NZCMRR Classic Racing Pukekohe Feb 2010 – Was It Good?

Having raced at Pukekohe I always enjoy the yearly excursion to the Classic Racing Registers Festival Meeting. One of the major incentives is the cost and anything that doesn€™t drain the Bank of McSnotty goes directly to the top of the list. Where else in the motor racing world can you get 3 days of close racing, the smell of castor oil, and the deep roar of lightly muffled engines for just $25.00 (or $50.00 for a family pass). Combined with overseas visitors and machines that are seldom seen outside the US or UK this was a meeting that should not have been missed.

This year the Register was celebrating 100 Years of Rudge and the passion within this marque was clearly visible in the excellent display put on by the New Zealand Rudge Enthusiasts Club. Full marks to Norm and Linda Maddock for their efforts in organising this display and especially in assisting the overseas owners who bought their machines out to New Zealand to celebrate.

Being advertised as a 3 day festival work commitments precluded me from attending Friday, but as this was for scrutineering and unofficial practice I didn€™t think that I was going to miss much.  Knobsta wasn€™t able to attend the weekend but wanted me to photograph anything that was pink with wheels (one of his fetishes) and as Mrs McSpendthrift refuses to attend events without a bouncy castle for her entertainment I packed my freshly made sarnies, camera and headed off trackside as one.

Wandering around the pits there was a lot on offer with the usual collection of Manx€™s, Goldstars, and Triumphs but as I have seen most of these over the last 15 years I set out to find something more unusual and interesting. And this is what I snapped.

I liked this. A good mock up of a 1910s board track racer – minus the splinters.

Catching up with the €˜goss€™ the only thing I learnt was that the 1920 Harley Davidson was in the hospital for the weekend owing to a diagnosis of broken engine/frame mounting lugs from Fridays practice (really bad luck there). Later on there was a more serious crash involving a couple of sidecars but riders and machines survived albeit the swingers may have been a little sore.

My favourite sidecar. Father and daughter team and the expression on the swingers face says it all.

And then there were the Rudges. What can I say, they were magnificent.

Having enjoyed myself I headed home Saturday afternoon all keen for Sundays activities, leaving behind that smell, that roar, and the faint hum of a disc grinder no doubt assisting in some urgent repairs.

Sunday dawned with the same weather as the previous day €“ warm and getting warmer, and as I walked down the hill towards the parking arena the familiar smell of bacon and eggs cooking greeted me. And what was that familiar faint sound in the distance? Yep it was the disc grinder that was singing merrily on my exit on Saturday. Can€™t be much of their bike left now, just a pile of old metallic dust!

The bike parking area was yet to fill up as it was still only 9.00am and the road rally entrants had yet to return, but there was activity on the front straight of the race track with spectators being given the chance to closely inspect the line up of racing exotica and snap as many photos as they wished unhindered. An opportunity seized by many. By the time this was finished the main parking arena was filling out quite quickly with a good selection of 50s bikes to modern. Displays included a good showing of Velocettes from the Velocette Owners Club and racing bikes from the Historic Racing Club. This club supports Japanese racing bikes of the 1960s through to the late 1980s and had some nice machinery on display including H2 Kawasakis, MacIntosh Suzukis and a CB1100R (my favourite).

In the past I have usually taken one of my old motorcycles down to put on display however I have not had much luck lately having returned to find that it has been interfered with. Some people have never learnt that you look with your eyes and not your hands, so unless there is some place where the bike can be looked after I leave the old flat tankers at home.

Fun comes in many different forms – including sidevalves.

Racing started customarily late which is normal, but then despite the hectic nature of the weekend the meeting is run as laid back as much as possible (its easier on both organisers and competitors alike). One of the attractions of the weekend is the Regularity Parade. This is a non competitive event that is designed for those who think that they might like to try racing but would rather prefer their first time on the track at a slower pace with less congestion. Entrants borrow a bike, safety gear, and €˜give it a go€™.  It is also for older riders who do not wish to compete competitively but still wish to trot their old stead around a track in safer conditions than our public roads. And it seems to be quite popular with the 28 entries for this year.

The vintage and prewar racing was excellent and even though there seems to be a decrease in numbers of entrants over the last few years there is still a healthy interest in this class. A visiting overseas rider on his 500 Rudge made light work of winning in the Prewar class,and there was no holding back the Bruff (#20) in the Vintage class. Full credit to these guys as it is not easy keeping these older machines running as well as they do.

Some of the vintage and pre war motorcycles lining up on the dummy grid for one of their races.

Without canvassing people about the success of the weekend I think the miles of smiles witnessed throughout the day was testament in itself, however I did hear some comments from some foreign speaking people that thought the whole weekend was €˜just great€™ (carn€™t have been the Aussies €˜cos they would have said €˜bonza mate€™).

For those of you who would like to know who won what race the Classic Racing Register will have the results of the racing posted on their site (click here to visit their site). Just give them some time to get organised.

And for those of you who did miss Pukekohe the same bikes and riders facing new challenges will be at Hampton Downs next weekend, the  13th and 14th February (click here for our previous review on this circuit). It is the first ever motorcycle race meet to be held at Hampton so should be a good€™un. As this is a new track Saturday is compulsory practice with racing on Sunday. Entry is $20.00 for the 2 days so that is definitely good value.

BUT REMEMBER €“ Sunday is February the 14th €“ Valentines Day. A nicely prepared breakfast tray complete with rose would be a nice surprise for the wife in bed before you head off to the track €“ even at 5 am. I am planning my menu already.

If you would like better copies of any of the photos displayed contact us and we can email them out. There is no charge, they are approx 2M and will be without the Barnstormers watermark.

So was Pukekohe 2010 good? You bet it was!

Did you attend the meeting and if so what did you think? Were the McSnotty spectacles €˜rose tinted€™ I will leave comments open for 1 week for your feedback.

And finally – it may not be pre war or a girder but this glorious machine attracted the stares of many a spectator, what with its neatly placed straw, box brownie camera strapped to the rear guard, and imitation??? (not sure of this as I didn’t do the taste test) dog poo on top of the gearbox cover. Enjoy!