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Smith and Taylor take Manfeild sidecar title


Wairarapa sidecar racers Mark Smith and Isaac Taylor revelled in the wet and brought home the spoils from the APS Classic Motorcycle Racing Festival held at Manfeild last weekend.

Saturday was an atrocious day weather-wise, and many didn’t want to ride the track in the rain and windy conditions, but the sidecars comprising 17 teams braved the conditions. Smith and Taylor were in their element, qualifying on pole and taking the race one on their BMW.

Sunday was dry, and Smith and Taylor led the first race of the day until it was red-flagged because of a racing incident. The last three laps were re-run, with Smith taking home the Howard Gregory Trophy, in honour of the Masterton sidecar national champion who died at a young age, for the second straight year.

Numbers for Sunday’s second race dropped off due to some previous crashes. Smith and Taylor took the lead from the start but were thwarted by Bruce Roberts and Kendal Dunlop.

Smith and Taylor led from start to finish in their final race of the weekend to win the New Zealand Sidecar Racing Association Classic Sidecar Championship Cup.

Finn Harman from Greytown also raced at the Classic Festival on an 851cc Ducati, picking up a first and second in the Post Classic P82 Senior races and a win on a BMW 1000cc R100.

Over 200 motorcycles from the years 1915 to 1995 took part in the two days of racing.


Aris Scott held off a modest field of 25 riders to the ACM WIZWireless Road Championships in scorching conditions on the Millars Road circuit on Tuesday night.

Tom McCallum took the early lead on the 27km course, building a lead of 100m on the main bunch until Scott [Couplands Bakery Team] bridged the gap to him. The two increased their lead along Carters Line and up past Parkvale.

Back in the main group, it was cat and mouse up Gladstone Road until turning onto Carters Line when the pace went up, and riders were strung out in the crosswind. At this point, a number of riders went out the back, unable to hold position and speed. By the end of lap one, several riders pulled the pin, deciding one lap was quite sufficient in the heat.

Up front, Scott continued a solo lead, which he held to the finish after McCallum was reabsorbed by the lead group. Approaching the summit of Millars for the second time, the young rider Leroux Van der Leek went off the front and, with no one able to catch him, claimed second place behind Scott. Third place went to Derek de Zwart.


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Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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