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Fresh Course Awaits Six-hour Competitors

Fresh Course Awaits Six-hour Competitors

SEPTEMBER 23, 2013: There will be no excuse for getting stuck in traffic at the upcoming Suzuki Six-Hour Dirt Bike Challenge, even if the event is again expected to attract a monster field of racers.

The popular stand-alone event, set for Saturday, October 5, typically attracts the cream of New Zealand’s off-road motorcycling community, along with a strong representation of club and novice riders hoping to test their skills and endurance against the terrain.

And that means will be hundreds of riders weaving through the forest circuit at Ohakuri, about halfway between Tokoroa and Taupo.

While the event’s popularity is a good thing – and all credit goes to Suzuki New Zealand and race organiser Sean Clarke for making it so – it means congestion could be an issue.

In the past, a high number of competitors means there may have been bottle-necks on the Suzuki Six-Hour course, particularly when creek crossings and steep rises put riders’ skills to the test, and this might have been even more of a problem for the title hopefuls when they lap the stragglers.

But Clarke and his crew of workers have been very industrious during the lead-up to this year’s event, working hard to groom, widen, cultivate and develop the course.

“The course is very different from last year,” said Clarke.

“The venue is in the same region that was used for the Roger White Trail Ride events of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, only we have done a lot of work to make it a true cross-country race course. There will be plenty of passing opportunities.

“It is more open and flowing than many of the riders will have experienced before. I am very excited about the prospects for the race. There should be lots of fast action and plenty of battling in the bush as riders vie for the lead.”

A huge number of riders have already entered the race, including Kiwi internationals and New Zealand cross-country, enduro and motocross champions.

Te Awamutu’s Mark Penny and Queenstown’s Scotty Columb shared a Suzuki RM-X450 to take the victory outright last year and, while they won’t be defending their title this time around, there are plenty of top two-rider teams lining up for a crack on October 5.

Instead of riding solo, as an ironman, Taupo’s Brad Groombridge will this year co-ride a Suzuki RM-Z450 with multi-time former national motocross champion Daryl Hurley, a former outright winner of the Suzuki Six-Hour.

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,


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