Racing thrillseekers hit Wanganui

The Cemetery Circuit

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Motorcycle racing in Wanganui on Boxing Day ... it just wouldn't be Christmas without it.

The public streets of Wanganui are once again closed off to through traffic as some of the best motorcycle racers arrive to do battle on the circuit around the city's cemetery.

The Suzuki Tri Series superbike national championship ends at the Cemetery Circuit and  is the largest motorcycle racing series in the country.

However,  the Boxing Day race is also considered a stand-alone event - one of those iconic race days on the national calendar that brings out the best of curb-clipping, hay bale-nudging, cut-and-thrust motorcycle race action.

Cemetery Circuit, the most popular street circuit in New Zealand, is a temporary motorcycle street racetrack in downtown Wanganui. It was named because the track circles the old town cemetery. The daylong meeting is traditionally held on Boxing Day (26 December) each year and has been running since 1951. It attracts around 10,000 spectators and some of the best New Zealand motorbike racers to compete on the tight one-mile street circuit.

There was an era when day long coverage of the event took motorcycle road racing into everyone’s living room.

Here are a couple of clips from history from Boxing Day 1985Robbie Dean (on bike number 38 in the clips) remembers:

"There were quite a few showers throughout the day and the track was very slippery. It was a bit of a lottery as to where to get traction and avoid the white lines. The battle was actually keeping the bikes upright and on the track. I think any of the riders up the front were probably pushing their luck a bit at times.

Overall it was another great days racing at the cemetery circuit."

Wanganui 1985 Senior Production Race 

Wanganui 1985 Formula 1

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