Oreti Park Speedway riders shine

(From left) Mauger Kelman 3rd, Ollie Cunningham 1st, and Maddox Harley (Christchurch) 2nd.
(From left) Kadin Cracknell 2nd, Finn Reed 1st, and Tyler Bain-Hoy 3rd, all of Invercargill.

GOLD, silver and bronze were found at the checkered flag at Christchurch’s Moorepark Speedway last month after several young Southland Sievwright Oreti Park speedway riders won placings in the Speedway New Zealand Youth Gold Cup.

Riders aged 7 to 15 years left their mark on the championships after riders took out the top three spots of the 200cc Junior Solo Class, club secretary Selina Cracknell said.

“These kids are now considered to be New Zealand’s top riders… they’re so competitive… they love it.

“At times they could be pretty hard on themselves.

“We are pretty lucky in our club to have some of these juniors at the top of their grades in the country is pretty awesome.”

Peewee Class rider Mauger Kelman also won placings in all of his heats.

“He’s been doing a lot of travelling to Christchurch at the moment and won another trophy at the Remembrance Champs.”

Finn Reed (15) and Ollie Cunningham (8) both placed first in their divisions.

Both boys were third-generation riders, after their fathers and grandfathers’ involvement in the sport.

Reed will be moving up a class for the next season.

“Most of these kids start on a 50cc bike when they are 5 years old,” Mrs Cracknell said.

Riders would graduate to brakeless, 125-200cc solo bikes at about 8 years old and sidecar bikes later in their career.

Mrs Cracknell said they wanted to see the club continue to grow especially with younger riders to ensure the future of the sport.

“We’ve probably got the biggest intake of kids in the country at the moment. We want more kids, because they’re our future. If we don’t have these kids coming through, there is not going to be speedway bikes.

“These kids are the future and we need to look after them.”

Training nights to up-skill and encourage the riders were held before the season started.

“The more we get these kids with bums on seats, the more the kids will get and the more they will enjoy it.”

The speedway season runs from October to March and meets fortnightly.

Blick Sidecars and Brian Reed Solo Memorial Champs were the first competitive races for the season’s opening meeting on November 5.