At Tech Park on Saturday, Rotorua’s #144 Brad Harvey put on an off-road racing masterclass. Never putting a wheel wrong he dominated the Class 1, unlimited horsepower field, to become the championship series leader in class. He drove a great race that delivered many spectacular moments. Not least, his airborne overtaking of #805 Andrew Hawkeswood in the combined Class 1, Class 9 and Class 8 feature race. Made all the more impressive when you compare Brad Harvey’s 2.4 litre Hustler racer to Andrew Hawkeswood’s 460 cubic inch V8 powered race-truck.

The Offroad Racing Association of New Zealand launched its search for the National Champion at Tect All Terrain Park in the Bay Of Plenty on Saturday.

This event was held in good weather conditions and the Waikato Offroad Racing Club had worked hard during the week leading up to the event to present a well prepared racing surface that offered great viewing and almost no dust. Club President Colin Meredith was instrumental in track prep. “We put 72,000 litres of water on the day before the event and our sponsor, Daltons, provided an organic mulch which has worked well to trap the moisture in the soil” said Colin.

Racers arrived from all parts of the North Island. Many had competed just the previous weekend as the Covid19 lockdowns had forced other major events to postpone close to this scheduled event.

Offroad Racing is a high speed racing format where all competitors race their cars over open terrain. These race cars are specifically built to handle landing after big jumps at high speed and staying under control. Wheel travel, to control this kind of racing, in some vehicles achieves more than 900mm.

The Tect Park racetrack is a groomed, short course off-road race track. The track is 17 metres wide and 1 kilometre long. The fastest lap on Saturday went to Joel Giddy with a lap record of 42 seconds in his 1000cc turbocharged Yamaha UTV.

Racers competed in multiple classes, ranging from young guns in the KiwiTrucks all the way through to the 800hp, unlimited modification Class 1 race cars, largely driving by experienced racers from various Motorsport backgrounds. The racer awarded the prize for “longest jump” was #805 Andrew Hawkeswood. This seasoned rally driver has joined the fray in this championship series and is now the highest point scorer in Class 8, unlimited truck, category.

Each class of cars races in its own field from Green Flag to Chequered Flag. Points get collated over three shortcourse races for each of the classes. Included in this event were three 15 lap Feature Races, each combining vehicles of similar power, which rounded off the days racing. The highest points getters in each class get the trophies and a points advantage heading into the next round of the National Championship.

The Championship points leaders after round 1 of the championship are: Class 1 – 1st Brad Harvey (Rotorua), 2nd Shaun Russell (Auckland), 3rd Justin Davies (Auckland)

Class 9 – 1st Maurice Bain (Hamilton)

Class 3 – 1st Brendon Old (Stratford), 2nd Connor Nicklin (Albany), 3rd Jarrod Marwood (Auckland)

Class 4 – 1st Robert Creswell

Class 8 – 1st Andrew Hawkeswood (Auckland), 2nd Bruce McKeown (Auckland), 3rd Ricky May (Taranaki)

Class 7 – 1st Brooklyn Horan (Kaipara), 2nd Holly Russell (Auckland), 3rd Jack Edgecombe (Matamata)

Class 5 – 1st Bradley Scott

C Class – 1st Matthew Bishop (Tuakau), 2nd Harry Hodgson (Cambridge), 3rd Steve Hughes (Drury)

U Class – 1st Scott Munro (Pukekohe), 2nd Roger McKay (Whakatane), 3rd Scott Mitchell (Huapai)

S Class – 1st Joel Giddy (Auckland), 2nd Dion Edgecombe (Matamata), 3rd Dyson Delahunty (Tauranga)

Class 10 – 1st Jon Sarten (Taranaki), 2nd Neil Hook (Waikato)

Class J – 1st Asher Morgan (Hobsonville), 2nd Reeve Giddy (Auckland), 3rd Tanner Willetts

Class M – 1st Kenna Baker (Whakatane)

Class ST – 1st Holly Russell (Auckland), 2nd Aaron Crabb (Auckland)

Brad Harvey overtakes Andrew Hawkeswood for the Lead