Home // 2014 // August

NZ1000 comes to Tokoroa

The Auckland Offroad Racing Club (AORC) is very pleased to announce that the NZ1000 (formerly Taupo 1000) will be hosted in the Ngatira Forest located between Tokoroa and Putaruru from Thursday 24th September to Sunday 27th September 2015 (race days Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September 2015).

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South Waikato District Council is excited to host the event in the district and have been incredibly positive with discussions to date. The Council see the event as having a substantial positive impact on the promotion of their district. This event aligns well with our key strategic goal of district promotion and of course our affinity with sport and active living,” said Council’s Communications Manager Kerry Fabrie. “In addition the economic spinoff resulting from hosting this event in our district supports our focus on driving positive growth for our economy.”

The AORC is also working closely with representatives of Hancock Forestry Management to develop a track layout within the Ngatira Forest that will meet Forestry criteria and conditions. The team hope to have this agreed to in the next couple of months.

Accommodation in the area is limited so there will be an emphasis on freedom camping being available at the track with hot showers and toilets available for those camping, as well as the large event marquee setup with tables and chairs.

The AORC have decided that ORANZ (the governing body for offroad racing in NZ) will provide the Chief Steward, Chief Technical Officer and Clerk of the Course roles for the event to ensure the level of compliance in all things racing related is consistent with ORANZ regulations.

The event is currently being managed by Ernie Hogg and the AORC Club Committee but the reins will soon be handed over to a three person NZ1000 committee who will oversee the management of the event and report back to the Committee and Club as planning progresses.

The countdown is on …………………….

Ben Thomasen wins again – King of the 2014 Peter Howell Memorial

Ben Thomasen takes his Polaris RZR1000 to an emphatic victory in Maramarua Forest

Ben Thomasen takes his Polaris RZR1000 to an emphatic victory in Maramarua Forest

2014 Peter Howell Memorial – From racer and AORC President Ernie Hogg -

“Well the Peter Howell Memorial is done and dusted for another year. Congratulations to Ben Thomasen who had another outstanding drive, Mike Small and Shaun Russell for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Ernie hogg in flight on lap 2 of the race

Ernie hogg in flight on lap 2 of the race

We started the day well when we qualified 2nd fastest with a good run and even better turn around the cone at the top of the qualifying sprint. Pole went to Richard Crabb and 3rd fastest was Ben Thomasen. There were 22 entries on the day.

Neil Howell blasts through the timing line during the sprint for pole

Neil Howell blasts through the timing line during the sprint for pole

Unfortunately we didn’t do so well in the race, crashing out in the 1st race on lap 3 of 7 sitting in 2nd place behind Ben Thomasen when we backed it into a corner and exited the track backwards down a bank. After several attempts at the impossible we decided to exit the car before it buggered off down the bank further so while we had some spectators put some weight on the front of the car, we climbed out of the buggy. It had been a long time since I’d watched the race from the side of the track, but fortunately it was reasonably warm. We were towed / winched out after the race was finished by Kevin Cooper and were able to drive our way back to the pits.

Shaun Russell has made the move from Challenger to Class 1 in the ex Robt. Ryan V8 racer. Shaun sprinted well and finished in 3rd overall

Shaun Russell has made the move from Challenger to Class 1 in the ex Robt. Ryan V8 racer. Shaun sprinted well and finished in 3rd overall

In the 2nd race we were making our way through the field from the back as the track got faster and faster when on lap 5 we lost a steering rod bolt on the hub end resulting in the steering rod being snapped off at the rack end which resulted in us clearing a path through some toitoi’s as the buggy decided to exit the track left. After levelling 30m of toitoi and gorse bushes we came to a rest, backed ourselves out of the toitoi’s, removed a sack full of toitoi’s and gorse from inside the cabin and drove rather drunken like to an area where we could pull over away from the traffic. A message was relayed back to the pits after the race and we were soon delivered a replacement steering arm which we fitted and once again we drove our way back to the pits.

Veteran racer, Richard Crabbe brought his experience to bear when he set the fastest sprint time in his class 1 racer and took Pole position for the race.

Veteran racer, Richard Crabbe brought his experience to bear when he set the fastest sprint time in his class 1 racer and took Pole position for the race.

Overall we were pretty happy with the day, in Race 1 it was a fine line between making it or not and we didn’t and in the Race 2, sometimes stuff breaks and there is not much you can do about it – that’s offroad racing!

U16 belongs to Joel Giddy. This is a brand new, off the shelf Polaris RZR1000 and it featured strongly throughout the race.

U16 belongs to Joel Giddy. This is a brand new, off the shelf Polaris RZR1000 and it featured strongly throughout the race.

We’d like to thank the organisers, volunteers, marshalls, lap scorers, registrars and scrutineers including the volunteers who helped with track setup on the Saturday for a great relaxed event especially Phil Cameron who was the Event Organiser and Clerk of the Course.

Also like to thank Graeme Sandford who climbed in the co-driver’s seat for the day and to Taine Carrington for helping in the pits and on the radio.”

HAMPTON DOWNS POLARIS OFF ROAD PARK – OPENS IN OCTOBER

Hampton Downs trackmap1Hampton Downs Motor Sport Park will expand activities at its complex this October with the opening of a huge park for casual and competition off road use.

Polaris, the world’s largest off road vehicle producer has taken up naming rights and the new venue will be known as the Hampton Downs Polaris Off Road Park.

The off road park is a new concept for off road motorsports, providing accessibility to a well-established facility on a weekly basis with track hire available all season. It will cater for casual use every Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 4pm during a season that will run from October to May and will cater for bikes, ATVs, UTVs and off road race cars. There are plans for regular competitive events and brand new “Skids 4 Kids” days will also be a feature, encouraging younger generations to become involved. Major partner Polaris sees it as a great fit in its drive to increase popularity and sales of its factory-produced range of off road recreation and competition vehicles.

Park Manager Ian Foster believes The Polaris Off Road Park will be significant for the growth and exposure of the sport which is often conducted in remote, one-off, locations. “The aim is to grow the sport by giving anybody and everybody the opportunity to experience off roading in a controlled environment with competitions at the venue to expose the sport of Off Road Racing to the general public,” he explained.

A focus will be on the factory produced class of UTV vehicles, which are fast becoming popular for both recreation and competition. The first UTV Championship will be a feature of the season and will be staged in conjunction with a revived Off Road Grand Prix Series. Auckland Off Road Racing Club has booked eight dates to run Off Road Association of New Zealand (ORANZ) sanctioned events at the park over next summer, which will include a National Championship round.

Hampton Downs circuit is already popular amongst the country’s car brands and the new facility will also be available for dealer demonstration days, corporate ride days and track hire during weekends and week days by appointment. The public will also be welcome to hire an off road vehicle on offer or bring their own, trailered, machine to any of the public weekends scheduled throughout the summer season.

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Further information is available at www.hamptondownsoffroadpark.co.nz and you can follow latest updates at www.facebook.com/hamptondownsoffroadpark