Friday, November 28


From Michael Esdaile in Bluff

TAPANUI’S Seth Devereux is the New Zealand 600 class Hill Climb Champion after over-coming the previously invincible CR500 Honda specials fielded by Oamaru’s Chris Manson and Christchurch resident Southland Jason Feaver in previous years.

These two bikes use modern alloy Honda frames fitted with CR500 two-stroke engines modified with US big-bore kits that take them out to 600cc.  They have been unbeaten on Putamahoe (Bluff Hill) in recent years, and have been the 600 class winners in the Wyndham street races as well.

But this year things were different.  For the New Zealand Hill Climb Championship, Seth Devereux elected to run his Kawasaki ZX-6R supersport machine rather than the KX450 he has normally raced.

As a result, he won the class.

This year Jason Feaver did not enter the NZ Hill Climb Championship but class record holder Chris Manson was there on his smoking CR600.  However, Manson’s second practice run was 56.44 seconds against 51.33 seconds for Devereux.  That was well outside Manson’s record of 46.59 seconds recorded in almost perfect conditions in 2012.  You can put that 10 second difference down to conditions: a howling westerly and a wet road.

When things dried out, but with a few damp patches in evidence, Devereux blazed up Putamohoe in 47.67 seconds, and got within one fiftieth of a second of besting Cam Donald on the 1135cc McIntosh Suzuki - on his 600 Kawasaki.

Last year the difference between the Open class winner Ryan Hampton (Honda CBR1000RR) and 600 class winner Feaver was 4.4 seconds, the most it has been in several years.

This year with Donald’s best some 4.97 seconds outside Hampton’s 2013 Open class record of 42.51 seconds, the gap from the fastest Open class to the 600 class winner was the narrowest it has ever been.  Just a fraction faster and Deveraux would have been King of the Hill, on a 600.