Action from the Port Nelson Street Races last time they were held, in 2016. The street races are back this summer after missing racing in 2017 due to redevelopments at Port Nelson. The races will be held on January 2, 2018. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

Street races make a comeback

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The most exhilarating motorbike event ever seen in Nelson is returning to the summer schedule.

The Port Nelson Street Races will be held on January 2, returning after a summer off due to upgrades at Port Nelson, the venue for the races.

The street races combine the high speed thrills of motorbikes racing up to 200 mph with an unrivalled spectator viewing, in places just a metre away from the action.

Organising committee member Adrian Curtis says the street races are one of the most unique racing events in the country.

“It’s really good for Nelson, but we live in a PC world and while guys going flat out with curves and concrete things is exciting, street racing is maybe something that we won’t see forever. Maybe within our lifetimes it will be gone because people consider it too dangerous for the riders. But it’s pretty exciting seeing that kind of speed and seeing it that close.”

He says the event has a brand-new track this year, with high-speed straights tempered by tight sections that will suit the smaller bikes.

“The new track is amazing and it’s really going to even up the field between the big bikes and the little bikes. Supermotrads could be the fastest thing there.”

More than 100 riders are expected to line up for the day’s action with speeds of over 200 kmh expected on the long straight.

Adrian says around 60 volunteers help make the day run smoothly and the event gets “outstanding” support from Port Nelson.

“We are really lucky to have this event and we need to make the most of it while we still have it. Last year when we didn’t run it we had a lot of feedback from people who were disappointed, there was so much of that and a lot of people thought it was over.”