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Moriarty Wins Twizel Offroad Racing Championship Race

Media release 26 August 2012

Moriarty Wins Twizel Offroad Racing Championship Race

Wayne Moriarty won all his heats at the final South Island regional round of the 2012 Mickey Thompson New Zealand Offroad Racing Championship yesterday and takes maximum points to the national final, including the 20 bonus points on offer for racers who contest all three regional rounds.

It wasn't all plain sailing for the Christchurch driver though: his engine builder discovered a cracked crankshaft in his Euroblast Cougar Toyota's 4AGE engine and he was unable to complete the engine rebuild in time for the race, so switched to his new American-built Alumicraft single-seater, bringing that car's debut forward several months.

His last-minute switch could have been disastrous to his championship aspirations, but in cold but sunny conditions at Twizel the gamble paid dividends, Moriarty racing unchallenged to four consecutive wins in Leader Products class three.

After the event, Moriarty said he was pleased with the new car despite not having the chance to plan its debut or modify its specification to suit New Zealand conditions.

The US-built 4AGE in the new car has race-style cams that only deliver useful power above 6,000 rpm and its suspension was not well set up for New Zealand short course racing.

“The car is a handful to drive because the engine is quite peaky, but once it’s up to speed it’s very quick and agile.”

There were four class three cars on the grid, Carl Gardiner charging into second place for the weekend ahead of JP Griffiths and Gordon Adamson who struck mechanical problems in the final heat.

Moriarty’s class win hands him the southern region championship title.

Fellow Christchurch driver Daniel Powell has not contested the national championship this year but brought his Jimco Nissan Turbo out to race the short course. His eyes were on the Sunday non-championship enduro, which he aimed to defend after dominating it in 2011.

“I was pushing the Jimco hard today and we did see some overheating issues, but the enduro should be much gentler on the car.”

In Saturday’s championship short course races, Powell won all heats for the Whakatane Commercial Spares unlimited class. Kevin Cooper was second in class driving son Trevor’s Cougar Honda turbo; Josh Lee placing third in class on the day.

Andrew Johnston made his second outing in the ex-Gregg Carrington-Hogg class five Cougar Suzuki and won the class; Challenger VW winner on the day was Twizel driver Barry Phillips; class 10 was won by Hamish Lawlor of Tuatapere in his Suzuki Hayabusa powered Barracuda single seater.

Ian Simcox won the production truck class in his Mitsubishi Pajero; Nathan Findlay won class four for modified trucks, Invercargill racer Roger McKay overcame a misfire and other engine issues to win class six for challenge trucks in his V8 Nissan; Donald Preston won the unlimited truck class. Neil Falkingham won class nine in his Range Rover.


© Scoop Media

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