Several big names are on the verge of committing to race at the Cemetery Circuit street races in Whanganui on Boxing Day, but Suzuki Series promoter Allan "Flea" Willacy is keeping mum for now.
Willacy said he was bound by confidentiality, but was hopeful of name dropping soon to confirm entries from big European motorcycle racers.
"I can confirm world champion sidecar racer Tim Reeves will return for the Suzuki Series and defend the title he won here last season. He is in very good form and leading this season's world championship," Willacy said yesterday.
"He's told us he's bringing another Isle of Man TT sidecar winner with him this time. We do have others almost signed up and they include a really big name on Isle of Man and European racing, but unfortunately that's all I can say at this stage. Top Australian riders are also in the process of gaining clearances, too."
Suzuki New Zealand's general manager of motorcycle and ATV marketing Simon Meade said he was delighted to confirm the company had signed on as series sponsor again for another two years.
This year, the series begins on December 4 at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo, rather than the traditional Hampton Downs. The second round is at Manfield on December 11 and finishes with the world famous Cemetery Circuit on Boxing Day.
"We were more than happy to continue our involvement with New Zealand's premier motorcycling event that finishes in Suzuki New Zealand's hometown. It is the biggest event for spectator and rider numbers and excellent for the city," Meade said.
For yesterday's photo call, Meade rocked up to race headquarters in Ridgway St on a Suzuki GSX S1000 to meet up with Willacy and his new sign-written sponsor's car, a 2016 Suzuki Vitara. The motorcyle was significant, though and could well be the very machine loaned to one of the big name visitors for the series.
"It's pretty much the road version of the Suzuki superbike and will bring back memories of the days Graeme Crosby raced on the Cemetery Circuit," Willacy said.
"Crosby rode a Kawasaki, but it was more the upright road bike version just like this Suzuki."