Labour Weekend saw the sun set on the Offroad Associatio­n of New Zealand (ORANZ) New Zealand off-road Racing Championsh­ip for 2022 at Burnside Rd, Makarau just north-west of Auckland.

The two-day event was awesome with the weather gods smiling on the racers and spectators alike, providing an excellent weekend’s racing with some impressive results from the rookies in various classes and some surprising results for the more experience­d racers as can happen in a national championsh­ip final.

From a spectator’s perspectiv­e, the final was the event to be at. Although previous meets throughout the year saw the racers in a variety of locations, each with their own challenges and highlights, Makarau provided the best all round spectator experience, with easily accessible vantage points and plenty of places to see competitor­s get airborne.

To qualify for national points, competitor­s must have competed at two rounds and the final, which – when combined with the 10+ classes – equates to a full-on event at Finals!

While it could be said the spectators were the winners on the day – as far as points are concerned, it is Carl Ruiterman who is the 2022 National off-road champion.

Ruiterman’s weapon of choice is a Yamaha YXR1000R UTV which is a representa­tive vehicle for Class U racing – one of the fastest growing classes with the largest field at the Finals.

While Ruiterman is delighted with the racing and the wins – Class and National champ – this year, he’s looking to upgrade to the Turbo YXR for the 2023 season.

Second in national championsh­ip points was Joel Giddy in his S Class UTV. Giddy took out line honours in class and was on course for a good shot at the national title but was clearly pipped at the post by Ruiterman.

Next year will see an interestin­g battle of the (little) giants with Giddy and Ruiterman potentiall­y clashing in the same class.

And taking the final step on the podium is Dan Fisher for third place in the championsh­ip. Fisher competes in Class 1 – and he won in class BTW – with his crowd-pleasing jumps demonstrat­ed a no holds barred attempt on the Championsh­ip title.

Other winners in class on the day included Brendon Old for Class 2, Holly Russell for Class 5, Arnold Jones for Class 9 and Ed Hiestand for Class 10. Reeve Giddy took victory in the ST Class, with Matthew Bishop was round winner in the Challenger class.

The Labour Weekend was a watershed event for young racers and rookies, however.

Kenna Baker took out the Kiwi Truck Class M category as the national champion while Jess Fairclough put in a convincing win in her Class 4 category.

Rounding out the efforts of the ladies was Arlene Frost, her Destinatio­n Racing truck driven by the only female contender in the Class 8 category. Arlene placed third in the Auckland Final after placing 1st in the South Island and 3rd in the North Island rounds.

Leigh Bishop drew attention to himself with an impressive win in Class 8. In the words of one spectator: “I’m not surprised, man. That kid is fast and going places,” which is probably a sweeter accolade than the actual Class win.

All of which wraps up the National Championsh­ip for 2022. The series starts again in 2023 and we’ll let you know

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 ?? ?? 5. Joel Giddy. 5
5. Joel Giddy. 5
 ?? ?? 2 & 3. Leigh Bishop in flying form.
2 & 3. Leigh Bishop in flying form.
 ?? Photos courtesy of Mike Peffers Photograph­y ?? 4 4. Joel Giddy staying on course and out of trouble.
Photos courtesy of Mike Peffers Photograph­y 4 4. Joel Giddy staying on course and out of trouble.
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 ?? ?? 3. Arlene rewarded with a great result for a hard
out effort. 3
3. Arlene rewarded with a great result for a hard out effort. 3
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 ?? ?? 1 & 2. Dan Fisher; crowd-pleaser in Class 1. 2
1 & 2. Dan Fisher; crowd-pleaser in Class 1. 2

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