HRNZ Update with CEO Peter Jensen
Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) has made the difficult decision not to proceed with the 2020 Junior Drivers Championship. The Championship, featuring the top six drivers from the North and South Island, had been scheduled to run in July.
“We are very disappointed to have had to make this call, however the uncertainty, and challenges around funding, created by the COVID-19 pandemic has left us with no option” said HRNZ Chief Executive Peter Jensen
“We understand that the Championship is hugely important to the next generation of our drivers and that it is a massive part of their year and is always eagerly anticipated by all of us in the industry.”
With the New Zealand Junior Driver Championship not being held in 2020, the qualifying structure for the Australasian Young Drivers Championship (AYDC), if this still goes ahead, will be as follows,
· Leading North Island Junior Driver as at 31st July*
· Leading South Island Junior Driver as at 31st July*
· Defending Champion: Sarah O’Reilly
· The highest placed driver, who is not one of the above*
* based on position in the overall Junior Driver’s Premiership Table, not Junior Driver Points. Participants must be under the age of 25 at the commencement of the new season to be eligible to compete in the AYDC.
Participation in the AYDC will be subject to HRNZ’s ability to fund it.
Peter Jensen also confirmed that HRNZ has decided on its stakes breakdown till the end of the season.
“After talking to a number of industry people, it was clear there was no clear consensus on whether we should change the policy on paying all starters. The board decided that now is not the time to make this change, but it will be considered again next season. The Country Cups series also won’t resume when racing returns.”