Competitors take on Teretonga

Competitors take on Teretonga

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 12:07 01/12/2013

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Burt Munro Challenge

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Rain, hail, shine or wind did not deter crowds from getting out on day three of the 2013 Burt Munro Challenge.

The action took place at Teretonga Raceway and Oreti Park Speedway yesterday.

Racing got under way in the hail and wet at the Teretonga Sprint Races but Burt Munro Committee member Gary Jamieson said the conditions did not delay the starting flag.

''The competitors come prepared and know how to handle the wet track,'' he said.

Former Dunedin racer Kelvin Hellyer returned to the south from his Brisbane home to compete after 35 years but unfortunately his comeback was cut short when he came off his Kawasaki Z 750. 

Hellyer was dazed in the crash and transported to Southland Hospital.

He was discharged after a check up and ''was good as gold'', Jamieson said.

The grey clouds parted and the track dried out in the wind for the later rounds where New Zealand Superbike rider Ryan Hampton dominated the Formula Teretonga.

Relaxing near Castrol Elbow, friends Graham Brown, Irish O'Regan and Alan Jefferson said the wind and rain had not dampened their spirits.

Mr O'Regan said it would be boring without all four seasons in one day.

''It's all part of the experience. If it was sunny all the time we would be complaining it's too hot in our leathers,'' he said.   

It was Mr Jefferson's first Burt Munro Challenge and he said it was great to see the whole community getting behind the event.

''I don't think it would be as successful without the support from the locals,'' he said.

He said the race organisers deserved a huge wrap for making sure there was something for everyone.

''I even got to have a go around Teretonga. You don't get to have an experience like that at many rallies,'' he said.

Mr Brown, who was attending his fifth Burt Munro Challenge said the event was well run and a great thing for the Southland economy.

Meanwhile speedway fans rugged themselves up for a night of action with people arriving early to get a prime position around the Oreti track.

Young petrol heads Scott Fleck, 10, and Jamie Rule, 11, were enjoying their first ever speedway. Both boys said they loved motorbikes and were looking forward to a night of speed and noise.

Paddy Gorman, of Mataura, said the speedway was his favourite event at the Burt Munro Challenge.

''It's the thrill of the action and the atmosphere. It's an event where you can see the whole race going on,'' he said.

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- The Southland Times

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