Thunder in the park: McCall confirms for Rallycross

Tony McCall’s bellowing BSL Chev V8 single-seater is the headline offroad racing entry for next weekend’s inaugural Baypark rallycross event in Tauranga.

The Manukau racer, who has won every major title in the sport over a career that spans three decades, says he is treating the event as an eye-opener for the coming national championship season and will be looking to bring his ‘A-game’ to Mount Maunganui’s Baypark stadium on Saturday February 27.

McCall’s purpose-built 600bhp ENZED-backed race car has received a comprehensive rebuild and upgrade for the coming season.

“The engine is good, the suspension is sorted and we’ve got a consignment of new tyres to shred. It’s going to be epic,” he said.

The Teng Tools New Zealand International Rallycross will be staged at Mt Maunganui’s Baypark stadium on February 27-28. It will use a purpose-built track combining parts of the clay surface speedway oval and stadium infield with the concrete and tarmac surfaces of the speedway pit area.
Grids of six cars will compete in quick-fire heat races and semi-finals leading to eight-car class finals.

The event is a mixture of rally, Honda Cup and 2K Cup cars complying with Motorsport NZ regulations and the spectacular trucks and buggies and giant-killing side-by-side UTV racers that race under Offroad Racing Association rules.

Organisers are building bigger jumps for the offroad racers after feedback that the jumps set up for the cars were simply too small.

The event starts with practice from 3pm on Saturday February 27. Qualifying heats run under floodlights from 8-10pm. Sunday’s action starts at noon with more heat races followed by semi-final eliminations. The finals, decided on points over three races per class, are set for 5.15pm.

Mark Baker has been working in automotive PR and communications for more than two decades. For much longer than that he has been a motorsport journalist, photographer and competitor, witness to most of the most exciting and significant motorsport trends and events of the mid-late 20th Century. His earliest memories of motorsport were trips to races at Ohakea in the early 1960s, and later of annual summer pilgrimages to watch Shellsport racers and Mini 7s at Bay Park and winter sorties into forests around Kawerau and Rotorua to see the likes of Russell Brookes, Ari Vatanen and Mike Marshall ply their trade in group 4 Escorts. Together with Murray Taylor and TV producer/director Dave Hedge he has been responsible for helping to build New Zealand’s unique Toyota Racing Series into a globally recognized event brand under category managers Barrie and Louise Thomlinson. Now working for a variety of automotive and mainstream commercial clients, Mark has a unique perspective on recent motor racing history and the future career paths of our best and brightest young racers.

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