Transtasman test ‘coup’ for track

Photo: Mainly Motorsport Photography
Photo: Mainly Motorsport Photography
There is another Australia-New Zealand clash coming to Dunedin but this one will not involve the Bledisloe Cup.

This, though, will be about brain, brawn and making the right decisions in the heat of the battle.

Beachlands Speedway, in Waldronville, will host the test between New Zealand and Australia in sidecars next Wednesday night.

Yes, those machines that have passengers on the side, that speed around the track at a fair degree of knots.

The test involves eight Australian drivers, eight New Zealand drivers and another eight invited drivers, or wild cards, who are mainly from New Zealand.

Beachlands Speedway meet organiser Ricky Boulton said all was set for a great night of speedway. The track was one of only three in New Zealand that would host the bikes.

"It is a real coup for the track to get such a high-quality meet here," Boulton said.

"These are the best riders in the country and the best riders from Australia. ‘‘There are only three tracks around the country which will host them."

The bikes would start racing at Moorepark, in West Melton, near Christchurch, tonight and would end up in Invercargill next Saturday, but in between was the racing at Beachlands Speedway.

Boulton said racing on the clay track at Beachlands would have the bikes going well over 100kmh, as the clay track had more grip than the tracks in West Melton and Invercargill.

He was expecting plenty of noise and excitement on the night.

The 24 sidecars and crews are split into heats where four cars contest each other.

Points are accumulated through all the heats — drivers will get five heats each — before a straight-out grand final, where it is winner takes all.

With races set to take less than a minute, it will be all over very quickly.

Invercargill sidecar driver Erwin Tree is lining up and has been a regular at Beachlands Speedway with his red sidecar over the past few years.Tree said piloting a sidecar was a real combination between the driver and the passenger.

His passenger partner, Bret Pubben,  had been with him for a while and being successful came down to trust in each other.

"You might be going into a corner and he has to know what you are doing. Every time you go into a corner it is different," he said.

Passengers had to know what line the drivers were taking to balance the bike and get more speed out of corners.

"It is a real team thing. But, like anything, it is just time in the saddle. Time spent racing together."

The first race is scheduled for 6pm on Wednesday night and racing will last for about three hours. If it it is too wet, racing will be shifted to Thursday night, but the weather forecast is looking good.

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