Hickman bags latest landmark win in New Zealand

Peter Hickman became the first UK racer in the 21st century to claim the Robert Holden Memorial feature race title in New Zealand.

Hickman with partner Natalie and the Robert Holden Trophy EMN-181230-155419002

The Louth rider became one of only three newcomers to win the race since 1951 after a dramatic 10-lap encounter at the Cemetery Circuit.

Hickman was invited to ride for Carl Cox Motorsport on a BMW bike at the three Christmas races, and ended the three-round series as joint runner-up before recording the win in the Robert Holden Memorial race.

The first round of the Suzuki Series was at the Taupo circuit where he recorded a 14th and fifth place in the two races.

The Louth rider celebrates his latest landmark race win EMN-181230-155409002

“Race day didn’t quite go to plan,” he explained. “After qualifying in fourth place I got a good start to race one, but on lap two I was punted off into the gravel and rejoined in last place to complete the race in 14th.

“In the second race I struggled for grip with track temperature over 60 degrees, but overall I loved it!”

A week later, Hickman travelled to Manfeild where he won both races on the Carl Cox Motorsport BMW and moved up to third place in the mini championship.

The final round was at Wanganui at the famous Cemetery Road circuit on Boxing Day where he aimed to join a handful of racers from the UK to win at the event known as the Southern Hemisphere’s Isle of Man TT.

He completed the final two races of the series in eighth and third which was enough to secure runners-up place in the series class.

The last race was the Robert Holden Memorial Trophy, run over 10 laps where he was stuck in traffic at the start and had his work cut out to get on terms with the leader.

Scotty Moir was out in front and fast disappearing into the distance, setting a lap record in the process, while Hickman was back in about seventh.

Hickman dramatically cut his way towards the front and, on the final lap pounced on Moir, catching him unaware and snatching the win by 0.297secs at the flag.

“I got baulked a little bit at the start and Scotty, to be fair, had just cleared off.

“I came through the pack and when I got near the front there were probably only two laps left.

“I was really in the groove and doing my own thing and then I saw that I was closing in loads on Scotty.

“1 thought it might be possible to catch him so just kept my head down and when he came out of the second-to-last corner he didn’t really gas it as much as he probably should have done.

“He braked slightly early for the last turn and I went straight underneath him.

“I’m massively happy for the Carl Cox Motorsport crew because they have put in so much work.

“And thanks to the Cemetery Circuit and Suzuki Series’ man Flea Willacy for getting me over here. If all the cards fall right, I’d love to come back.”