The enduring popularity of sidecar racing is reflected in a bumper entry of more than 40 combos for the New Zealand championships which Moore Park will host on Friday and Saturday.
It's the first time the specialist speedway bike track in West Melton has hosted the sidecar nationals.
The Gisborne father and son pair of Deane and Rob Miller will defend the title they won in Auckland last summer and they warmed up for their trip south by also winning the NZ sidecar GP in Wanganui recently - with wins in all five races.
"Sidecar racing is definitely on the up at the moment and the professionalism of the competition has increased considerably over the last few years,'' said Moore Park president Michael Provost.
"There's more than 100 sidecars registered for racing and the standard is improving each year so the future looks bright.''
Gisborne's Sefton and Clint Truuts, who were second in the GP, and Paul Humphrey and Ben Franklin (Palmerston North), third, are expected to line up at Moore Park, as is the Palmerston North team of Derek Ramsay and Tony Hislop, third at the last nationals.
Andrew Buchanan and Philippa Burns (Palmerston North), who were runners-up to the Millers last year, are racing in Australia now.
The Christchurch challenge will be led by Lionel Green and Shayne Breach, who have a new modified Suzuki 1000 engine.
They won on debut with the motor at Invercargill, but were disqualified in the semifinals in their last start at Moore Park after looking good.
The South Island has been out in the cold for national success in sidecars for many years. The last clear-cut success was victory for Christchurch's Wayne Turner and Laurie McMahon in 1983 and 1984.
Both will be involved again - Turner as chief referee for the nationals and McMahon in his usual role as a swinger.
- Qualifying is on Friday with the finals from 4pm on Saturday.