Events on this year’s Wheels Week programme are on the starting line and ready to roll.
The annual wheels spectacle runs from April 30 until May 15 and Greg Donaldson Contracting is once again the naming sponsor.
The 2022 event is scaled back a little bit because of covid but will feature thrills, spills and wheel-related action appealing to all ages.
Wheels Week committee member Peter Jacob said work on the programme of events had started in December.
There had been a real chance Wheels Week might not have gone ahead because of covid, as was the case in 2020, but it had come together and there was excitement in the air with the release of the official programme.
Some events, like the swap meet in Tinwald and Ashburton Mountain Bike Club’s 6 hour race had been cancelled a number of months ago because of covid uncertainty, he said.
“We are pleased with the programme we’ve be able to put together and I’m sure the events will provide a lift for the community.”
Mr Jacob said he expected the Ashburton Plains Classic Car run to be bigger than usual, simply because there had been few similar events for a number of months.
He said some events, like the wheelchair basketball, which featured a travelling team of wheelchair-bound athletes from Christchurch, were dependent on how covid played out in the community.
The opening weekend will start with the roar of speedway. The Ashburton Speedway track near the airport will host two days of racing that will include some New Zealand title races.
May 1 will feature the Ashburton Plains Classic Car run, Ashburton Car Club’s motokhana and the Ashburton Motorcycle Club TT.
The world-class Ashburton Aviation Museum will be open from 1pm until 4pm and again on May 8 and 14 at the same times.
The second weekend of action includes the popular Ashburton Car Club’s street sprints, which start on Saturday and conclude with the top 32 racing in the final on Sunday.
There is a motorcycle show and shine event on at the Ashburton RSA on May 7 and the Plains Museum and historical complex is open the same day, with the K88 train offering rides.
The Susie Morrison and Grant Gordon Memorial Trial will run in the evening on May 11.
The final weekend of action includes an Ashburton Motorcycle Club ride and a family fun bike ride along the Lake Hood Track sponsored by McKay and Donaldson.
A new event this year is a tractor pull at Mayfield Domain, which is open to old, new, big, small and modified tractors. It runs over two days.
Other events include wheelchair basketball at the Oxford Street Stadium (May 14), a coffee and classic vehicle show in the Robert Harris car park, Ashburton Family Go Kart Club event and Mid Canterbury 4X4 Club event (all May 15).
The full programme of events can be found on the wheelsweek.co.nz website and on Facebook.
-By Mick jensen