Velocettes at the Burt Munro Challenge 2015

The racing for the Classic Pre ‘63 class (with and without girder forks), including Phil Price’s superb collection of original Velocette racing machines, covered 3 of the Burt’s 6 events at the tenth anniversary Burt Munro Challenge. Kicking off proceedings on Thursday 26th November with the Bluff Hill NZ National Hill Climb championships, the Teretonga Circuit Races & Practice Day spanning Friday–Saturday and culminating in the hugely successful new Honda Invercargill Street Races on Sunday 29th.

The VRNZ Classic Velos competed in the Pre ‘63 (with girder forks) Class along with Neville Mickleson’s KTT, Rudges, a Triumph and an Indian and other famous marques pictured in the galleries below. Several riders from the VRNZ camp also raced machines in the Classic Pre ‘63 class, and the Post Classic Pre ‘72 class, galleries of those classes at the event are included below. The trio of cammy 350cc KTTs and the Velocette “Big Velo” 500 are featured in the Classic Pre ‘63 with girder forks slideshows at each event, the galleries of all the other bikes in the Classic Pre ‘63 and the Post Classic Pre ‘72 classes, including the Eldee Velocette, are in labelled galleries. There are also galleries of scenes below from the  Classic Pre ‘63 motorcycle pits and Dummy grids. Completing the photographic project documenting the event another page of photo galleries of all the other classes will be published soon over at MagentaDot Brands. This will chronicle all of the Classes of motorcycles that raced at the 2015 Burt in the events listed below. There is also a selection of shots of motorcycle pit culture, the support teams, machines and the crowds in and around the four day festival of events.

I’d like to extend a vote of thanks to all the riders who put it all on the line, their support crews, the event marshalls, organisers, admin and sponsors that made the 10th Burt the festive, thrilling spectacle that it is. Finally kudos to Wellington Velo man Nic Thomson for the outstanding achievement of developing, race prepping and fettling the four Classic Girder Velos that achieved so many historic wins at the Burt and finally acknowledge the remarkable fact also that all bar-one both started and finished every event entered over the four thunderous days in November.


NZ Hill Climb Champs: Megaphones on Bluff Hill

Big Velo 500, Bill Biber, Bluff Hill, Bluff HIll Climb, Burt Munro Challenge, Flagstaff Road, Motupohue, NZ Hill Climb Champs, Rider 4, Velocette

Bill Biber aboard the 1934 “Big Velo” 500 rounds corner 5 on his first timed run.

Flagstaff Road is a steep 1.4 km public road that snakes its way up Bluff Hill. With a few short straights, tortuous curves flanked by rocky cliffs, steep drops and demanding surface conditions that includes a small stream running across the exit of corner four the Bluff Hill course was a formidable challenge with which to kick off the start of a decade of the Burt.

After the Marshall’s briefing, Machine Scrutineering and Riders’ Meeting the Hill Climb event started at 09:40 Thursday morning with a series of two practice runs up the tortuous course for each competitor before competition commenced. Competition consisted of a couple of official timed runs for competitors in each class entered.

3D_GoogleMap_Bluff_Hill_flatThe race Programme was as follows:

  • Classic Pre ‘63 (including Girder fork Classics)
  • Classic Pre ’82
  • Classic Pre ‘89
  • Open Class (including a sidecar)
  • Up to 600cc
  • ATV Quad

For VRNZ in the Classic Pre ‘63, Girder fork class Rider 4 Bill Biber (1934 “Big Velo”) and Rider 197 Phil Price (1934 KTT) were competitors. Also in the camp was the Pre ‘63 Hill Climb class-winning Rider 85 Graham Peters (1958 BSA Goldstar) who won the Classic Pre ‘63 class in 55.41 secs, not too shabby considering the fastest time of the day was set at 46.64 secs by Tony Rees aboard his Open Class 2013 Honda CBR 1000.

The Classic Pre ‘63 girder fork Velos on the Start line and rounding Corner 1

In this gallery are three girder fork machines,

  • Rider 197, Phil Price, 1934 Velocette KTT MKIV
  • Rider 95, Neville Mickleson, 1932 Velocette KTT MKIV
  • Rider 63, Francie Winteringham, 1930 Rudge TT Rep 500.

