A young Whakatāne motorsport record-breaker is getting ready to hit the world stage.
Whakatane's Damon Rees heads, 24, will head to the British Superstock 1000 championships in late February and be based in East Midlands, England.
But this was not before his top performance over the weekend as he scored a hat-trick of wins at the New Zealand Superbike Championships over the weekend Levels International Raceway near Timaru.
He broke the Superbike lap record in his first race on Saturday and set a time of one minute 2.529 seconds.
"It wasn't a perfect weekend, actually ... I didn't get the fastest time in qualifying," he said.
"But I'm happy with my results and feeling really confident ahead of my overseas trip."
But this was also his farewell performance in New Zealand before he headed abroad which meant he would be unable to complete the Kiwi domestic series.
"I believe I'm riding the best of my career and felt I was able to pass riders at will. I think I might need to develop a bit more of a mongrel attitude in the UK though. It will be more intense over there."
Rees snatched the lead in race three in Timaru just two laps from the end of the 15-lapper. His quick-fire passes took him from third to first.
"That last race win was not easy," Rees said.
"Those guys were pushing really hard and I just bided my time a bit before making the move and it paid off. The Honda was awesome all weekend."
The series resumes with round three at Hampton Downs in Waikato on March 7-8.
Nationals will continue at Manfeild, on the outskirts of Feilding, on March 28-29, before wrapping up at Taupō on April 4-5.
Other class leaders after racing at Timaru
Whanganui's Richie Dibben, Supersport 600
Whangarei's Jason Hearn, Supersport 300, provisional
Whangaparoa's Nathan Jane, 650 Pro Twins
Taupō's Andy Scrivener and Tina McKeown, Sidecars
Invercargill's Cormac Buchanan, Supersport 150
Nelson's Tyrone Kuipers, GIXXER Cup 150