2017 Motoring Highlights

Liam Lawson

2017 has been the year for Liam, as he has gone from strength to strength with this racing career. Earlier this year, Liam not only won the New Zealand F1600 Championship in his rookie season, but also became the youngest ever champion for that category, in the world. In May, Liam was named the winner of the prestigious Steel Memorial Trophy for the best junior driver at Motorsport New Zealand’s annual awards dinner. He also took out second place in the Australian Formula 4 championship at Victoria’s Phillip Island circuit, and also named the CareVets Racing Team’s scholarship driver in the coming 2017-2018 Toyota 86 Championship.
To finish off the year, Liam made it through to the grand final of the Road To Indy Shootout in Arizona. While he wasn’t awarded the top position, it has led to numerous inquiries from American race teams and global management companies. One thing is for sure, the Pukekohe kid’s dream of one day becoming a professional race driver is far from over.

Matt Griffin

Matt has had a stellar 2017 season, and is now dubbed ‘the flying kiwi’, after taking a historic victory in the ECB V8 Utes Championships. His season has seen him likened to Scott McLauglin and he has dreams to make it to the Supercars.






Jack Dunlop

The 14 year old from Pukekawa has been building his credentials and pushing for podium positions in motocross events around the country. He finished fourth in class at the NZ Junior MX Championships, and then runner up in the MX Fest over Labour weekend. Photo: Bikesport/ Andy McGechan.



Emerson Vincent

Emerson won his first national title in Karting, after competing against students from 20 other schools in New Zealand. In March, Emerson also won the standalone Cadet ROK class Grand Prix race where he battled against other drivers aged six to ten.The karter also races in mini-stocks.


Ryan Grave

Winger Subaru Pukekohe technician Ryan Grave has qualified for the biennial Subaru World Technical Competition in Tokyo, Japan. After competing in the New Zealand round, where he was placed in the Top Six for New Zealand, he was selected to compete in the Oceania Technical Competition in Australia. There, he competed against other technicians from the Oceania area including South Africa, and New Caledonia, and qualified for the world event.



Paul Pavletich

Ararimu motorcycle race Paul has wrapped up his season. He won the New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing Register series, which was held over five events. A true sportsman, he even loaned his spare bike to a rival at Pukekohe, when he suffered engine failure.



Dylan Adams

The Mangatawhiri School student won the inaugural Cardboard Car rally, with the best cardboard car in November. The event was held to celebrate the V8s coming to Pukekohe.




Dylan Thomson

Waiuku’s Dylan, with co-driver Amy Hudson climbed the leaderboard in the last round of the NZRC to come eight overall, and first in two-wheel drive category. The result saw them win not only the NZRC two-wheel drive championship, but also the Motorsport New Zealand 2WD title.



Napping on the Job

In May, Pukekawa resident, Chris Taylor, posted a photo (for a laugh) of a dead possum on social media who had been run over by the road markers. We contacted NZTA and WDC to see if they could answer our questions about the process of removing road kill before marking the road. “Given the recent treatment of Kiwi’s in Australia, such as the decision to remove access to subsidised uni fees, we decided it was wholly appropriate to make an example of this seemingly innocent Australian pest who was caught napping on one of our warm rural Waikato roads,” said WDC GM Service Delivery, Tim Harty. Seriously though, they do try their best to remove the ‘detritus’ before the road marks are touched up.



Roadworks along Manukau Road in Pukekohe caused drivers to see red in April. It seemed that out of nowhere, walls of cones appeared, with residents renaming the town ‘Puke-coney.’ Massive disruptions were caused, with several stating that the Manukau Road footpath upgrade added an extra 15 minutes to their drive. It was completed several months later.

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