The Classic Pre ‘63 girder fork machines rounding Corner 5

This gallery features five girder fork machines;

  • Rider 4, Bill Biber, 1934 Velocette ‘Big Velo’ 500
  • Rider 197, Phil Price, 1934 Velocette KTT MKIV
  • Rider 63, Francie Winteringham, 1930 Rudge TT Rep 500
  • Rider 36, Rhys Wilson, 1937 Rudge Ulster 500
  • Rider 95, Neville Mickleson, 1932 Velocette KTT MKIV

The final turn. Classic Pre ‘63 girder class at the tortuous Corner 6

This gallery features four girder fork machines;

  • Rider 4 – Bill Biber, 1934 Velocette ‘Big Velo’ 500
  • Rider 95 – Neville Mickleson, 1932 Velocette KTT MKIV
  • Rider 63 – Francie Winteringham, 1930 Rudge TT Rep 500
  • Rider 36 – Rhys Wilson, 1937 Rudge Ulster 500

 Classic Pre ‘63 Class winner, Graham Peters’ BSA Goldstar 500 flies up Bluff Hill in in 55.41 secs

Classic Pre ‘63 Class and Post Classic Pre ‘72 competitors

Velocette Motorcycle Pit culture at the NZ Hillclimb champs

 


E Hayes & Sons Teretonga Circuit Races — The KTT trio and Big Velo

Classic Pre ’63 with Girder Forks, Cloud Craig-Smith, KTT 350, KTT MK VIII, Rider 231, Teretonga Circuit races, Velocette

Cloud Craig-Smith sweeps his gleaming KTT MK VIII through the exit apex of the Loop at Teretonga.

Friday 27 November 2015 (Practice day), Saturday 28th (Race day). VRNZ classic racing at Teretonga Raceway, Otatara, included 4 riders aboard 5 machines in the Classic Pre ‘63 Girder fork and the Classic Pre ‘63 Class.

The Big Velo and KTT trio round the Teretonga circuit’s fastest curve, the Loop

The Teretonga galleries features the four girder fork racing Velocettes;

  • Rider 4 – Bill Biber, 1934 Velocette ‘Big Velo’ 500
  • Rider 32 – Chris Swallow, 1946 Velocette KTT MKVIII 350
  • Rider 197 – Phil Price, 1934 Velocette KTT MKIV 350
  • Rider 231 – Cloud Craig-Smith, 1949 Velocette KTT MKVIII 350,

and these machines from the girder fork class;

  • Rider 30 – Michael Wilson, 1930 Rudge Special 350
  • Rider 36 – Rhys Wilson, 1937 Rudge Ulster 500
  • Rider 63 – Francie Winteringham, 1930 Rudge TT Rep 500
  • Rider 95 – Neville Mickleson, Velocette KTT MKIV 350
  • Rider 114 – Keith McLeod, 1928 AJS K6 500
  • Rider 238 – Bruce Aitken, 1936 Triumph T80 350

Teretonga’s Castrol curves and the Start Finish line

Classic Pre ‘63 and Post Classic Pre ‘72

  • Rider 9 – Paul Riley, 1981 Honda RC181r 500
  • Rider 18 – Kevin Ryan, 1966 Triumph Bonneville 800
  • Rider 32 – Chris Swallow, 1959 BSA Goldstar 500
  • Rider 45 – Peter Mills, 1962 Norton 650 SS
  • Rider 85 – Graham Peters, 1958 BSA Goldstar
  • Rider 128 – Stuart McElrea, 1963 Triumph 5TA 500
  • Rider 141 – Bill James, 1954 AJS 7R 350
  • Rider 168 – Butch Woods, 1970 Norton Commando 750
  • Rider 231 – Cloud Craig-Smith, 1971 Weston Westlake Norton Special 500
  • Rider 291 – Paul Register, 1972 Triton Norton Triumph 750

Teretonga Practice Day Gallery, Friday 27th

Classic Pre ‘63 Girder Dummy Grid

Velocette motorcycle pit culture at the Teretonga circuit


The Honda Invercargill Street Races. Black and Gold.

350cc, Burt Munro Challenge, Chris Swallow, Classic Motorcycle Racing, Classic Pre ‘63 Girder Forks, Invercargill, KTT MKVIII, New Zealand, Rider 32, Street Races, Velocette

Sunday 29 November 2015. For VRNZ racing at the exciting new street circuit was in the same classes and with the same riders and machines as detailed above for the Teretonga Circuit races: 

Rider 4 Bill Biber, Rider 32 Chris Swallow, Rider 123 Cloud Craig-Smith and Rider 197 Phil Price.

Classic Pre ‘63 with girder forks

Classic Pre ‘63 and Post Classic Pre ‘72

Velocette motorcycle pit culture at the Invercargill Street races

Riders’ meeting, Classic Pre ‘63 dummy grid


CREDITS:


Words: Shaun Waugh

Photography & Desktop publishing: Shaun Waugh MagentaDot Brands

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