Rod and Shelley Millen have confirmed that the once annual Leadfoot Festival hillclimb event has been cancelled for 2022; the second year in a row that the event has been cancelled.
The announcement comes off the back of the New Zealand Government’s announcement of a snap three-day Level 4 nationwide lockdown, following the first local cases of the highly contagious ‘Delta’ Covid-19 strain.
It’s believed the cases arrived on our shores via the outbreak in New South Wales, Australia.
“It saddens Rod and Shelly to have to announce again, the cancellation of the 2022 Leadfoot Festival,” reads the announcement, published earlier today by Leadfoot Festival organisers.
“We will wait until the country is open and the risk of lockdown is gone. We are unwilling to take the risk of planning an event of Leadfoot’s magnitude only to be cancelled at a moments notice.
“We can’t wait for these challenges be behind us so we can all share our motorsport passions.”
The Leadfoot Festival is one of the country’s most attended hillclimb meetings, with crowds in the tens of thousands reported by organisers in previous years.
Covid-19 also threatens the event’s hopes of inviting international guests and their cars. Previous events have attracted the likes of Alistair McRae, Scott Dixon, Vaughn Gittin Jr, Mark Webber, Earl Bamber, and more.
Organisers have previously mooted suggestions to run the hillclimb purely as an event for New Zealand and Australian attendees, stating that the risk is too high of travel between the two nations being suddenly shut down.
The festival has also previously noted that the event cannot take place without Shelley Millen (wife to Rod Millen), due to her role planning its week of build-up and competition.