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Stroud Targets Tri Series Win No.5

Stroud Targets Tri Series Win No.5


NOVEMBER 16, 2012: Hamilton’s Andrew Stroud may feel as if he has a target on his back, and for good reason.

In just a few weeks’ time the 44-year-old multi-time New Zealand superbike champion will embark on what may be his last season of racing with a massive line-up of talented rivals determined to wipe the No.1 from the front of his Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbike.

But, as usual, Stroud has one thing on his mind, to win, and, if he does so again this season, he will make it five Suzuki Tri Series wins in a row.

The 2012 Suzuki Tri Series kicks off at Hampton Downs, just north of Huntly, on December 8, heads to Manfeild in the Manawatu for round two a week later, on December 16, and then wraps up with the traditional Cemetery Circuit event, on the public streets of Wanganui, on Boxing Day.

Stroud firmly rubber-stamped his “ownership” of the Suzuki Tri Series when he scored his fourth consecutive title win on Wanganui’s streets just after Christmas last year, but he admits it is getting tougher and tougher each year that passes.

Fellow Hamilton rider Nick Cole (Kawasaki ZX-10R) was Suzuki Tri Series runner-up last year and he’ll be back again this year to have another shot at glory.

“This could be my last Suzuki Tri-Series,” said father-of-nine Stroud. “Suzuki has been so good to me over the last 12 years and it would be great to wrap up the title for them in Wanganui, right in their back yard.

“Everyone is getting faster, so it’s never easy. Riders such as Nick Cole, Sloan Frost, James Smith and Craig Shirriffs are all extremely fast.”

The Suzuki Tri Series has been blessed with extra sponsorship this year – thanks to additional support from Wanganui.com – padding the prizemoney purse out to $30,000.

In addition, the Cemetery Circuit series finale will this year celebrate the 60th anniversary of the great race in Wanganui with a ‘get together’ planned for Christmas Eve and an anniversary dinner set for the night of Boxing Day, at the Wanganui Racecourse, along with the prizegiving.

“The whole Suzuki Tri Series, and the Cemetery Circuit event in particular, is like a good wine. It just gets better with age,” said series promoter Allan ‘Flea’ Willacy.

“With the extra prizemoney on offer, this could be a nice earner for quite a few riders.”

In addition to Stroud, Cole, Frost, Smith and Shirriffs, the event has enticed multiple former champion and street racing legend Tony Rees, of Whakatane, to enter, along with such talented individuals as Taranaki father and son Terry and Hayden Fitzgerald, Auckland’s Ray Clee, Wellington’s Glen Skachill and Christchurch’s Ryan Hampton, while national 600 supersport champion Dennis Charlett, of Christchurch, steps up to do battle on a 1000cc Suzuki superbike this season.

Stroud knows he is up against it, but the smart pundits are probably still picking the Suzuki ace to make it five in a row.

The series features races for F1, F2, F3, sidecars, post classic pre ‘89, BEARS, and 450cc supermoto.

Check for more information online at www.cemeterycircuit.co.nz

2012 Suzuki International Tri-Series calendar:

Round 1: Hampton Downs, December 8

Round 2: Manfeild, December 16

Round 3: Wanganui Cemetery Circuit, December 26
ends

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