Don­ald stars in Kiwi clas­sic

2014 NZCMRR Clas­sic Fes­ti­val

Old Bike Australasia - - OUT’N’ABOUT - Re­port and Pho­tos Phil Pur­due High­side Pho­tog­ra­phy

7-9 Feb, 2014 – Hamp­ton Downs, NZ

This year’s event was sup­ported by Tri­umph and orig­i­nally billed to in­clude multi IoM TT win­ner, New Zealan­der, Bruce An­stey. Due to health is­sues An­stey had to pull out and was re­placed with an­other multi IoM TT win­ner, Aussie, Cam Don­ald rid­ing Ken McIntosh’s bikes once again. For the 2014 run­ning of the “Fes­ti­val” the or­gan­is­ers had a philo­soph­i­cal change of heart and in­cor­po­rated races for the New Zealand Post Clas­sic Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (NZPCRA) ma­chines so this year saw Ja­panese ma­chines run­ning in com­pet­i­tive races for the very first time in “Fes­ti­val” his­tory. Pre­vi­ously they had run as demon­stra­tions only. Satur­day opened to a damp track and a few light show­ers but these cleared and the track dried as prac­tice fin­ished and the rac­ing proper got un­der­way. It seemed that the clas­sic fields were down on pre­vi­ous years but with the 60 odd NZPCRA bikes it was hard to tell from the num­ber of races and the level of com­pe­ti­tion.

There was a flurry of ac­tiv­ity in the McIntosh garage as they en­deav­oured to rec­tify an is­sue that plagued them dur­ing the wet Fri­day and Satur­day’s prac­tice. A flood­ing car­bu­ret­tor, on the 500 Manx, di­lut­ing the en­gine oil with methanol. A quick change of carb and oil saw Don­ald back to run­ning at the pointy end of qual­i­fy­ing and this con­tin­ued over the length of the weekend with him win­ning ev­ery event he started on both the 500 Manx Nor­ton and the 1982 Bathurst Replica Suzuki. An­other very busy rider was once again Chris Swal­low rid­ing just about ev­ery class in the “clas­sics” apart from the 350’s. Cloud Craig-Smith (Saxon Du­cati), won all of the 350 Clas­sic events but was hard pushed by Neville Bull (Manx Nor­ton). These races cul­mi­nated with a close 0.31 sec­onds gap over the line in the fi­nal race. As usual the side­cars pro­vided ex­tremely close rac­ing, al­beit with a small field, but in all races the lead swapped mul­ti­ple times over the course of the race with the even­tual win­ner not be­ing able to be pre­dicted un­til the flag dropped. The spoils were split be­tween Robert Hood (Nor­ton Com­mando), Bryan Stent (Tri­umph Tri­dent) and Mark Smith (Tri­umph T140) keep­ing them hon­est. In the fi­nal side­car race for the weekend, the mar­gin across the fin­ish line was a mere 0.29 sec­onds re­flect­ing the in­ten­sity of the whole race. The NZPCRA Ju­nior races were won by Ja­son Hulme (Honda VFR NC30) with quite large mar­gins to Greg Smith (Du­cati TT2) in sec­ond for each. With fields of 28 or so ma­chines in­clud­ing many Yamaha TZ350’s, they were ex­tremely en­ter­tain­ing for the spec­ta­tors.

Steve Bridge was once again cam­paign­ing the very fast Nor­ton Com­mando in the Un­lim­ited Clas­sic races with these com­ing down to a one two af­fair be­tween Bridge and Terry Martin (Rob North Tri­dent). With over 20 ma­chines fac­ing the starter in each race, there was some ex­cel­lent rac­ing fur­ther back in the pack.

The races that seemed to pull more spec­ta­tors to the fences were the NZPCRA Se­nior events. These were a walk away for Cam Don­ald (McIntosh Suzuki) and an ab­ject les­son in high speed con­sis­tent lap­ping. Ed­die Kat­ten­berg (Yamaha FZR1000) gave Don­ald a run for his money but once Don­ald was in front he was hard to beat. Third place was split be­tween Vince Sharpe (Vince & Hyde Honda CB9)

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