OF­FROAD RAC­ING

Taranaki Daily News - - Front Page - GRANT MATTHEW

"The track has been get­ting a bit of a rep­u­ta­tion too, there are heaps of peo­ple keen to race on it."

Gary Preston

It has only taken one sea­son and Joe Mor­ris is hooked on of­froad rac­ing.

The plumber from Mid­hirst is a mem­ber of the Taranaki Of­froad Rac­ing Club (TORC) and races his chal­lenger class ve­hi­cle the se­cond Sun­day of the month at the club’s pur­pose-built track on Croy­don Rd.

‘‘Its just real good fun’’ he said.

‘‘It can be a cheap sport or you can spend as much as you want.’’

Mor­ris spent $1000 build­ing his car and said he did it on the cheap just so he could get out there.

‘‘Some of these cars are worth over a hun­dred thou­sand,’’ he added.

He ac­quired the chas­sis off girl­friend Louise Lang, who is also a mem­ber at the club, and set to adding all the rac­ing com­po­nents.

She has her own car too and races with her sis­ter Mor­gan af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced to the sport through fa­ther Greg Lang and long­time racer Ricky May.

‘‘It’s a great fam­ily en­vi­ron­ment,’’ Mor­ris said.

‘‘There are mem­bers in the club that don’t even race.’’

Club spokesman Gary Preston said there were 23 paid up rac­ing mem­bers and 12 so­cial mem­bers.

‘‘They all just want to be part of what’s go­ing on here. From help­ing out with on­course mar­shalling to cook­ing sausages on the fundrais­ing bar­be­cue.’’

It is a pos­i­tive sign for the club, which had had a short hia­tus since the early 2000’s with no per­ma­nent track and most mem­bers rac­ing in Manawatu.

Once a suit­able piece of land was lo­cated the club’s new track was built over the last four years.

‘‘It’s taken a lot of hard work be­hind the scenes to get the club up and run­ning again,’’ Preston said.

‘‘The track has been get­ting a bit of a rep­u­ta­tion too. There are heaps of peo­ple keen to race on it,’’ he said.

All the hard work has paid off, with TORC host­ing the first round of the Off Road As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand Na­tion­als on March 11.

PHO­TOS: GRANT MATTHEW/STUFF

Joe Mor­ris races at Waipuku Race­way, home of the Taranaki Of­froad Rac­ing Club, at Mid­hirst Taranaki.

The Waipuku Race­way will host the na­tion­als next month.

The Waipuku Race­way has been un­der con­struc­tion for the last four years.

Joe Mor­ris and girl­friend Louise Lang are mem­bers of the Taranaki Of­froad Rac­ing Club.

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