When we think of Motorcycle Racing, naturally it is easy to picture two wheeled vehicles. However, Motorcycle racing can also include three and four wheelers.
In this case, we are talking ATV racing.
Starting on three wheelers before moving to four-wheel quads Ian Ffitch has become a household name in the sport.
Like many, there is more to the man from Canterbury. Ian joined the Canterbury ATV Association aged 17 in 1987. Ian has been a committee member for 25 years and President for a total of 18 years. He is an MNZ Clerk of the Course and Steward.
But it’s his racing success that stands out.
39 Times New Zealand Champion over all disciplines of ATV racing
1st US 1996 Pro ATV Championship. The only non-American to win the title 1st Australian Championship 2003 and 2016
3rd Pont De Vaux 12 Hour race in France 1999
8 Time Quad winner Race to the Sky Hill Climb . 6 times in the top 5 overall against purpose build hill climb cars.
Twice 3rd overall at the Leadfoot Hill Climb against cars.
Twice Winner ‘Burt Munro Challenge’ Quad Champion
Ashley Forest sprint Quad record Holder twice fastest overall against rally cars
He is also best associated with ‘Quadzilla’. Starting life as a Suzuki LT500, it was re-engined with a Suzuki 1000. It puts out 140 horsepower and has a top speed of over 230kph and built mainly for the race to the sky. It has been seen all over New Zealand at many other events.
In 2020, which was to be Ian’s swansong in the New Zealand Championship at Timaru, he was robbed of another title when had mechanical issues and then had a crash.
He continues to play a major part in the sport, whether running events and helping and mentoring other racers. He has dedicated so much to time and effort in to the sport of racing he deserves to be the first ATV inductee into the Hall of Fame.
Written for MNZ Hall of Fame
Ian Dawson 2021