The mid 1980s saw the emergence of a number of young gun riders in the New Zealand road race scene. All of them cutting their teeth on the small production class machines before embarking on some International success.
Names like Slight, Crafar, Rees spring to mind and not forgetting of course another, who like the others, would make his name on variety of machines and circuits of the world.
Andrew Stroud began racing in 1986 placing third in his first race. His first New Zealand Championship win came only a year later in the 1987/88 season, when he won the 250 Production Championship. The win kick-started an illustrious 27 year long career, which would take him all over the planet.
From the beginning Andrew’s seemly laid back attitude always seemed at odds compared with many other riders. Quiet yet approachable and easy going many wondered how on earth he could just switch on the race mode once he had his helmet on. People soon learnt, that you could never under estimate Andrew when it actually came to the racing. Be it a Championship race, Club race or just having fun in the dirt with his mates. It wouldn’t matter what condition he or the bike was in, he would still give it 100%.
In 1988 the twenty year old Andrew was approached to do Endurance races in the Australia, USA and Japan. The experience was valuable, the highlight coming second to Mick Doohan in the Arai 500 race at Bathurst, and partnering Graeme Crosby in the Suzuka 8 Hour.
Signing for the Super Angel Team in Japan in 1989, to race the Japanese Formula one championship, it was a start to a relationship that would see him race the Yamaha Superbike in Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia and Australia. He won his first New Zealand Formula 1 Championship in 1991 on the Super Angel Yamaha.
The 1990s would see Andrew racing all over the World , racing in Endurance races, World Superbikes, 500cc World Championship (now MotoGP), USA Formula Extreme series, British Superbikes, Endurance events the list goes on.
Through a friendship with fellow MNZ Hall of Fame Inductee the late John Britten, Andrew started racing the famous V1000 racer in 1992 with great success in New Zealand. However it was international success they wanted. In particular the Daytona battle of the twins races in the USA.
The first attempt at Daytona wasn’t successful. Rather than giving up, the team regrouped and went back in 1994, this time they won. Not satisfied the team would return again to the USA in 1995, 1996 and 1997 and win.
Just three weeks before John Britten passed away in 1995, Andrew won the World Bears Championship on the V1000 at Brands Hatch. Then he flew home to be with his friend in his last days. Andrew rode the Britten through the streets of Christchurch heading the funeral procession. To this day Andrew is linked to The Britten more than any other person.
Andrew’s results speak for themselves, so many races, so many circuits and so many victories. The proud father of ten is another deserving inductee in the MNZ Hall Of Fame.
Some Major results:
Nine time NZ Superbike Champion
1991(Yamaha), 1996 (Britten), 1999 (Britten),
2002, 2003, 2004,2006,2010,2011 (All Suzuki)
World Bears Champion 1995
US Formula Extreme Champion 1997
Winner Daytona Battle of the Twins Race 1994, 95, 96, 97
NZ 250 Production Champion 1987
NZ Sports Production Champion 2001
NZ Supersport Champion 2005
41 World Superbike Championship Races
20 500cc World Championship (now MotoGP) Races
4 Suzuka 8 Hours
Written for MNZ Hall of Fame
Ian Dawson 2021