BRITTENS, the Spirit of Munro Indian Scout and free live streaming will feature at this year’s Burt Munro Challenge next month.
Into its 13th season, the challenge has been described as the most intense week of motorcycle racing on all terrains including beach, hill, track, street, drags and speedway, attracting a list of attendees from around the globe.
Hosted by the Southland Motorcycle Club, vice president and street race organiser Garry Jamieson said ticket sales were already “eclipsing” previous year’s sales.
“The whole experience is attracting attention overseas and the list of attendees from far-flung places is growing fast, including a whole lot of Americans who are coming this year.
“We already have a 40% increase booked at the rally site.”
Mr Jamieson is understandably excited by this year’s line-up, describing it as the year for “petrolhead nuts of an international standard” to get-together.
“These guys live and breathe it… each year what we are celebrating is a bit of fun… it [the challenge] brings so many people from all walks of life together… Southlanders, British, Americans… to bring their bikes out…”
Mr Jamieson said some of this year’s headliners included “legendary DJ and massive supporter of Kiwi motorsport Carl Cox, as well as two Britten motorcycles courtesy of Kiwi Kevin Grant and American Bob Robbins; one of Italy’s (and now America’s) top racer-come-performance tuners of all-time – ‘Fast’ Eraldo Ferracci, and up-and-coming American female pro road racer Jamie Astudillo.”
At just 18, and already an accomplished motocross racer who has made the transition to road racing, Astudillo aimed to take on Bluff Hill and the street race on a KTM 450, and Teretonga on a 1984 Ducati 750 Santamonica.
“She is an exciting young lady who is coming through the ranks of the American system and is coming out to race in summer… along with a huge group of sponsors and support [crew].”
Ferracci was well-known in the super bike world, Mr Jamieson said. “He is a living legend of making Ducatis go fast.”The Munro legend lives on
Closer to home, and following in his great uncle’s tyre treads will be Bonneville Salt Flat ace Lee Munro with his Spirit of Munro Indian Scout, which Munro has raced at Bonneville Speed Week for the past two years attempting to break the 200mph record in the MPS-G 1350cc class.
As part of this year’s challenge, three iconic motorcycles including the Indian, and a motorcycle replica and streamliner from the 2005 World’s Fastest Indian movie, will be ridden along Oreti Beach in tribute to his legendary great uncle, and motorcyclist Burt Munro.
“This will be the chance to see the modern equivalent of his great uncle Burt’s machine ride Oreti Beach alongside a piece of Kiwi motorsport history,” Mr Jamieson said.
A Kiwi motorcycle icon, the original Brittens were designed and built by John Britten and friends in Christchurch in the 1990s.
Almost a quarter of a century later, the opportunity to see Brittens in action will be a rare opportunity.
Both Brittens have competed at the Isle Of Man Classic TT Race, and Grant’s Britten was used by Andrew Stroud when he won the 1995 World BEARS Championship.
This challenge, the CRS Britten will be raced by Stephen Briggs, who also intended to ride at Teretonga and the street race on a 2005 Ducati PS1000, as well as demonstration runs.
The Brittens will also be on display at Teretonga, the street races and an evening event on the Wednesday night.
Free live streaming
Live streaming will be offered this year as part of the challenge’s coverage, Venture Southland event co-ordinator Claire Blau said.
Mrs Blau said this was an exciting addition to the challenge and would make the event more accessible to international audiences and those less mobile.
Mr Jamieson said people could also live stream the event on their phone at any of the events to get better coverage.
It could give another dimension to being there, and would be especially handy for events such as the hill climb where spectators could see it live streaming, then experience the thrill as the bikes went past them, he said.
This year’s Burt Munro Challenge will be held from Wednesday, February 6, until Sunday, February 10. For more details, go to www.burtmunrochallenge.co.nz