High Stakes As Championship Reaches Legendary Woodhill Race 28 May 2012
- Shearing sports champion a new chairman Living
- Katayama upsets favourites in halfpipe finals Sport
- Silver for New Zealand in final cross-country skiing races Sport
- Emirates Team New Zealand Win ACWS Gothenburg Sport
- Jetstar launches regional network with $9 fares, five routes Business
- Slovakian Adam Zampa wins second alpine gold medal Sport
- Regional airline competition welcomed News
- Judge hails Audi quattro Winter Games NZ Sport
- Production Commences on Alison Maclean's The Rehearsal Living
- Poised in Third After Day One in Gothenburg Living
• Technology battle takes over the front end: US vs Kiwi ingenuity
• Record entry expected for longest, toughest championship race
• Youngest racer arrives at enduro with championship lead
• 32nd Woodhill 100 tests the best in the sport
The oldest, longest and toughest endurance race in New Zealand offroad racing offers North Island racers a final chance to top up their championship points tally this weekend.
The 32nd Woodhill 100 will test the best racers in the sport over a record 246 km of flat-out racing in a forest that is otherwise closed to motorsport. This year, the race is shaping to be a showdown between imported American technology and the best of Kiwi race car design and engineering. It offers race fans a rare chance to see top-level race action in the vast pine forests of the northwest, up close and personal with the fastest offroad race drivers in New Zealand.
The 2012 Woodhill 100 has announced backing this year from Frontline Projects and will run this year to a record 246 kilometres, up from 210 in 2011. The race distance, plotted on the fast logging roads and sand tracks of Woodhill Forest, makes this the longest endurance race in the 2012 Mickey Thompson New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship.
Old Glory – the USA’s stars and stripes flag – could be proudly flown at the Woodhill podium this year with two leading unlimited-class teams running the very latest US-built desert race cars.
Recent Woodhill and Taupo 1000 champion Clive Thornton of Whakatane will be a top contenders in their new Desert Dynamics two-seater race car with Chev V8 power; Mt Albert’s Alan Butler has finished upgrading his American-built Millennium single-seater from Honda power to a race-prepared Mitsubishi Evo turbo engine and will make his first championship appearance of the year. In class three for Super 1600 cars, Auckland’s Devlin Hill and Nick Hall of Pukekohe will also field American cars. Hill was the outright winner of the previous northern round of the championship, held at Mangawhai over Easter.
This year the race will be a showdown between these late-model American race cars and the best Kiwi cars. Flying the American flag are Alan Butler (Millennium single seater with Mitsubishi Evo power), Devlin Hill (Hustler) and Clive and Max Thornton (Chev powered Desert Dynamics two – seater) and 2011 North Island champion Nick Hall in a class three stadium car. Heading up the top Kiwi cars is multiple national champion and five-times Woodhill 100 winner Tony McCall of Manukau in his all-new BSL Terra Chev. The blond racer in his all-new single-seater car dominated at the second round until the BSL Terra destroyed a cv joint on the second day with just 10 laps of the enduro left to run. McCall says he’s still in the hunt for the outright title.
“The genesis of this car from CAD drawing to turnkey racer has been extremely fast. The thick mud at Mangawhai identified a need for more engine cooling capability, and the CV joint we broke there showed the articulation at the rear was too much so we have come down in ride height to reduce the angle from 25 degrees to 20. That means we reduce our suspension travel by a couple of inches – but there’s still around five inches more than the previous car had,” he said.
In addition, McCall has switched to series sponsor Mickey Thompson’s tyres.
“We’ve now reached a point where case and compound matter as much as tread design, the power of the engine is just massive and we need a good set of covers to get the power down. That’s going to be critical in the sand at Woodhill.”
Leading the championship to date is 14 year old Taine Carrington of West Harbour, who is the youngest ever racer to lead the points chase. Carrington is running a new class 7 car this year after crashing at last year’s Woodhill 100. He won his class at the first and second North Island rounds of the championship, but now must focus on running consistently at Woodhill to secure as many points as possible ehading into the championship final.
Now in its 32nd year, the Woodhill 100 is the oldest event in New Zealand offroad racing and is the longest continually-running endurance race in New Zealand motorsport.
