Ever since the motocross track within the TECT All Terrain Park opened in February 2015 it has continuously been developed with the Tauranga Motorcycle Club setting their sights on hosting a major national event. Four years on the club, which is based at the site, is excited to have achieved just that, reaching a major milestone to host one of New Zealand's biggest motocross events next year. The event will see some of the best age-group dirt bike riders battle it out at the TECT All Terrain Park - one of New Zealand's newest motocross facilities.
Tauranga Motorcycle Club has seized a late opportunity to host one of New Zealand's biggest motocross events.
Leading under-17 dirt bike riders will battle for the 2020 New Zealand Junior Championship at the club's track within the TECT All Terrain Park, which is about half way between Tauranga and Rotorua.
Tauranga has taken over the nationals from the Pukekohe Motorcycle Club after difficulties settling a date for the event with Motorcycling NZ. The titles will be raced over three days from April 17-19, 2020.
The track within the TECT All Terrain Park is one of New Zealand's newest motocross facilities. It opened in February 2015 and has been continuously developed over the last four years.
''Getting a major national event is something the club has had its sights on since the track opened,'' president Kelvin Meredith said.
''We've continued upgrading the track and after last season we made quite a few changes which have made the track more flowing to ride.
''We've also built a 2 million litre storage pond which is the first stage of an irrigation project that hopefully will be up and running before the champs.
''And we've cleared a lot of scrub around the track to improve the spectator viewing areas.''
Former world motocross champion Ben Townley is the vice-president of Tauranga Motorcycle Club and also a two-time junior national champ. His eldest son Levi clinched his first national title in the 8-11 years Pro 65cc class earlier this year.
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''It's massive for the Tauranga Motorcycle Club and the effort they've put into establishing the track in the last few years,'' said Townley.
''The club has been working towards having a round of the Senior Nationals in 2021 but this [the junior nationals] came up out of the blue when Pukekohe pulled out.
''We did a massive track upgrade back in May. I redesigned some of the track and we got a professional track builder to do the work. It's a really cool layout now and is up to national standard.
''We are about a third of the way into completing the irrigation system and the club is working hard to raise the funding needed to finish it.''
The Junior champs caters for riders from 8 years of age on 65cc and 85cc machines through to riders competing on 125cc and 250cc bikes who have already made their mark in the senior ranks but remain under-17 at the time of the event.
''It's usually an international event with Australian riders coming across most years,'' said Townley.
The 2019 New Zealand Junior Nationals were raced at Himatangi and saw about 220 riders in action.
''We're expecting anything up to 300 riders,'' said Kelvin Meredith.
''We know we can cope with that many because we had 360 riders at our schools tournament in March.''
The Tauranga Motorcycle Club season begins with a Father's Day Fun Day on Sunday, September 1, and its monthly MX series gears up on October 6.