Burt Munro | From April ’20 Issue

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STORY Natasha King
PHOTOS Vanessa Adcock

It’s been a few years since the weather has been an issue for The Burt Munro Speedway Spectacular but after Southland stood cut off by floodwaters it was certainly touch and go as to whether we would see any racing at all!

Despite numerous rumours of the tracks being under water, it was simply a case of waiting for the roads to clear and we were all ready to go for 5 days of racing action at the home of The World’s Fastest Indian.

The Partmaster Speedway Spectacular is the biggest event on the Sievwwright Oreti Park Calendar. With over 70 races across 9 grades it is a logistical challenge for an organising committee let alone track prep teams. To wake on the morning of the event to a night of rain meant that all hands were on deck from the crack of dawn to repair and prepare a track for a mammoth day ahead.

Fraser Gillespie, Ian Bain and their crew worked tirelessly to bring us a track worthy of the line-up we had. As the grand parade began with Sir Tim Shadbolt waving and smiling there were many gasps of relief among the organisers. The organising committee, track prep team and all the extra helpers had done a brilliant job in getting the track ready to race.

Racing was always going to be fast and down to the wire. With only 3 rounds each class it was imperative that no rounds were lost if you wanted to stay in the game. With thousands of spectators lining the track it was standing room only to view one of the most impressive events on the Speedway Calendar.

The Peewee grades certainly didn’t disappoint with 33c Jaxon Harley from Moore Park taking out the 50cc class for the second year in a row and Sam Coulthard seizing the 70cc class for his first ever Burt Munro Trophy!

Oreti Parks Junior contingent was in good hands with Kadin Cracknell backing up his 2019 BMC with the 2020 trophy to add to the cabinet. Dakota Crengle is continuing to prove he is one to watch in the future with a win in the 200cc division.

The Cantabrian Crew dominated in the Sidecar B division with 53c Chris Roberts/Rod Renfrew taking out the win. 28c Paul Anderson/ Johnny Maxwell securing second ahead of home town pairing of 23i Kevin Mcdonald/Karl Hosie on their classic machine.

Solo B grade was taken out by Bradley Stockton on his 25c machine and 5P Ryan Terry Daley claimed the Classic grade in fine form.

Current 3NZ on the Solo scene, Ryan Terry Daley, rode in both grades for the day and after securing the win for the classics he certainly was a favourite for the A grade class as well. Unfortunately, an incident in the final saw him excluded after both he and local front runner Sam Taylor came down in spectacular fashion. With everyone in the pits helping to get Sam’s second 7i bike on the track for the rerun, it was nail biting stuff for the home lad and his support crew.

A superb final race saw George Congreve lead out with Sam Taylor riding in behind. After 3 smooth and consistent laps it was Sam’s turn to make an effortless pass and take out his first Burt Munro in front of a very proud mother and Solo Rep Rachel.

Sidecar A racing was always going to be quick and tight to the end. With 3 Australian teams remaining after the Australasian Champs it was never going to be easy to knock those combos off that podium.

84AUS Darrin Treloar/Blake Cox proved to us once again that they are without a doubt the top of the game taking out 1st in style. 43AUS Warren Monson/Andrew Summerhayes dialled it in for 2nd and 64AUS Brodie Cohen/Simon Cohrs enjoyed the third placed silverware. Parting words from Mr Treloar certainly insinuated that this may not be the last we see of them on this side of the Tasman.

It’s been a mammoth 3 weeks for the Top of the Sidecar world in NZ, so a few weeks break for both club and riders comes as a relief. We return for our Resurrection Weekend 7/8 March with the South Island Solos amongst other local titles.