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Highlights of the 2019 Burt Munro Challenge held in Invercargill, South Island, New Zealand.
The Burt Munro Challenge honours Burt Munro who was born in 1899 and he quickly developed a love of speed. His ingenuity and determination have encouraged and inspired many and his love of speed and travel sent a message around the world that put Southland on the map and fellow speed freaks were amazed by his frugal yet resourceful ingenuity. His life achievements are legendary.
In Bonneville Utah the home of land speed records Burt set notable records.. his Indian scout had an original top speed of 55mph and notably in 1967 he set a world record of 183.58mph which still stands today.. he was 68 and his beloved Indian was 47. Film maker Rodger Donaldson was enthralled by Burt as a young man and in 1971 he made the short film offerings to the gods of speed. roger always had sights on a feature... this came to be in 2005 and this inspired the Southland motorcycle club to create the burt Munro challenge in honour of Burt's achievements. The inaugural event was introduced in 2006 and has grown to an intentionally recognised and much anticipated event. The Burt Munro Challange welcomes both local and international participants and spectators. Comprising of drags, beach racing speedway and street racing and the Mecca hill climb.
At the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand in Bluff, The classic Hill Climb Championships are held. Just over a km , climbing to a height of 265m above sea level, Bluff Hill - Motupohue is a perfect destination offering spectacular views over Foveaux Straighht to the stunning Rakiura - Stewart Island.
The popular Twilight Drag meeting held at Teratonga attracts huge numbers for a feul injected blast of excitement. Demonstration vehicles and motorbikes go head to head over a 1/4 mile distance reaching speeds well over 200 km per hour.
Oreti Beach... Burt's hallowed ground has been a huge part of the Burt Munro Challenge since the event started. Burt himself set speed records here and are still proving hard to beat even with all the modern technology and mechanics available. The event is scheduled for the timing of the tides. With the spirit of Burt felt in the presence of the beach the Burt Munro Trophy race covers a gruelling 50 lap run.
Teratonga hosts the speedway and the circuit races which attract huge interest and are growing in popularity eah year attracting riders of all ages. In the Circuit Races there are two sprint races for all classes around the 2.57km track.
The Invercargill Street Race is one on the only remaining few in the country and attracts competitors from all over the world. The races are run under MNZ general road racing rules and with safety at the forefront of organisers minds all riders must have tethered kill switches fitted. Racing classes are dependant on numbers and extended street closure times mean that there are three races per class.
The Burt Munro Challenge attracted over 20 thousand spectators and approximately 650 competitors across all events and it has once again proven a success for Invercargill and a regular feature on the calendar for the NZ and what is becoming and event recognised around the world all created around the spirit and memory of the legend Burt Munro.