New Zealand to host World Amateur Champs

04:36 PM 01 Nov 2011 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Steve Phillips
Steve Phillips - 'The Godfather' of New Zealand Amateur Driving

The 2011 European Amateur Driving champion, Marian Tux of Germany spearheads a 12-strong field that will compete in harness racing's World Amateur Driving Championships in New Zealand from January 18-22.

The drivers, who are a mix of accountants, farmers, businessmen, engineers, ambulance personnel, and farriers, will compete at Alexandra Park in Auckland, Addington Raceway in Christchurch and Motukarara in Canterbury.

The man dubbed the ‘God Father' of amateur driving in New Zealand - Steve Phillips - will represent the host nation. His local knowledge and driving skill will be a huge advantage on home soil.

However, the man they all have to beat is Tux, who won the European title in Mallorca, Spain from June 30 to July 3 this year. Tux won that title by two points.

he World Champs are held every two years.

Winners since 2000 have been:

2000: Gerald Pollaert (Belgium);

2002: Hannu Laakkonen (Finland);

2004: Oddvar Maelander (Norway);

2006: Kimmon Hamalainen (Finland);

2008: Gavin Cook (New Zealand);

2010: Romain Poree (France).

Pen portraits of the 2012 competitors are:

1. New Zealand - Steve Phillips - accountant (aged 63) 43 career wins (7 in 2010 - 6 in 2011)

. USA - Mitchell "Kelly" Walker - farmer (55) 51 wins (17 last year - 12 in 2011).

. Netherlands - Jaap Terstal - ambulance nurse (29) 37 wins (7 last year - 13 in 2011).

. Norway - Bernt Øksnevad - farmer (47) 78 wins (13 last year - 11 in 2011).

. Germany - Marian Tux - businessman (63) 580 wins (12 last year - 4 in 2011).

. Russia - Georgy Makarevich - engineer (58) 162 wins (10 last year - 10 in 2011).

. Czech. Rep. - Jiri Svoboda - businessman (50) 92 wins (12 last year - 15 in 2011).

. Spain - Damian Oliver - businessman (34) 42 wins (7 last year - 7 in 2011).

. Denmark - Bjarke Haagensen - farrier (36) 175 wins (11 last year - 4 in 2011).

0. Ukraine - Volodymyr Kushtal - manager (53) 211 wins (7 last year - 8 in 2011).

1. Belgium - Piet van Pollaert - trader (29) 78 wins (8 last year - 3 in 2011).

2. France - Franck Marty business director (37) 174 wins (11 last year - 15 in 2011).

By Duane RANGER (editor)

Steve Phillips - ‘The Godfather' of New Zealand Amateur Driving ­- recording his last win behind Samelia at Alexandra Park on October 7, 2011:

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: