Kiwi tackles speedway's best at NZ Grand Prix

NEW LOOK: Flying Kiwi Jason Bunyan has unveiled his new-look ahead of taking on the world's best at Western Springs.
NEW LOOK: Flying Kiwi Jason Bunyan has unveiled his new-look ahead of taking on the world's best at Western Springs.

Flying Kiwi Jason Bunyan has unveiled his new look ahead of taking on the world's best at Western Springs on Saturday night.

English-born Bunyan, who rates New Zealand as "home", is set to take on the world's top 15 solo bike riders after nailing the wildcard spot for the first Auckland round of the FIM Speedway Grand Prix.

And it will be impossible to miss his patriotism for his adopted homeland, with the 33-year-old's kevlar racing suit decked out with silver ferns and the New Zealand flag.

The three racing bikes he has flown into the country for the meeting - which will be broadcast live in Europe to an expected TV audience of at least 13 million people - also features tributes to his undying passion for New Zealand.

"I just love these colours mate... there's one word for them, fantastic," Bunyan told Fairfax Media.

"There's plenty of silver, plenty of ferns, plenty of black and plenty of white.

"After racing in New Zealand for so many years, I feel it is normal for me to wear the silver fern and the New Zealand flag on my gear.

"I'm racing in a world stage event and I just wanted to make a world stage presence. It is great to be able to race for one of the best countries in the world."

Since first racing in New Zealand in 2003, Bunyan has become a popular figure on the New Zealand speedway scene.

As well as winning seven national titles, he has also volunteered countless hours of his own time to help foster new speedway racing talent.

He said the impressive Kiwi look his racing gear will showcase on Saturday wouldn't have been possible if it hadn't been for the work of the off-track members of Team Bunyan.

That included his partner, Zoe Irons, and Kiwi speedway legend Graham Standring.

Both have worked on securing key sponsorship deals, while Zoe had also been in charge of the logistics of getting all his racing gear sourced from the UK.

"Graham's organisation has been brilliant," Bunyan said.

"And the same with Zoe. She's pulled everyone together and has been the real driving force behind everything."

Bunyan was now determined to repay the faith put in him by all his supporters - including fans he had met during nine years racing in NZ - by flying the Kiwi flag proudly on Saturday.

"My support team has spent many, many weeks putting everything together to make sure me and the bikes look smart," he said.

"And they have done a truly great job.

"Now I just need to focus on riding and putting on a good show.

"I will make the most of the opportunities I have been given. This whole weekend will be phenomenal.

"Ask me how I will feel when I walk out in front of probably 20,000 people and I will probably get some hairs raised on the back of my neck."

Fairfax Media