Happy birthday Ronnie Moore, NZ's first World Speedway champ

16:00, Feb 21 2013

A celebration takes place tonight at the Mag and Turbo Ruapuna Speedway to mark the 80th birthday of New Zealand's first World Speedway champion, Ronnie Moore.

Solo bikes and sidecar racing has attracted some top riders including seven times (and current) NZ Solo Champion and Rye House captain, Jason Bunyan. Joining Bunyan are Ritchie Worral, a World under-21 finalist and England team member, and Ashley Birks - the British National League Riders Champion. All three currently ride in the Premier and Elite English League.

At 17 Moore was already mixing it with the best in 1950 before winning his first World Championship in 1954. His last race was in 1975 at Templeton (Ruapuna Speedway) as part of the World Champions' Troupe where he was second to fellow Kiwi, Ivan Mauger.

Racing gets underway at 7pm.

Hillclimb finale Westland Car Club hosts the final round of the National Hillclimb Championship as well as the Bathurst Mining Hillclimb Series tomorrow and Sunday. With over 30 entries there is special interest in the Denniston Rd sealed hillclimb that gets underway at 8.30am on Saturday. Organisers are even expecting late entries from a couple of drift car drivers and a drag car.

Drivers in the national final must compete timed runs first on the 5.8km Denniston Rd tomorrow and then over the unsealed 2km Burnetts Face Rd on Sunday. Qualifying rounds have already taken place throughout NZ and current points leader Ben Thomasen (Subaru Impreza) from the North Island will be up against some strong local competition. Michael Tall (Evo) from Christchurch leads the South Island assault along with Scott Jones (Evo 3) and Dunedin's Chris Hey (Toyota MR2). Westland Car Club's 2012 champion Jussara Kokshoorn (Evo) and Tracey Mann (RX7) will have experience on these roads to aid their challenge. On Sunday racing gets underway at 9.30am. On both days there is a minivan available to take spectators up to some great viewing points.


The club anticipates hot and dry conditions.

Endurance series The South Island Endurance Racing Drivers Club has added the newest circuit in NZ to their calendar, creating a fourth round for the series later this year. The Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell will host the final round on Saturday, November 9. .

The first round of the series will take place at Teretonga Park, Invercargill, on September 21, before heading to Powerbuilt Tools Raceway, Ruapuna, on October 5. The third round will be at Levels Raceway, Timaru, on October 19 before heading to Central Otago.

Meremere jetsprints

Peter Caughey is heading north to Meremere and round three of the NZ Jetsprint champs on Sunday, where he currently leads the series by a single point from Wanganui's Leighton Minnell in the Suzuki Superboat class.

- Benjamin Carrell is the online editor of nzmotorracing.co.nz

The Press