Story and photo by Mark Baker
The smallest race car and one of the biggest four-wheel-drives share the early points lead in this year’s Polaris Offroad Racing Championship after a wet ‘n wild opening round at Meremere south of Auckland on Sunday March 12.
Kingseat (South Auckland) teen Jack Hellier in his tiny VW-powered single seater race car scored the maximum 72 points to lead his class and share the championship lead with Warren Adams in his somewhat larger Nissan Patrol V8.
Warren Adams, likewise, took maximum points with an unbroken string of class wins in his V8-engined Nissan Safari, racing against Tauranga’s Glen Raymond in a Bowler Tomcat V8. Both running in class six for ‘challenge’-class road registered four-wheel-drives, the pair made the most of the extra traction, windscreens and windscreen wipers in the abysmal conditions.
The seven-round ’17 series kicked off at Meremere under the humid, rain-laden squalls of the Tasman Tempest with a record grid of 75 entries. The 1.2 km course is alongside the Waikato River and was altered to avoid rising flood water over the course of the weekend.
2017 Polaris New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship
In association with HasTrak
Top 15 on points after round one of seven
1=. Warren Adams, 72 (top class 8)
1=. Jack Hellier, 72 (top class 7)
3. Gerard Chitty, 69 (top class 4)
4=. Dale Buckley, 67 (top class 8
4=. Joel Giddy, 67 (top UTV S class)
4=. Glenn Turvey, 67
4=. Dyson Delahunty, 64 (top UTV U class)
4=. Phil Finlay, 64
4=. Fergus Crabb, 64
10=. Regan Swensson, 61 (top class 5)
10=. Dion Edgecombe, 61
10=. Kyle van Harlingen, 61
13. Brendon Midgely, 59 (top class three)
14. Brendon Old, 57
15=. Ben Thomasen, 56
15=. Todd Graham, 56
15=. Taine Carrington, 56
To read every story in the May 2017 issue of NZ4WD go to Zinio.com (April 21) or purchase your own hard copy at the Adrenalin store.