On 22nd January, the four of us rode to Hampton Downs just south of Auckland for the annual NZ Festival of Motor Racing event, which runs over two weekends. The feature car this year was BMW, which is always well represented anyway, but there were some special cars and drivers. It was especially good for me, I have owned several BMWs over 30 years, from a 2002 through to an E46 M3 which I miss. The weather forecast for Sunday was a bit dodgy, but we met at our regular, the Maraetai Wharf Cafe and sure enough, the rain started as we were eating breakfast. None of us are too keen on riding in the rain (tricky and not as much fun) but we decided to press on anyway.
Riding in the rain requires being smooth and steady and focussing on the vanishing point, not the puddles and smooth patches immediately in front of you and as long as your tyres are in good condition, you can maintain a good pace.
We took our regular back road through Clevedon, Hunua, Mangatawhiri and Mercer. It was still raining lightly when we arrived at Hampton Downs -just part of the adventure. We arrived just in time to see the Rainmaster Jim Richards, a New Zealand icon who has won Bathurst several times, win the Group A race in the JPS M635i ahead of much faster cars.
Other feature races were Muscle Cars, Formula 5000, BMW open class and Formula Junior cars. The rain stopped, but it remained gloomy overhead for most of the day. The following gallery is a taste of some of the better shots. <click> on any photo to enlarge the gallery.
On the way back, we took a few shots of our bikes on this beautiful country road. Jono had to leave us early and Andre, Justin and I finished up at the General Store at Whitford for a beer, then home. A good day all round.