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Blanced...Gilbert and Joseph Bailey of Timaru aboard their Briton Yamaha sidecar fend off Lachlan McDonald and Neil Morrison of Christchurch during their Classic Pre 62 sidecar race at last year's Southern Classic. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

by Chris Tobin

While other sporting events are struggling to come back due to the fallout from Covid-19, organisers of a major Timaru motorcycling event are delighted they have been given the green light.

An assurance of branding and financial support has come from Mike Pero for the Southern Classic motorcycling event which is scheduled to take place at Levels International Raceway over the weekend of November 27-29.

Pero gave his assurance when the Covid-19 lockdown was being fully applied.

It came as welcome news for the Southern Classic co-ordinator Sue van den Heuvel.

“We’re stoked and very lucky to have Mike’s support,” she said.

“Without having a naming-rights sponsor we’d struggle to put the event on.”

Several thousand visitors attended the classic each year, coming from around the country.

“The Southern Classic is very social and has built an international reputation for being a fun weekend as well as attracting more than 300 bikes and sidecars from New Zealand and overseas,” Pero said.

“At a time of uncertainty about almost everything in the way of sport, I hope this announcement provides a small ray of sunshine for bike racers and the respective event promoters.

“We will proceed on the basis that Covid-19 and its aftermath are well gone and we’re on our way back to New Zealand, the way we were,” Pero said.

Van den Heuvel said organising for this year’s classic had already started and other funding applications would be made.

“We want to put on another great event, possibly a little smaller in scope.”

Mike Pero Real Estate has been the title sponsor for four years.

Pero has also pledged his support for MotoFest which is scheduled for March 6 and 7, 2021, at Hampton Downs.