PREPARATIONS are well under way for the iconic Burt Munro Challenge, with steady competitive registrations and ticket sales reported.
The 12th challenge will be held for the first time during February after the events organising committee opted to move the four-day challenge from November to what is considered the calmer February weather window.
Southland Motorcycle Club president Andy Underhay said that after 11 years of holding the event in late November, it was decided that a change of date was in the best interest of the challenge.
“We want to deliver the best possible event to competitors and spectators alike. November was often found wanting in terms of weather reliability; it seemed a natural choice for the committee to move the challenge to February,” he said.
Venture Southland major events co-ordinator Claire Blau said a large majority of those surveyed after the 2016 challenge indicated a change of date would be welcomed.
“There was substantial support on social media channels following the Burt Munro Challenge organising committee’s announcement of the move to February a year ago.
“The support for the move seems to be reflected in ticket sales, with the $99 all-event special proving a popular Christmas stocking filler. Tickets are available online for the first time in some years, but can also be purchased at the event on the day,” she said.
For Mr Underhay, the addition of twilight drag racing on the evening of the first day of the challenge added to the event’s ethos of making things go faster in true Burt Munro fashion.
“We’re looking forward to adding drag racing to the busy calendar of hill climbing, track racing, beach racing, speedway and street racing. You would be hard pressed to find a motorcycle rally anywhere in the world that offers as many options for competitors and spectators.”
Munro Challenge will be held from Thursday, February 8, to Sunday, February 11.
Presale tickets can be purchased online at www.burtmunrochallenge.co.nz or at the Invercargill i-SITE at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery.
Those people wanting to compete have until January 8 to register.