High Stakes As Championship Reaches Legendary Woodhill Race   28 May 2012

• 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)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

New on-body cameras for Corrections officers

24 Jun 2015 News
New Zealand Government New on-body cameras for Corrections officers On-body cameras for frontline Corrections staff are being rolled... more

Lower tobacco duty free limit yields results

24 Jun 2015 News
New Zealand Government Hon Nicky WagnerMinister of CustomsHon Peseta Sam Lotu-IigaAssociate Minister of Health Lower tobacco... more

Business

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain, led by A2 as bidders named

24 Jun 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain, led by A2 as potential bidder unmasked; dividends appeal By Jonathan ... more

Wearable tech start-up launches US$200,000 crowdfund bid

24 Jun 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   Wearable tech start-up launches US$200,000 crowdfunding campaign By Fiona Rotherham June 23... more

Living

Remarkables ski area to kick off 2015 season this Saturday

24 Jun 2015 Lifestyle
The Remarkables June 24 2015 The Remarkables ski area to kick off 2015 season this Saturday The Remarkables ski area in Queenstown... more

SMCO-SOUNZ Composer Workshop selected works announced

23 Jun 2015 Lifestyle
SOUNZ For immediate release SMCO-SOUNZ Composer Workshop selected works announced SOUNZ and Auckland based St Matthews Chamber... more

Property

Extending Canterbury accommodation support

24 Jun 2015 Property
New Zealand Government Hon Anne Tolley Minister for Social Development 24 June 2015 Extending Canterbury accommodation... more

Arvida to buy three Auckland facilities for $62M

24 Jun 2015 Property
Article - BusinessDesk   Arvida to buy three Auckland facilities for $62M, raising new capital By Paul McBeth June 24 ... more

Migration

NZ migration rises to new annual record in May

22 Jun 2015 Migration By Suze Metherell
  NZ migration rises to new annual record in May, closing in on Treasury's upside scenario June 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand... more

More visas online through Immigration ONLINE

16 Jun 2015 Migration
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes the roll out of online Work and Visitor visas as fantastic news for Immigration New ... more

Travel

Air NZ sees annual earnings rising by as much as 60%

24 Jun 2015 Travel & Tourism
Article - BusinessDesk   Air NZ sees annual earnings rising by as much as 60% By Paul McBeth June 24 (BusinessDesk) - Air New... more

Analysts divided on Jetstar impact on Air NZ's earnings

19 Jun 2015 Travel & Tourism
  Analysts divided on impact on Air NZ's earnings of Jetstar's regional routes challenge June 19 (BusinessDesk) - Analysts are... more

Sport

Extra sizzle added to New Zealand’s Biggest Cycling Occasion

24 Jun 2015 Cycling
Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge Extra sizzle added to New Zealand’s Biggest Cycling Occasion With entries opening in just under a... more

Gilmour targeting another strong finish at Rally Gisborne

24 Jun 2015 Motor Sport
Emma Gilmour Gilmour targeting another strong finish at Rally Gisborne 23.6.15 Emma Gilmour intends to start the second half of the... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on telling the poor to ask for more

24 Jun 2015 Column
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on telling the poor to ask for more The government’s more

Gordon Campbell on the Pope’s encyclical on climate change

19 Jun 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
  Gordon Campbell on the Pope’s encyclical on climate change   The spread of market mechanisms into every facet of... more

Kiwi Success

Appointment of Judges of the High Court

19 Jun 2015 Appointments
Christchurch Queen’s Counsel Nicholas Davidson and Auckland Barrister and Solicitor Rebecca Anne Edwards have been appointed... more

Appointments to the independent Charities Registration Board

16 Jun 2015 Appointments
  Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Jo Goodhew has announced the appointment of a new member to the independent Charities... more

Recruitment

Carpentry apprentices go head to head

23 Jun 2015 Recruitment
Apprentice of the Year Competition Carpentry apprentices go head to head in national competition Entries for the Registered Master ... more

NZ employees rate work-life balance as top priority

26 May 2015 Press Releases By Anna Lu
  NZ employees rate work-life balance as top priority, while job seekers eye cash, survey shows May 26 (BusinessDesk) - New... more