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Nelson 175 Offroad Race


Sat 5 Jul 2008, 8:30am–1:30pm

Where: Golden Downs Forest, Nelson

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


Listed by: Mark Baker

It's all on in Golden Downs near Nelson on Saturday as Christchurch’s Wayne Moriarty goes head to head with longtime rival Dennis Andreassend of Nelson.

His aim: to wrest the overall title lead in the 2008 Asset Finance Offroad Racing Championship lead away from the North Island. Moriarty must finish in front of Andreassend – no easy task on Andreassend’s home turf – and says he’s well prepared for the battle. He has freshened the high-revving Toyota engine in his car since the Mainland Challenge and carried out a preventive maintenance programme on the car to ensure it’s in top condition for race day.

There’s more than championship points at stake this weekend. Nelson racers will be out to defend their racing reputations against the Christchurch and Otago teams, and the event is also the South Island’s chance to draw level once more and potentially take over the outright championship points battle and the class by class advantage.

The Nelson endurance event will cover 175 kilometres in a forest outside Nelson on Saturday on an 18 kilometre lap that is described by organisers as “very fast, but with a few traps for the unwary”. It is the third round of the championship, the second to be held in the South Island, and is sponsored by Autoworld Richmond and Richmond Wood and Coal.

Leading the local entries are the father-son two car team of Dennis and Haydn Andreassend – the latter in only his second offroad race in the Workshop Super 1300 class. It will be Andreassend junior’s first ever forest race.

Also lining up to defend Nelson’s offroad racing heritage are Neville Taylor (Camco production truck class); Darrin Thomason (Camco sport truck class); Kerry Thomason (Camco ThunderTruck class); Gordon Adamson (Leader Products Super 1600 class); and Race Shock Specialists unlimited-class competitors Clayton Burrow and Ashley Kelly.

In addition to Moriarty, the Christchurch contingent includes Neil Stuart (Camco production truck class); Dave Manze and Simon Smith (Camco sport truck class); Bryan Chang and Mark French (Camco ThunderTruck class); Scott Campbell (VW Shoppe Challenger class); Bruce Rolls and Ryan Densem (The Workshop Super 1300 class) and Race Shock Specialists unlimited-class competitor Daniel Powell in his wild new Jimco Nissan V6 turbo.

Making the longest trip to compete will be the Queenstown and Dunedin-based crews of Mathew Pratt (VW Shoppe Challenger class), Chris Morrell and Donald McMillan (both racing in The Workshop Super 1300 class); and Race Shock Specialists unlimited-class competitors Dave Ballantyne and Jason Brooks.

Based in the Golden Downs Forest, the track is similar to that used for Nelson’s national round in 2007 with an added loop making a total lap distance of 19.2 kilometres for a total race distance of 172.8 km over nine laps. Parts of last year’s track will be run in reverse direction.

The race will be controlled from a new start-finish and pit area at Mt Norris Gully.

Organiser Clayton Burrow says this year’s track features fast undulating forest roads among tall established trees, giving a changing track surface throughout.

“Most drivers should be able to go flat-out in top gear at several parts of the track – driver’s bravery permitting!”

Qualifying time trials to decide grid positions starts at 8.30am on Saturday, with race start an hour later.

The race is expected to finish around 1.00pm.

Spectator admission to the race is free, and there will be food on sale at the pit area.