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Kelly To Amateur Racing World Cup

Published: January 10, 2012 2:26 pm ET

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Last season, amateur driver Kelly Walker recorded 16 wins from 57 starts and finished with a lofty .402 UDR. He, consequentially, was named the Amateur Driver of the Year by the United States Harness Writers Association.

Later this week, the farmer from Michigan will be winging his way to compete as the USA's representative in the World Cup of Amateur Racing, which will be contested at three different New Zealand racetracks.

As a member of the North American Amateur Drivers Association, Walker is looking forward to the competition.

“I’ve driven in New Zealand in friendship competitions in the past and I’m familiar with their style of racing,” Walker said. “I’m optimistic about my chances and feel confident that I will make a good showing. Hey, I’m not going there to participate, I’m going there to win.”

However, Walker will have his work cut out for him, as he’ll be competing against the best amateur drivers from the 11 other countries which will comprise the field for this year’s World Cup.

Besides the US, the countries which will be competing include the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Russia, the Czech Republic, Spain, Denmark, the Ukraine, Belgium, France and of course, New Zealand.

The World Cup events in New Zealand --- there will also be some special ones planned --- will begin on Wednesday, January 18 and will continue through Sunday, January 22.

According to Joe Faraldo, the president of NAADA who’ll be accompanying Walker on the trip, there will be six driving contests during the five-day period. The first driving events will be on Thursday, January 19, as two races have been slated for Alexandra Park in Auckland. The drivers will travel to Christchurch the next day, where two races are scheduled at Addington Race Track.

The final contests will be raced at the picturesque Motukarara Raceway, where the drivers will be competing on an 1,800-metre grass track.

During the off days, the Kiwis have planned a series of special events for the large travelling contingent. Some of the plans includes harbor cruises, jet boating on the Waiau River and special lunches and dinners.

For those interested in following the results of the World Cup of Amateur Racing events go to, select 'race results,' then select the race meeting desired. The videos are usually posted 30 minutes after the race has been run.


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