Extra staff will be on deck but police say they have no reason to believe any trouble will come from this weekend’s V South Island 4 and Rotary Champs – in fact they are looking at the positives it will have.
Thousands of “car enthusiasts” from all around the South Island are set to descend on Nelson for New Zealand’s longest standing automotive and lifestyle event. The two day schedule includes a drag race at the Motueka Dragway on Saturday and a show and shine display at the Trafalgar Centre on Sunday.
It is the first time it has come to the region after 10 years in Christchurch.
But while organisers are expecting 6000 people to attend the first event, police say it will be treated just like any other big event.
“Extra staff will be rostered on to prepare for the influx but we’re not concerned. We want people to come here and have a good time,” says senior sergeant Grant Andrews.
“We’re not expecting any major problems and we’ll police it like we do any other event. It’s just a standard operation.”
Event promoter Azhar Bhamji believed similar motorsport events carried an incorrect negative perception by some members of the public, but the 4 and Rotary was intended to be positive, entertaining, safe and controlled.
“We do our best to promote road safety at all our events. Our events are alcohol free at all times. We also notify police and locals about the event. Simply, people know that if they play up it brings us all down.”
He also hopes it can be a big success in Nelson, having been taken out of Christchurch due to the earthquake.
“For the last two years we have tried going back to Christchurch, however the competitor numbers were low. We do not want to go backwards as the scene of the car enthusiasts at our events were very strong.”
Police praised the decision to include a drag racing event on the Saturday as it gave the drivers a chance to race in a controlled environment and not on the road. “It’s a great place for them to go to be honest and it’s fantastic that a number will go out and do that,” says Grant.
Azhar echoed his comments too. “We have given away so many free passes for the drag racing as just that; take your steam out at the drags in a safe and controlled environment.
Over 60 racers from imports, V8s, bikes etc have entered and it’s shaping up to be a good event for all.”
To win tickets to the drag racing or the show and shine, email “Win 4 and Rotary tickets” and your details to [email protected] sonweekly.co.nz.