Top titles on the line at Oreti Park

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Oreti Park rider Sam Taylor in action at the Burt Munro Challenge. Photo: Vanessa Adcock Photography

SIDEWAYS action will be to the fore as Oreti Park Speedway hosts a plethora of championship titles this weekend.

Spectators will be treated to two days of racing as riders across all divisions strive to etch their name on an array of silverware.

Eight riders will contest the Newfield Autos South Island Solo Championship on Saturday, including talented Christchurch trio Andy Aldridge, George Congreve and Sean Cox, who will be determined to dominate their Oreti counterparts.

After clinching the Burt Munro Challenge silverware, Oreti hopeful Sam Taylor will be aiming to add this one to his trophy cabinet.

In the sidecar ranks, 10 combinations will contest the Ronnie Tree Memorial, including his son Erwin Tree, who has teamed with former NZ1 swinger Ricky Pubben.

Competition will be fierce with several experienced duos capable of claiming the chequered flag, including Bradley Sharp and Lance Jefcoate, Luke Thwaites and Neville Chalmers, Aiden Thwaites and Shane Twiss, Paul Humphrey and Chris Chatfield and Southland champions Jason Harpur and James Dawson.

The young guns will also be in action, battling it out for the Permacoat Roofing Southland junior and peewee titles.

Canterbury youngsters will face the daunting task of trying to topple an in-form Oreti bunch, including recently crowned Ronnie Moore Memorial champion Hayden Brookland and Burt Munro Challenge winner Dakota Crengle in the 200cc division.

Dubbed meeting as the club celebrates a 20th anniversary milestone, Sunday’s programme will feature the coveted Brian Reed Memorial for solos and the Peter Blick Memorial for sidecars.

After an 11-year hiatus, on March 4, 2000, the club was officially resurrected following a tenacious effort from six speedway enthusiasts Joe Hughes, Jason Brown, Aiden Thwaites, Jason Clark, Lex Shepard and Paul Hayes.

The dedicated group transformed the dilapidated oval circuit and Oreti Park has continued to go from strength to strength, including being named New Zealand Speedway Club of the Year in 2010.

Current president Alex Cunningham said it was a fantastic chance to reflect.

those guys had not only resurrected our club, it ultimately saved our sport. There’s no doubt our local riders have had a tremendous impact on both the national and international speedway scene over the years as a result,

boast the strongest junior contingent in the country which bodes well for the future. This weekend we will pay tribute to those who made it all happen 20 years ago and others who have shared their passion during Oreti Park’s journey.

Racing starts at 2pm on Saturday and noon on Sunday.

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