67 years since race action first took place on the Cemetery Circuit, another top draw world class entry will embark upon New Zealand’s most famous roads venue on Boxing Day, including high profile event newcomer Peter Hickman.
Senior TT champion Hickman recent winner of both F1 Superbike races at Mansfield, still mathematically has a chance of clinching this year’s Suzuki Tri Series Superbike title.
Hickman who will pilot the Carl Cox Motorsport backed S1000RR BMW at Whanganui, has expressed confidence of contending for strong results at the ‘Southern Hemisphere’s Isle of Man’.
Speaking via the Cemetery Circuit Facebook page, the world’s fastest road racer stated:
“On my way to Manfeild I stopped off in Whanganui and did a couple of laps in the car. I knew it was a short circuit, but I didn’t think it was so wide. I think there are loads of passing opportunities, so I’m feeling confident for Boxing Day.
Obviously, I’m not going to get a lot of time to practice on it, which makes things a little more tough, but we’ll have some fun there and do some wheelies and skids. That’s what it’s all about.”
Outside of Hickman, attention a plenty will also be focused upon fellow Tri Series front runners Shane Richardson and Scott Moir.
Covered by just three points, Daytona 200 specialist Richardson and reigning Robert Holden Memorial feature race champion Moir, both have a huge chance of becoming 2018 series champion.
Photo by Terry Stevenson
Added notable entrants anticipated to contend for rostrums in the 1000cc/feature races include Sloan Frost, Jay Lawrence, Daniel Mettam and event returnee, former TT Privateers champion Horst Saiger who lines up on his Metzeler backed YZF R1M Yamaha.
We must not discount as well Cemetery Circuit legend Tony Rees, plus sons Mitch and Damon from also contending for standout finishes.
Photo by Terry Stevenson
Looking towards the 31 strong Supersport entry, ZX6R Kawasaki notable entrants include ZX6R Kawasaki mounted Toby Summers, Ashton Hughes and Rogan Chandler.
Seasoned Manx GP, Irish roads competitor Nige Rea is also Whanganui bound, as he samples for the first time the tight, twisty, technical Cemetery Circuit course.
Photo by Nick Wheeler
Additionally various yesteryear solo, Sidecar classic, Super Twin, Super Moto machines will also grace the Cemetery Circuit in just over a weeks time, whilst the entry for the F1 Sidecar races boasts a mix of TT winning quality, local three wheeling heroes and talented meeting debutants.
Ones to watch alongside for many pre-race favourites John Holden/Robbie Shorter, include Barry Smith/Tracey Bryan, Dutch star Kees Endeveld and newcomers Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde.
Words by Stevie Rial