Pukekohe Clas­sic Fes­ti­val

2-4 Fe­bru­ary, 2018 – Pukekohe Park, New Zealand

Old Bike Australasia - - CONTENTS - Re­port and pho­tos Jim Scays­brook

Con­tin­u­ing the resur­gence of clas­sic rac­ing at Pukekohe, south of Auck­land, the 39th NZCMRR Fes­ti­val took place un­der threat­en­ing skies and once again pro­duced some bril­liant rac­ing. With the Fes­ti­val’s ethos now ex­tended to in­clude ‘eight­ies Ja­panese ma­chin­ery, the race pro­gram has taken on a dif­fer­ent look, and in do­ing so has ex­tended the ap­peal to a new gen­er­a­tion. It has also seen the emer­gence of a clutch of young charg­ers who will take the sport into the next era and be­yond. These in­cluded Tyler Lin­coln (aged 20) on Dave Ke­nah’s Manx Nor­ton, Dan Met­tam (21) on an in­de­cently fast 500cc Nor­ton Dom­i­na­tor, and Du­cati- mounted Finn Har­man (22) who won the Christo­pher Leeke Me­mo­rial Tro­phy. Satur­day’s pro­gram be­gan un­der dark and threat­en­ing skies, and by mid­day track ac­tion came to a halt as the cir­cuit flooded. How­ever Sun­day dawned fine and the or­gan­is­ers quickly had rac­ing un­der­way in front of a healthy crowd.

As well as the races, the Fes­ti­val fea­tured a trib­ute to Ge­off Perry, with some of his Suzukis and a big pho­to­graphic dis­play. The other theme was a cel­e­bra­tion of past Superbike stars headed by triple World Cham­pion Troy Bayliss on his ti­tle-win­ning 996RS Du­cati, Aaron Slight on an SP-1 Honda, An­drew Stroud on a Suzuki, Gary Good­fel­low on one of Kevin Grant’s Du­catis, Steve Briggs on the ‘CRS’ Brit­ten owned by Amer­i­can Bob Rob­bins, and four-time World Cham­pion Hugh An­der­son aboard a Vin­cent Black Light­ning.

There was some thrilling rac­ing – the Pre 1989 F1 in par­tic­u­lar which fea­tured a bat­tle be­tween win­ner Paul Pavletich’s Yamaha OW01, Den­nis Charlett on a McIn­tosh Suzuki and Matt Eg­gle­ton’s Yamaha FZR 1000 that was not re­solved un­til the fi­nal cor­ner. An­other close con­test was the 251-350, where Neville Bull brought his Manx Nor­ton home cen­time­tres ahead of Dan Met­tam’s Honda and Zur­rin Wiki’s Aer­ma­c­chi; truly an in­ter­na­tional clash! The fa­ther and son team of Bill and Chris Swal­low were also busy, both rid­ing in sev­eral classes, with Bill bring­ing Phil Price’s ex-Les Diener Eldee Ve­lo­cette home first in the 250 race, leav­ing a trail of more modern two strokes in his wake.

With the main races for the per­pet­ual tro­phies com­pleted, Sun­day’s pro­gram was de­layed by an oil spill, at which point the rain re­turned. The or­gan­is­ers are very mind­ful of pre­serv­ing their Mo­tor­cy­cling NZ per­mit to race at the cir­cuit, and to avoid the pos­si­bil­ity of ac­ci­dents the rest of the meet­ing was aban­doned. The resur­fac­ing of the cir­cuit is due to be com­pleted prior to the 2019 Fes­ti­val, and this will elim­i­nate the patch work which is treach­er­ously slip­pery in the wet, as well as the bumps and rip­ples that make the start/fin­ish straight such a bouncy ride. The open-to-pub­lic pit and pad­dock area make this a spec­tac­u­lar show where, un­like some other cir­cuits, the bikes are not hid­den away in garages. Thanks to the un­tir­ing ef­forts of the NZCMRR, the an­nual Pukekohe Fes­ti­val ap­pears back in rude health, and is def­i­nitely a must-at­tend date for the 2019 cal­en­dar. Full re­sults can be seen at www.mark­time.co.nz

Fab­u­lous dice in one of the 350 con­tests be­tween win­ner Neville Bull (72), Zur­rin Wiki (24) and Dan Met­tam. One of Ge­off Perry’s Suzukis on dis­play. Jim Quil­ter rode his Tri­umph Day­tona up from Welling­ton, stripped the glass­ware, raced in all week­end,...

Star of the Pre-89 class, Finn Har­man on his 1989 750 F2 Du­cati. Steve Briggs on the CR&S Brit­ten, the third of the ten bikes built. The first Kiwi to win a World Superbike race, Gary Good­fel­low. Mark Halls and Jes­sica Housby starred in the Side­car...

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