When Mark Goldstone headed down to Christchurch during Labour Weekend, he never would have thought that he would be leaving with a national title.
The Tauranga racer had already won the North Island division of the ORANZ Off Road Racing Championship, and thought it would be ‘silly not to go down’ and compete at the national final, racing against the South Island drivers.
Mark went down with maximum points, not only in his class but for the overall competition as well.
“With winning the North Island Challenger Class and Overall North Island champion, I thought I would be silly not to go down with my maximum points and have a good crack at the national class and overall title,” says Mark.
The national final, which was held over two days over Labour Weekend, combined the drivers of the North Island and the South Island, at a track in Christchurch.
Day one on the Saturday, was short course racing, whereas on the Sunday it was a 10 lap enduro race. Competitors completed laps on the Sunday around the 22 minute mark, and finished the race in just over four and a half hours.
The weekend had produced some fine weather for Canterbury, so the dust from the track kicked up pretty quickly.
“The racing over Labour Weekend was great with some good close racing in my class, as well as the other classes. The dust wasn’t overly an issue for me personally, but the Canterbury club did an awesome job on keeping on top of watering the track between the short course races, although the enduro track was extremely dusty and at stages couldn’t see the front of the car,” says Mark.
Sunday was Marks first ever enduro race since buying his Challenger buggy.
“It was definitely a learning experience for me but I did enjoy it more than I thought,” says Mark.
“We had a great result starting 28th and finishing 7th, so just to finish in the top 10 was a great achievement. Even though I lost my brakes on lap five out of the 10 and had no power steering for all of the 250kms which makes it hard to steer the car over the back, in the river rock sections.”
“Going to prize giving, I was pretty comfortable I had done enough to take the Challenger Class title, due to winning all my class short course heats and also winning my class in the enduro. I was even keener to found out if I had done enough to get on the NZ overall podium.”
“I certainly didn’t go down with any expectations but was willing to give it my all and ended up walking away with NZ1 for Challenger Class and NZ2 Overall, which for me in just my first year in Off Road Racing is a huge accomplishment,” says Mark.
“When I found out the results and learnt that I had won NZ2, I was over the moon. It was such a personal achievement and especially in a smaller class car.”
To keep up to date with Mark and his racing, head along to his Facebook page, MDG Motorsport.