Hampton hopes for third crown
2012 Burt Munro ChallengeNEIL RATLEY
Burt Munro Challenge
The streets of Wyndham roared to life as racing got under way in the rural Southland community today.
The Wyndham street races will bring down the curtain on the seventh Burt Munro Challenge.
Cloudy skies but dry, perfect conditions welcomed riders and thousands of fans for one of the favourite events of the challenge.
Ahead of defending his crown, Christchurch Superbike rider, Ryan Hampton said the event held sentimental value.
''My Grandmother was born and lived in Wyndham'' he said.
''It's great to be able to come back to a place where my family has such a close connection to.''
Hampton, gunning for his third Formula Wyndham street racing championship in a row, said the street races provided a fantastic experience for the riders and the fans.
''The crowd really gets into it because they are so close to the action''.
Hampton was with his father Robin and brother Blair who both also said coming back to Wyndham was something special.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of riders rolled out of Invercargill as part of the 25th World's Southern Most Toy Run.
The toy run an annual charity fund raiser for several worthy causes. Along for the ride was Nelson man Rob Henderson who had a unique connection to the Burt Munro Challenge.
''I'm Burt Munro's grandson,'' he said.
Despite being modest about his relationship to the man who inspired the challenge, Mr Henderson said it made him very proud to see such a successful event in his grandfather's honour.
For Christchurch Burt Munro fan Alister Stewart, finding out he had parked next to Burt's grandson was a surprise.
''That is the great thing about this event. You never know who you are going to run in to.''
- © Fairfax NZ News