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2022 Leadfoot Festival Cancelled

Photo by Graeme Murray

While the next scheduled Cold Kiwi might still happen, it has been confirmed that the 2022 running of the Leadfoot Festival has officially been scrapped.

Held annually since 2011 on Kiwi Motorsport Legend Rod Millen’s Leadfoot Ranch in Hahei, the 2022 Leadfoot Festival was scheduled to run the weekend of June 5th and 6th 2022.

A Hillclimb race up Millen’s spectacular driveway, the festival has seen some of the world’s top racers head to New Zealand to try and take the overall win. Motorcycles have been a regular feature, with Kawasaki debuting the Z900RS at the event in 2018.

However, despite the next event scheduled to run in 10 months time, with the announcement of our most recent lockdown the Millen’s have decided the risk of having to cancel the complex event at short notice was too high.

“It saddens Rod and Shelly to have to announce again, the cancellation of the 2022 Leadfoot Festival," they announced.

“We will wait until the country is open and the risk of lockdown is gone. We are unwilling to take the risk of planning an event of Leadfoot's magnitude only to be cancelled at a moments notice. We can’t wait for these challenges [to] be behind us so we can all share our motorsport passions. All the best.”

The cancellation of the 2022 event follows the same fate of the 2021 Leadfoot Festival which was also cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Millen's have made no secret their dislike for the current government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially after Shelly Millen was declined entry back into New Zealand multiple times after the initial closing of borders.

Recent posts on the Leadfoot Festival Facebook page criticising the government has seen both support and vocal opposition to the duo's stance on the pandemic and accusations that their political stance has been harming the event's reputation.

Hopefully, 2023 will see a return to some form of normality in our lives and the Leadfoot Festival can return and put all this behind it, for it is a truly unique event in the New Zealand motorsports calendar.


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