Organisers say they have plotted a new race course that uses the best of last year’s roads but will take the drivers further into the northern end of the forest than last year, and will start the event from a new pit/start area accessed in the same way as in previous years. Entry numbers are expected to follow the strong upward trend at the first and second northern rounds of the championship, with drivers who have raced at both rounds able to net an additional 20 points by contesting the Woodhill.
There will be a separate race for the Kiwitrucks youth category at 7.30 am on race morning using part of the main event race course. Though it is a forest endurance race, spectators turn out in significant numbers to catch the action - more than 2500 paying race fans through the gate in 2011 - with plentiful vantage points close to the start-finish area and the leading racers topping 220km/h on the faster sections of the course. Ollie McCall leads the “M” class Kiwitrucks championship race while Fergus Crabb leads the “J” class.
The first chance to see the cars will be at scrutineering on the Saturday of Queen’s Birthday Weekend between noon and 3 pm at PinePac Kumeu. Qualifying and the race will all take place on the Sunday, June 3; with the qualifying sprints run from 8.30 am and race start at 11.00 am. The forest access for the race will be signposted for northern and southern traffic at the roundabout on SH16 near Parakai. Admission is $10/adult, children under 15 are free.
31 years of the toughest race in New Zealand
The Woodhill 100 winners
1981 Daryll Carson
1982 Emil Versalko
1983 Daryll Carson
1984 Nigel Barton
1985 Ian Foster
1986 Emil Versalko
1987 Lindsay Pointon
1988 Des Warrington
1989 Ian Foster
1990 Ian Foster
1991 Ian Foster
1992 Ian Foster
1993 Trevor Hackett
1994 Emil Versalko
1995 Daynom Templeman
1996 Mike Cameron
1997 Daynom Templeman
1998 Ian Foster
1999 Tony McCall
2000 Grant Ferguson
2001 Trevor Hackett
2002 Lindsay Pointon
2003 Clim Lammers
2004 Tony McCall
2005 Tony McCall
2006 Tony McCall
2007 Tony McCall
2008 Clive Thornton
2009 Alan Butler
2010 Raana Horan
2011 Raana Horan
(Veritas Communications Ltd)
24 Aug 2015 News
10 year passports will be delivered early Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today welcomed the Government Administration Select ... more
19 Aug 2015 News
New Zealand Government Hon Amy AdamsMinister for Communications 19 August 2015 Local authorities have four more weeks to submit a... more
28 Aug 2015 Business News
NZ wool prices unchanged at auction amid Chinese uncertainty Aug. 28 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand wool prices held steady at... more
10 Aug 2015 Entertainment
20th Century Fox is celebrating Snoopy’s birthday ahead of the release of the first animated Peanuts movie SNOOPY AND CHARLIE... more
6 Aug 2015 Entertainment
Sola Rosa Sound System comes to London on 20 August – NZNewsUK London Editor Charlotte Everett had a chat with frontman Andrew... more
5 Aug 2015 Property
Auckland house price growth stalls in July as properties 'fully priced', Barfoot says Aug. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland house... more
21 Jul 2015 Migration
NZ net migration reaches new annual record in June, swelled by Indian, Chinese students July 21 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand... more
25 Aug 2015 Travel & Tourism
Air NZ to continue alliance with Cathay Pacific, targets Asian tourists Aug. 25 (BusinessDesk) - Air New Zealand's has had its... more
30 Aug 2015 Rugby
30 August 2015 The All Blacks squad for Rugby World Cup 2015 has been announced with the All Blacks selectors selecting a squad... more
30 Aug 2015 Sport
Winter Games NZ Gold medals for Austria and Slovakia after close fought slalom at Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015 A world class... more
25 Aug 2015 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on the flag campaign So far, the public has treated the government’s flag campaign with something between... more
19 Aug 2015 Appointments
Former cricketer and established broadcaster Simon Doull signs with NZME 19 August 2015 – New Zealand Media and Entertainment... more
5 Aug 2015 Recruitment
The latest labour market data shows continued job growth, with 7,000 more people employed over the last quarter and 69,000 more New ... more
5 Aug 2015 Recruitment
NZ unemployment rate rises to 5.9% as jobs growth lags behind growing population Aug. 5 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's jobless rate... more