It’s the first event of its kind in New Zealand and two Bay of Plenty teams have taken out the titles.
The first Ultra4 New Zealand event, King of the North, was held over the weekend of August 10-11 in Woodhill Forest, Auckland.
Competing in the UTV class for the 2019 Rugged Radios UTV King of the North presented by Can-am title were local teens Dyson Delahunty and Kieran Boston whereas competing in the 4400 class for the ETL Hire King of the North powered by Force4 title was local businessman Andrew Garner and co-driver Rupert Curry.
Both teams hail from different motorsport backgrounds with plenty of experience from winch challenging and off-road racing.
Andrew and Rupert say they were absolutely stoked when they found out they won the King of the North title.
“I’m stoked with the result and impressed the truck and bodies lasted the full race,” says Rupert.
“We beat the snot out of the truck and it kept on going! Nothing was a given until the end,” says Andrew.
Both agree the race was a full on event, with races lasting for an hour and a half to two hours at times.
Big names from overseas also came out the support the event and help it get off the ground, including one of the OG13 JT Taylor, who was a part of the very first event held in America.
“I loved the support and passion from the Americans who flew over for the event,” says Rupert.
“It is great to see New Zealand on the Ultra4 world map.”
“I like what Ultra4 has come from and how it was developed such passionate people for the sport,” says Andrew.
“How many event do you know of that have had supporters come from around the globe to support a new branch of the Ultra4 family starting.
“This type of racing is hard out, rough and technically challenging. I enjoy all those aspects and I know for sure that the next event will be twice the challenge.
“Although it is a tough event, you don’t need a full blown race vehicle. Just turn up and finish, that is the challenge whilst having a dam good time with like-minded people,” says Andrew.
One of the main issues that Andrew and Rupert had to overcome, which the rest of the crew thought was hilarious was running out of gas during their first heat.
Aside from that Andrew says there were also a couple of noises that they tried to track down but says it was just his mind playing tricks on him.
“That’s the thing, it’s a mental game as much as a physical one.
“We did blow out a tyre on the second heat which cost us a lap or two, and a ball-joint was on its last legs after nearly 200km of brutal off-road tracks.”
Straight after their final heat, Kieran Boston and Dyson Delahunty.
Dyson and Kieran both say they thought the event went great for it being a first time thing.
“I believe it will take off in the future,” says Dyson.
“I really enjoyed the amount of seat time we got and the fact that you are battling against the clock as well as for track position.”
“I enjoyed the whole weekend and the great positivity from everyone,” says Kieran.
“It was a wicked time being in the co-driver’s seat and being able to take the title.
“It was a great feeling when we found out that we won and after many laps of abuse, it all payed off,” says Kieran.
“I was pretty stoked that we took away the win as there can only be one OG winner,” says Dyson.
Although the boys didn’t run out of gas like Andrew and Rupert, they did blow a belt in the Polaris RZR while out on the track.
“Luckily we had spare parts on the back and were able to fix it. After 10 minutes we were away and continued our race,” says Kieran.
“We came across a few obstacles along the way and developed a miss in heat three. But we just battled away. Thankfully we were a few laps up so we had time to spare,” says Dyson.
The two race vehicles side-by-side.
All four give a big hand to everyone who made the event possible, especially Caleb Thompson who was the brains behind bringing this event to New Zealand.
“Wait till the real footage from the event comes out,” says Andrew.
“Hopefully it shows just how hard everyone pushed themselves. Just look online at the Ultra4 racing in the USA and what it is all about.
“This sport and event will grow and be the race to do in NZ,” says Andrew.
After two days of racing Andrew Garner and Rupert Curry crossed the finish line with a combined time of 3:45.51, completing 28 laps and becoming the first ever King of the North winner in New Zealand.
Dyson Delahunty and Kieran Boston crossed the finished line with a combined time of 3:31.32, completing 29 laps and becoming the first ever UTV King of the North winner in New Zealand.
Kieran and Dyson say they were stoked to become OG winners and to claim the UTV King of the North title.
The racers were all smiles after finishing a long two days of racing.