The Covid-19 pandemic has left a Whanganui family joint winners of the national drag racing championship.
Father Grant Rivers and adult children Adrian and Nicole have jointly won the New Zealand Drag Racing Chamiopnship competition class title after the final leg of the series in Masterton was canned as New Zealand moved into Covid-19 level 4 alert.
The family had been 151 points ahead of nearest Auckland-based rivals Mike Howard and Ian Stevens-West after the penultimate round and only needed to qualify in Masterton to claim the title.
"It's a shame Masterton didn't go ahead - we were really looking forward to winning the title on our merits," Grant Rivers said.
"We were, however, 151 points ahead of our nearest rivals, so really only needed to qualify to win. It was a good one to win though because it was a combined NZDRA (NZ Drag Racing Association) and IHRA (International Hotrod Racing Association) championship.
"We believe it's the first time three drivers have shared the title let alone three from the same family, so it's quite unique," Rivers said.
All three winning a leg each in the family 500 cubic inch big block supercharged Chev dragster during the 2020 series was also unique.
"That's what won us all the title," Rivers said.
Named Blues Bros, the car won Round 3 in Taupō on December 29, with 29-year-old Nicole driving for the first time in seven years.
Then the Rivers team set a new track record at The Rock Dragway track in Nelson in February on the shorter eighth of a mile airstrip for the sixth round of nine in the summer series.
Father and daughter shared driving duties on the day, with Nicole qualifying their dragster at the head of the field after collecting a new best low elapsed time (ET), as well as the quickest miles per hour (mph) time in the competition class.
Nicole then handed over driving duties in the final to Grant and he duly won.
The family celebrated with another great weekend's racing at Masterton Motorplex with Nicole driving on Saturday and Adrian on Sunday. They made it to the final where they posted a win in an extremely close contest with Adrian at the wheel.
He ran the quarter mile in 6.906 seconds for a speed of 193.93mph (312.1km/h).
"This is Nicole's first New Zealand title, my second and Adrian's third – there's that 1-2-3 again," Rivers said.
Meanwhile, talented two-wheel racer Richie Dibben is still in limbo with the final two legs of the New Zealand Superbike Championship potentially postponed.
Dibben is 60 points clear of his nearest rival in the Formula 2 600cc Supersport championship in what essentially is his first season racing in that division.
The final two rounds were to be held back to back starting this weekend on the Chris Amon circuit at Manfield and the following weekend at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo.
Those two meetings have been canned, but Dibben said drivers have been told organisers are looking at running the final two legs in October.
"The logistics of organising that are huge," Dibben said.
"Both venues are regularly booked months in advance and to reschedule catering for everyone involved would be difficult at least. The timing is also getting pretty close to the start of the annual Suzuki Series in the first week of December.
"Nobody seems to know what's happening at this stage, so we are all in limbo really."
The former multiple Suzuki Series Super Motard champion is sitting pretty to take the F2 title either way with a 60-point buffer. He would need things to go seriously wrong in either or both remaining legs to lose the title.
Covid-19 has also claimed the annual Brine to Wine 16km road race in Whanganui on Sunday, organised by the Wanganui Harrier Club.
Club member Rob Condor said the race was cancelled with the next scheduled for 2021 around the same time.
The annual Multisport Club Bridge to Bridge Swim this weekend has been postponed.
Organiser Margie Chiet said the club would look to now run the event some time in November.