Celebrating the exceptional careers of Kiwi motorsport legends here and overseas, the ‘Geezers’ event brings New Zealand motorsport heroes together with motoring enthusiasts for an evening of fun, story-telling and reminiscing.
Highlands and Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn will be this year’s keynote speaker at the event which is now in its fourth year. Quinn will talk about his love of motorsport, what brought him to the industry, why he loves the sport so much and other tales from his soon-to-be-launched book Zero to 60.
Once again hosted by Sky Speeds’ Stephen McIvor first time ‘Geezers’ include Andy McElrea, Garry Running, Andy Buchanan and Steve Horne.
In a gentle nod to the ‘not-quite-retired’, this year sees the addition of “Geezers In Training” Craig Baird and Greg Murphy, as well as Guest Geezer, Australia’s Garry Rogers.
Making his Geezers debut last year Australian and NZ Championship winner Jim Richards will return adding to the impressive line-up of legends who will grace the stage.
Joining the first time Geezers are returning inductees Graeme Crosby, Chris Munro, Aaron Slight, Bob McMurray, PG Knight, Leo Leonard, Heather Spurle, Shane Drake, Tony Teesdale, Graeme Lawrence, Owen Evans and Paul Fahey.
More Geezers will be announced in the coming weeks and months. A Geezer is a retired legend of motorsport who has won a major NZ title, its equivalent, or a world title across any discipline, from single seaters and rally to saloon, race boats, drag racing, speedway and bikes or someone who has made an outstanding contribution to NZ Motorsport in another arena such as administration or media.
The event format is a three course banquet dinner including beverages with corporate tables available and individual tickets. Each corporate table is ‘hosted’ by a Geezer and throughout the evening ‘café-style’ Q+A sessions will be led by MC Stephen McIvor delving deep into the lives and careers of some of the Geezers, exploring the triumphs, lows, close calls and adrenalin-fueled moments.
Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust and the Upper Clutha Children’s Medical Trust, two of Wanaka’s most loved Trusts, are once again set to benefit from the charity auction.
Another highlight of the event, with some big ticket items auctioned, last year’s Gathering of Geezers Charitable dinner raised just under $20,000 for the Trusts.
This year’s auction promises to be just as popular with items such as helicopter flights, $10,000 NZME Radio advertising package, Warbirds Over Wanaka corporate tickets, two nights at the stunning Punaikaki Resort on the West Coast and some sought-after racing memorabilia already confirmed.
Warbirds & Wheels director Robert Duncan said the event had “grown year after year” and was becoming a “well-known event on the NZ motorsport calendar”.
“We’ve managed to grow yet again with more tickets sold every year than the previous one, plus a constant stream of exceptional Geezers to invite,” said Mr Duncan.
“Word has started to spread that this is one of the best dinner events in the country for motor sport, attracting a huge interest from those who’ve made their mark on the industry.”
“We’ve worked on different ideas this year to enable us to hear from more Geezers in a format that is sure to yield some hilarious tales. Our MC Stephen McIvor stepped things up a notch last year and we’re looking forward to what he’ll bring to the table this year,” added Mr Duncan
Each year the selected Geezers are given a certificate and commemorative shirt inducting them into the Geezers Hall of Fame.