INDEPENDENT NEWS

Revs Rising Ahead Of 2024 Suzuki International Series

Published: Thu 2 May 2024 04:38 PM
The revs are starting to build with massive support arriving and overseas interest being shown ahead of the 2024 Suzuki International Series.
The popular annual three-round Suzuki International Series, including the world-renowned Cemetery Circuit street race event in Whanganui on Boxing Day, kicks off this busiest time of the year for New Zealand's elite motorcycle road-racers.
The opening round of the series at the Taupo International Motorsport Park on the weekend of December 7-8 will again be highly anticipated, with the excitement continuing at round two at Manfeild, on the outskirts of Feilding, just a week later on December 14 and 15.
It wraps up, as always, with the spectacular finale on the public streets of Whanganui – the world-famous Cemetery Circuit – on Boxing Day.
The Suzuki International Series has become such an iconic competition in this part of the world, with the traditional post-Christmas “street fight” perhaps the jewel in the crown for motorcycle road-racing in New Zealand.
It will again be celebrated as the Southern Hemisphere’s premier “round the houses” race meeting, sponsored of course by Suzuki New Zealand, but now with additional high-profile financial support from Oceania’s leading freight and logistics provider Mondiale VGL.
Suzuki International Series organiser Allan 'Flea' Willacy said he was thrilled to be able “to work with so many great people” to make this series happen again in 2024.Suzuki New Zealand’s Simon Meade (left) is joined here by Suzuki International Series organiser Allan ‘Flea’ Willacy and Suzuki’s two-time former New Zealand superbike champion Sloan ‘Choppa’ Frost (right), along with a couple of Suzuki’s popular adventure bikes. Photo by Geoff Osborne, Osborne Photographics.
“It’s fantastic to have this continued support from Suzuki New Zealand," he said.
“The support we have had from Suzuki over the years has been tremendous and this is a competition that has grown in leaps and bounds since its inaugural running in December 2008.
“Suzuki also provide us with a pace car to use on the purpose-built race circuits and around the Whanganui street circuit too and, such is their generosity, this is available for us to use all year round too as we vigorously promote the series.”
As an added feature this time around, the series will also include a class for the racing of adventure bikes, essentially large-capacity off-road bikes engineered also for riding or racing on tarmac.
Keeping alive the long-standing tradition of the Suzuki International Series in the past, there is also keen interest being shown again by visiting international star riders.
Willacy he was not at liberty to divulge names of such individuals yet, with small details still to be ironed out, but “there are several world champions and Isle of Man winners lining up to get on board” with the Suzuki International Series this year.
Motorcycle road-racing in New Zealand is always edge-of-the-seat excitement and, for the 2024 season, it will again be a massive adrenaline rush for all concerned, racers and spectators alike.
Willacy said the calibre of riders expected from overseas, while impressive, won’t discourage or intimidate the local riders in the slightest because “Kiwis really can fly … and they’ve proven on many occasions they are the equal of any of the top international stars”.
Suzuki New Zealand's Simon Meade confirmed that support for the series was a high priority.
“The inclusive nature of the international series class rules allow club riders to compete alongside seasoned campaigners and these events are a launching pad for many of our up-and-coming competitors.
"We are happy to provide a platform for motorcycle racing of the highest order.
"The various bike classes that are offered by this series cater for all motorcycle owners out there and we know this leads to the high participation numbers that we see in the Suzuki International Series each year. That's what we're all about, offering something for everyone."
It is also interesting to note that it is sponsorship from Suzuki New Zealand that also allows a Kiwi audience to enjoy watching MotoGP racing live and on-demand this season on TV Three Now.DATES FOR 2024 SUZUKI INTERNATIONAL SERIESRound 1, Taupo, Dec 7th and 8th;Round 2, Manfeild, Feilding, Dec 14th and 15th;Round 3, Whanganui's Cemetery Circuit, Dec 26th.
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com

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