Champs a celebration of bikes

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Shaun Kerr and Neville Chalmers (6i), on a Weslake Parallel Twin, compete against Aiden Thwaites and Shane Twiss, on a V Twin Godden Classic Sidecar. Photo: Supplied

SPEEDWAY competitors took a hit when national titles for all grades were postponed for the season because of Covid-19.

Oreti Park decided it was time to invest in its members and give back to the riders who put on a show every race day.

The Mainland Champs, on January 8, will be a celebration of all things bikes.

Every grade is full, with competitors travelling from far and wide to enjoy a day in the dirt in the deep south.

2NZ for sidecars, Jamie Moohan and Patrick Larsen, will face off against the local 3NZ of Paul Humphrey and Chris Chatfield for bragging rights.

With 1NZ James Douglas taking a year off (and lending his bike to his understudy), passenger Harley Biddle will be on the handlebars of the 47i machine with Sam Taylor on the back.

A full field of sidecar twins will feature but the ones to watch could be local pairing Aiden Thwaites and Shane Twiss going head to head with past champions Wayne Turner and Laurie MacMahon.

In the Solo A division, past champion Grant Tregonning returns to the kevlar suit for a fitting day of racing with two full heats of tough competition.

George Congreve, of Christchurch, and Alex Cunningham will be pushing for a podium over the young talent of Lucas and Ryan Colvin and Hayden Brookland. Hard charger John Tuffley will be doing all he can to show them age is no barrier to talent, with a hotly contested race day expected.

The Juniors and Peewees are dominating numbers for Oreti Park an exciting prospect for future racing and growth.

Finn Reed will be looking to back up his recent Southland Champs win on the 200. Slayde Fordyce, Sam Coulthard and Rylan Casey will be hoping to fight off the Moore Park contingent in the 125cc grade.

Familiar surnames of Kelman, Kennedy, Cunningham and Sharp all feature in the Peewee divisions.

With a huge cash prize pool, Oreti Park has been supported by local businesses; Harvey Tanks, C Brown Builders and C Sharp Tiling have provided prizes for all podium winners.

  • Mainland Champs, January 8, Oreti Park Speedway, Pit Rd, Otatara. Adults $20, children under-16 free. Vaccination passes required for entry.
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