ENZED OFFROAD CHAMPS
The leading truck (4WD) competitors made their mark at the final northern round of the 2015 ENZED Offroad Racing Championship at Meremere in early August.
Raana Horan dominated three of the four heats for the unlimited truck class at the Leader Products short course event on All Terrain Racing Club’s purpose-built track at Meremere but was forced to miss the last heat due to work commitments.
Class leader Jono Climo tore apart his Kumho-backed JRC Toyota V8 truck’s left front upright in the first heat, and Palmerston North racer William van der Wal’s new Demon energy drink-sponsored truck caught fire late in the day.
Nick Leahy was making a ‘guest appearance’ in the same class driving the Camco Toyota Chev but broke the truck’s steering. There were no such dramas for Nick Hall, who powered the Elf Toyota Hilux to three second placings behind Horan and then won the final truck heat outright.
In a long day of short course racing at the All Terrain Racing Club’s Meremere track, six drivers amassed the maximum 72 points.
Three of the four truck classes saw drivers take the maximum: Cameron Taylor won class 2 for production four wheel drives and truck in his Nissan Navara; Te Puke’s Rex Croskery won class four for sports/improved trucks in his Toyota Hilux; Warren Adams won class six for Challenge trucks in his Nissan Safari.
A full 72 points in the youth category went to Harry Hodgson in the Midas J-class Kiwitruck and Jackson Savage in the tiny but deceptively fast K-class Polaris.
For the first time, it was the youth Kiwitruck category that had the biggest entry in the championship. The event attracted a record ten J-class entries in the youth category along with the new K-class Polaris and two M-class Kiwitrucks. In the race car classes a full 72 points went to Gregg Carrington-Hogg who won class 9 with a clean sweep in his Chev-powered Baja. New competitor Paul Hussey won class 10 in his Edge Barracuda with four wins from four starts. Multiple national champion Tony McCall broke his ENZED BSL Terra Chev’s steering in heat two for the Achilles Radial-backed class one unlimited race cars. His crew repaired the car but he repeated the damage in heats three and four, nursing the crippled single seater home in fourth place in both those heats.
Ben Thomasen broke his front suspension and his Polaris team-mate Dyson Delahunty rolled his Polaris RZR 1000 in the U-class heats, while Joel Giddy rolled his RZR in the final U-class heat. Drifter Carl Ruiterman made the most of the mayhem to win the class on the day and take out U-class for the northern region.
Devlin Hill rolled his class three single-seater stadium car on the same corner that claimed the two UTVs of Delahunty and Giddy. Hill was able to continue, but Brendon Midgely won three of the four class three heats.
The overall win on the day and victory in class one went to Whakatane’s Malcolm Langley who capitalised on Tony McCall’s misfortune in the second heat. Langley was third in the first heat ( won by McCall) then won the next three to maximise his points take from the day after missing the opening round and only scoring ten points at the second round, the Woodhill 100.
Three out of four
Albany’s Raana Horan was only able to race three of the four heats in his Nissan Titan V8 due to business commitments but dominated those first three heats with Nick Hall the only driver able to stay with the Horan Nissan.
Hall, who had harried Horan’s Nissan in his Toyota Chev Prolite all day, won the final heat for the class and posted fastest time of the day with a lap of 56.583 in heat three. Lap times had tumbled as the track dried out and the top trucks were under the one minute barrier even in the slippery first heat, while the big unlimited class race cars were unable to match Hall’s time.
The biggest drama in the unlimited truck class, though, befell Palmerston North’s William van der Wal, whose new truck caught fire in the middle of the third heat. Overheating transmission fluid had sprayed onto the engine block and exhaust pipe, where it caught fire. Parking off the track, a frantic van der Wal at first attempted to put the fire out himself before marshals arrived to extinguish the flames.
The national championship final round will be held in November on a farm course in Hawke’s Bay. The 2015 racing calendar was adjusted to enable competitors to also contest the sport’s flagship event, the NZ1000, in September.
Fire in the hole! William van der Wal before the fire..
Raana Horan dominated three of the four heats