Trike Grand Prix a roaring and screaming success
The idea was simply to get a bunch of mates back together again and, after Kim had made a drift bike for mate Mike’s 40th birthday, they realized they had a winning formula. Mike said that if Kim would build another few trikes, he’d organize the event, and The Drift Extravaganza was born. Kim wound up building nine trikes, all different, reflecting the different personalities and motoring histories of their intended pilots. They had different frames, forks, engine layouts, and a mix of big four-stroke engines and a couple of tiny two-strokes.
Kim was amazed that the event went as smoothly as it did, and with such close racing.
“The two-strokes lacked power on the sharp corners, and there were a lot of corners, but they had great top-end power on the long straight,” he says. Two-stroke-fan Kim says there were only a couple of seconds between his trike and eventual winner Mike’s fourstroke, even over two laps covering about half a kilometre.
The track was laid out over an L-shaped concrete pad joining a 100x30m strip to a 50m square pad at one of the racer’s family’s engineering yard in Morrinsville.
“Skinny told us at great length to take care going around some gear that had just come out of the workshop, and then he was the one who crashed into it, going backwards over it,” Kim recalls. Despite the craziness of the concept the final toll was some minor paint damage to the gear that was supposed to be avoided, and the worst rider injury was a scrape that didn’t even justify a plaster.
Kim says that they took care to keep the risks reasonable, with two racers only on track at a time, with a five-second gap between them, and the winner was decided by the time gap at the end. He was delighted with how the trikes held together under the pressures of racing. Two dropped their chains, but the skills in the crew meant they were able to refit and adjust them themselves for the next rounds.
At the end of the knockout competition, event organizer Mike claimed the trophy and the top step of the podium, as well as the incredible mana attached to that feat, and bragging rights for the year.
Gubby also scored a hattrick of awards, being garlanded with the toilet seat of shame — the You Stink award — for bad sportsmanship, and he also carried off the paddle for biggest stirrer
Second place — or “Not First” as it was labelled — went to Flea, and third place, or “Not Even Close”, went to Gubby. Gubby also scored a hat-trick of awards, being garlanded with the toilet seat of shame — the You Stink award — for bad sportsmanship, and he also carried off the paddle for biggest stirrer.
“The whole thing went way better than I expected,” says Kim. It achieved the main purpose of bring the crew back together again.
The mates were all school friends in two form years at Morrinsville College. “We had drifted far and wide since then, so it wasn’t easy to get everyone together,” Kim says. “We all agreed [that] we’re going to do it all again next year. We might do other things in between but at the very least we’ll do this again.”