Ian Ffitch, one of New Zealand’s most well known hill-climb bike riders, is the latest confirmed name for November’s Battle of Jack’s Ridge.
The Christchurch-based racer is best known for his exploits atop his modified superquad — a homebuilt creation called the BRM1000.
Underneath a comprehensive assortment of aerodynamic aids, Ffitch’s quad bike packs a V6R1000 engine. The build was completed in 2003 as a giant-killing challenger to the most aggressive monsters taking on one of the country’s most illustrious events; Race to the Sky.
While Ffitch was never able to take home the overall win at Race to the Sky (which had its last event in 2015 and has been dormant since), he has featured on the outright podium, achieved class victories, and won the ‘First New Zealander Home’ prize.
Ffitch’s announcement follows the event’s other recent confirmations that Hayden Paddon and Jack Hawkeswood would be taking on the event. The series also recently confirmed that two-time New Zealand Rally Championship winner Ben Hunt would be on the grid in his Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
“Andrew has wrecked everyone else’s roads around the place over the years so it would be worthwhile going up there and having a play on his,” said Hunt.
“I haven’t been up there for a while, but I did have a look a few months ago in one of Andrew’s old utes. It is an awesome bit of farmland and a cool bit of road so it will be awesome to get the chance to go for a skid through there in a rally car.
“The Subaru is more designed for rally and in my career, I can count on one hand how many rally sprints or hill climbs I have done so it is not something that normally draws my attention.
“With the who’s who of New Zealand motorsport coming and a fun weekend it should be a good event.”