Nelson rider Johnny Lewis in action during the Port Nelson Street Races on January 2. Johnny won the Formula 3 and Bears classes. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

Lewis claims a double at Street Races

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Nelson builder Johnny Lewis claimed a pair of titles at the Port Nelson Street Races last week.

Johnny won the Formula 3 and Bears classes to finish the best of the Nelson riders in front of several thousands fans.

He says he was “thrilled” with the two titles. “It was a terrific day really, once it dried up the track got faster and it was pretty exciting to be a part of.”

Johnny says he races all over New Zealand so it was nice to be on his “home” track.

“It’s great to have some friends come down, it really is my favourite event of the year.”

He says the rain made the track “tricky” early in the day, but as it dried out it got easier.

Dan McKenzie of Christchurch won the King of the Port title, which sees the top riders from throughout the day face-off in the day’s final race.

In the Formula One class it was Jayden Carrick of Whanganui who took home the title.
Organiser Adrian Curtis says the day was a huge success for the event, that took a year off in 2016.

“The event was really good,” says Adrian. “The key things are that we were able to get the event up and running again after having a year off. I think a lot of people thought that would be the end of it but a lot of work from a lot of people have helped make it a success.”

“I’m also so proud of our volunteers who make this event happen. They stand in the rain just to help make this event run, it’s pretty bloody amazing.”

He says the event will be back next summer.

“People love it, the riders go very quick and its exciting to see. So we’re keen to continue our good relationship with the Port, and as it expands and grows the race will evolve as well.”

He hopes the event will become part of a “Speed Week” that could encompass a range of other events like drag racing, rally-cross, motor-cross, as well as car and motorbike displays.

Another highlight for Adrian was the number of first-time racers at the event.

“More than half were competing here for the first time, so it was great to see so many come here and give it a go.”