STIHL SHOP Drury

The 2013 STIHL SHOP Woodhill 100 Offroad Race held in the Woodhill Forest is not only the oldest running offroad racing event in NZ but is also the longest continually running endurance motorsport event in NZ.

 The 2013 STIHL SHOP Woodhill 100 is run by the Auckland Offroad Racing Club (AORC) and this year will be the 33rd running of the event.

As usual the event is to be held on Queens Birthday weekend with scrutineering and the qualifying sprints (to determine grid position) to be held on Saturday 1st June and the race to be held on Sunday 2nd June.

The 2013 STIHL SHOP Woodhill 100 is raced on the fast logging roads and testing sand tracks of the Woodhill Forest and provides the ultimate endurance test for man and machine in the sport of offroad racing. 

To finish the race is reward enough for those that tackle the event.

This year we are proposing 9 laps of a an approximate 28km lap consisting of 50% gravel and 50% sand tracks totalling approximately 250km.

A very spectator friendly layout coupled with seeing the vehicles complete 9 laps will provide plenty of entertainment for the fans.

There are 12 different classes of offroad racing machines competing at the event plus 2 kids’ classes also completing a smaller race at the event.


2013 Woodhill 100

James Buchanan wins the 2012 Woodhill 100. ORANZ "Clerk of the Course" Kevin Cooper waves thechequered flag to seal his victory - Photo courtesy of Philip Hagan

James Buchanan wins the 2012 Woodhill 100. ORANZ “Clerk of the Course” Kevin Cooper waves the chequered flag to seal his victory – Photo courtesy of Philip Hagan

2013 Woodhill 100 –  South Head – Woodhill Forest – Sunday 2nd June 2013

Preparations are well under-way for the annual running of New Zealand’s most iconic and hardest fought offroad races, the Woodhill 100.

Held on Queens Birthday Weekend, every year for over 40 years, this event has consistently brought the very best offroaders in the country to face the harsh reality of endurance racing through sand tracks, sand dunes and flat-out gravel roads.

Many will start, only a handful finish.

With an expected attrition rate of over 30 percent, this race tests the preparedness of the race teams and the rough ride experienced through the rutted sand tracks will test the metal of the driver.  To win here you have to be prepared to treat the long 25km plus laps like a sprint race. The sand tracks need to be flown over, rather than driven through. When you get to Coast Road, one of the longest gravel straight roads on the annual calander, you find out whether your bravery matches you ability with top speeds recorded here in excess of 190km, only to end in a right angle turn into a forest track.

#157 Tony McCall takes advantage of Pole Position to clear out at the start of the 2012 Woodhill 100 - Photo courtesy of Philip Hagan

#157 Tony McCall takes advantage of Pole Position to clear out at the start of the 2012 Woodhill 100 – Photo courtesy of Philip Hagan

This year expect five time Woodhill 100 winner, Tony McCall to attempt to add another trophy to the wall. However, six time winner Ian Foster is back in the fray and is determined to spoil the McCall Teams victory celebrations. Spectators can also expect the forest to roar and the ground to shake when two time winner of the race, Raana Horan, brings the beast of a 4×4 truck “Big Black” out of its shipping crate to add another victory.

#899 Raana Horan blasts thru the Start/Finish area on his way to winning the 2011 Woodhill 100 - Photo courtesy of Philip Hagan

#899 Raana Horan blasts thru the Start/Finish area on his way to winning the 2011 Woodhill 100 – Photo courtesy of Philip Hagan

Last years winner James Buchanan has every chance this year as the battle for the lead could have serious consequences.

This years race will take place at teh South Head end of Woodhill Forest. Travel to Parakai on State Highway 16 and then follow the sign posts North to South Head. Scrutineering and the Sprints for pole position are scheduled for Saturday and will happen in the forest at the Rimmers Road entrance. Again, follow signposts.

At this stage the race track is 90 percent confirmed in layout, however, the long hot summer has reduced access to the forest and final track layout will be confirmed once the reconnoitre team gets in the forest.