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PUKEKOHE

 

 

The Mecca of Historic Road Racing in the Pacific.

 

A visit to the annual historic race meeting at Pukekohe for Mike Farrell, Geoff Howie and myself, this year required a long and careful planning effort. It went something like this:

 

During a “Pow-wow” mention was made of the great time Geoff and I had there in 2009. What about doing it again this year? That’s a great idea somebody said, done, somebody else answered, and that was that. Mike arranged his own flight (Maureen?) and arrived about three hours before us into Auckland Airport and had the hire care organized by the time Geoff and I had our feet on the ground.

 

Quickly heading south towards Ramarama and the Bomerang Country Club Motel, a nice and quite place approx 15 km south Pukekohe. This means easy access to the racetrack & very pleasant countryside each morning.The atmosphere at this race meeting reminds me of the good old Lakeside days. Everybody brings their own shade/cover. There is easy access to all participants, everyone is friendly, and exotic bikes are a plenty.

This years main draw card was the 100th birthday of the Rudge motorcycle, and plenty of beautifully restored examples were on display as well as some very rapid racers on the track of that famous brand, showing why, for quite a while, Rudge was amongst the very best and fastest road/race bikes money could buy.

 

Another great attraction this year was the Moto Paton expertly ridden by Lea Gourley from England. It won all the 500cc races. You will probably get full race results in Old Bike Australasia (Jim Scaysbrook was there and racing), so I won’t bore you with actual finishing results but the Moto Paton is an outstanding effort by the people who build these exact copies of¬† that 1960’s race bike.

 

Worth mentioning were some very closely fought sidecar races. With a field of approx. 20 outfits on the grid at the beginning of the weekend and approx. 20 at the end (Sunday), they were great value as most were Period 4 kneelers. The gathering of spectators bikes on display is as good as a motorcycle show as you will find anywhere and the many stalls could easily justify the $25.00 NZ ticket price, but that also covers the whole week-end and allows you to walk just about anywhere. During our walkabout out of the masses appears another QEMSC member Phil “House” Brewer. he is presently busy looking after his business, and was not racing but clearly still very keen.

 

A final bonus was a visit to Ken Macintosh shop in Auckland Monday morning. What a great setup, there would have been approx. 20 Manx’s, some belonging to Ken, some which he maintains and stores for owners from all over the place, and as well as a very rare BMW RS500, a featherbed framed 50’s twin cam 2 cylinder Jawa, pretty as a picture, and Rod Tingates Konig. This Kim Newcombe MW threatening creation, magnificently brought back to life by Rod, includes part of the original bike, and the Kiwi’s have almost adopted Rod, his efforts deserve that. The bike was demonstrated together with the Britten, the above mentioned BMW, an ex factory V4 125 Yamaha and a Ducati, the Konig went as sweet as they come.

 

We also took time to visit a new purpose built racetrack. On first sight I describe it as like a holding yard for an abattoir. Designer’s of race tracks these days appear to be hell bent on killing the soul and flow of new racetracks. Surfers (Indy cars), Willowbank, and now Hampton Court NZ. Plenty of concrete, wire fences and in the case of Willowbank and Hampton Court no shady trees for spectators. I don’t know, but time will tell. Anyway Pukehoke should be high on everybody’s “MUST DO LIST”.

 

Rob Olsen

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