Whibley to run his own event


Motorsport

Pahiatua ace Paul Whibley is returning to New Zealand from his latest United States stint with the American Off-road Motorcycle and Grand National Cross-Country trophies in his luggage.

But that doesn't mean the 34-year-old former forestry worker is looking forward to some rest and recreation.

Rather he is actively involved in organising an event in Manawatu which he hopes will help propel other Kiwis to international stardom.

Whibley and his wife have purchased the Taikorea Off-Road Motorcycle Park, just outside Palmerston North, and with support from Yamaha New Zealand will stage a series of cross-country races on the sand-based circuit on December 23.

The Yamaha Taikorea 500 will feature four separate races, of varying duration, and offer $500 in combined prize money.

There will be two one-hour cross-country races on the "long track" with a $100 prize to the winner of each of those events and there will also be two cross-country super finals on the "short track", again offering $100 to the winner each time.

An extra $100 will be paid to any rider who wins all four races.

The shorter races would cater for all skill levels and would still be a challenge for the professional riders.

"The prize money system is designed to spread the wealth around a little, with a bonus if one rider can dominate the day. This will hopefully provide some intense racing right to the final flag," Whibley said

There will also be a chance for riders who want to compete on a more social basis to strut their stuff in a "fun class" for which entries will be taken on the day. Competitors will not have to worry about facing off against the current United States champion, Whibley saying he will too busy running the show.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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