Clas­sic bikes join in races

Kapi-Mana News - - MOTORING -

The 32nd Clas­sic Mo­tor­cy­cle Fes­ti­val will be held at the Pukekohe cir­cuit over Wai­tangi Day week­end next year.

This world-fa­mous event will fea­ture more than 300 bikes from the 1920s to 1975 of Bri­tish, Euro­pean and Amer­i­can ori­gin, with a huge pro­gramme of more than 50 races and pa­rades.

It is recog­nised as the finest gath­er­ing of clas­sic rac­ing mo­tor­cy­cles in the south­ern hemi­sphere.

Rid­ers from the United States, Ja­pan, Aus­tralia and the Bri­tain will be com­pet­ing.

New Zealand’s Grand Prix star, Gin­ger Mol­loy, will be rac­ing his 250cc Bul­taco GP bike that he re­cently used to win the Aus­tralian His­toric 250cc Cham­pi­onship at Phillip Is­land.

Mol­loy was run­ner-up in the Premier 500cc Moto-GP Class to Gi­a­como Agos­tini in 1970, and has con­tin­ued to race mo­tor­cy­cles for more than 50 years, still look­ing ev­ery bit the pro­fes­sional rider.

A spe­cial dis­play is planned to cel­e­brate 100 years of the fa­mous Ital­ian Benelli brand and the 1920s Amer­i­can icon, Hen­der­son.

The Hen­der­son was fa­mous for its mas­sive four cylin­der car-size en­gine in an era when most mo­tor­cy­cles had one or two cylin­ders.

The Amer­i­can mo­tor­cy­cle in­dus­try thrived in the early 1920s and other US man­u­fac­tur­ers copied the suc­cess­ful Hen­der­son de­sign, with al­most ev­ery brand find­ing its way to New Zealand.

More than 30 dif­fer­ent ma­chines are to be dis­played with such rar­i­ties as Mil­i­taire, Cleve­land, Ace and In­dian all rep­re­sented in what may well be the best dis­play of these bikes ever as­sem­bled any­where in the world.

Steve Wynn, the fa­mous Manch­ester Du­cati agent who spon­sored Mike Hail­wood’s record-break­ing re­turn to the Isle of Man TT, now lives in New Zealand and has ar­ranged to demon­strate a 1954 ex­fac­tory MV-Agusta 500cc 4 cylin­der GP racer.

Other ex­otic rides be­ing raced in­clude a 1957 BMW 500cc Rennsport GP racer and a 500cc DOHC Jawa GP racer.

This meet­ing has gained an in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion for its com­bi­na­tion of highly com­pet­i­tive rac­ing com­bined with a ‘‘ live mu­seum’’ at­mos­phere with many of the bikes only seen in pub­lic for this event.

A huge field of the fa­mous Manx Nor­tons, Match­less G50s and AJS 7R Grand Prix rac­ers pro­vide very close rac­ing with lap times that amaze many mod­ern rac­ers.

En­try to the pits is free. Car park­ing is free. En­try is $30 for a full week­end pass (Fe­bru­ary 5-6).

This meet­ing will be fol­lowed a week later by a sec­ond New Zealand Clas­sic Mo­tor­cy­cle Rac­ing Reg­is­ter race meet­ing for clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cles only, to be held at the new Hampton Downs Cir­cuit, a fur­ther 15 min­utes drive south of Auck­land.

See nzcmrr.com for more in­for­ma­tion.

Photo: HIGHSIDE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Clas­sic ride: Gin­ger Mol­loy in ac­tion on a 1966 Bul­taco 350.

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