Fundraiser planned for the Southland runner


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They really mean it when they say Southland Motorsport is a tight-knit community.

In the mind of Burt Munro, the tankers plan to come together to support the dreams of one of their talented young pilots.

A special motorcycle event at Teretonga Park on February 12-13 will help both make up for the cancellation of the Burt Munro Challenge and raise funds for rising Invercargill star Cormac Buchanan.

The 15-year-old, a two-class national champion, was the only New Zealander to compete in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup this year and has been invited to return in 2022.

Southland Motorcycling Club chairman Andy Underhay said Teretonga had been booked for a race as part of the Burt Munro, which the club decided in October to cancel due to uncertainties around Covid-19.

Thus, a plan has been developed to create an event based on the sprint racing element of the challenge that will feature elite races in multiple categories as well as opportunities for entertainment and fun.

“We will turn a normal one-day event into a more relaxed, more enjoyable two-day event that will raise funds for Cormac at the same time,” Underhay said yesterday.

“We’ll try to pretty much have the bulk of what we would normally cover at most of our race meetings, to cheer on as many people as possible.

“A lot of people have planned this week for the Burt Munro, so there isn’t another race scheduled across the country, and I think we’ll have a really good turnout.”

Yamaha had offered to cover the track costs for the weekend, so that a good reduction in income from competitors, food vendors and auctions could be allocated to the young rider’s campaign, Underhay said.

Buchanan, who was accompanied by his father, Stacey, this year and hopes to have his entire family with him in 2022, will need to generate a significant amount of his own funds to return to Europe in order to continue his rapid rise in the sport.

Helping the club poster was a no-brainer, Underhay said.

“I saw him three years ago, when he was only 12, and he and Stacey came over to us and asked if they could go out on the track on his mini-bike, with his father as chaperone and mentor.

“We are a club that likes to train young riders, whether motocross or road racing, and we wanted to give them the opportunity.

“Cormac just excelled. It’s almost like a fairy tale.

“You don’t often see runners with this natural ability. He just showed early on that he has something special.

“The sky is the limit. He’s improving, he’s learning. He’s destined for great things, and he will achieve whatever he chooses to do.

“We all just want to feed him. In a way, we’re all jealous because we wish we could be as good as him.”

Underhay said the club are also keen to support Buchanan’s “adorable” parents, Stacey and Kate.

Buchanan was “humbled” by the support of his hometown club.

“The reality is, I wouldn’t be preparing for my second season of racing in Europe if it weren’t for some amazing people who believe in me and what I aim to achieve,” Buchanan said.

“Support from the Southland Motorcycle Club and the Burt Munro Challenge has been a big part of that.”

Buchanan said Teretonga is a “nasty track” and the February event would be a perfect way to prepare for the New Zealand superbike championships in March.

He also digested the news that he is one of six people this year – out of 700 applicants – to receive a $ 5,000 grant in the latest round of the MTF Finance Future Legends scholarship.

“New Zealand has such talented athletes in all sports so I am proud to receive this MTF scholarship and I am really delighted that motorcycling is recognized as well. “

– hayden.meikle@odt.co.nz

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