29 Jan
29 January 2024

Veteran broadcaster taken for a spin with old friend

Veteran sports broadcaster and voice of motorsport Russell Harris got more than he bargained for when he visited Manfeild for the Super Sprint Motorsport New Zealand Championship.

The third round for the series was at Manfeild in Feilding at the weekend and Harris got the opportunity to tick off a bucket-list item.

Long-time friend and rally driver Brian Green had arranged to take the 85-year old Harris on a hot lap journey of the 3.03km circuit in his McLaren 570S.

Green was racing the McLaren supercar in the GT New Zealand category, 50 years on from winning the first race held at Manfeild in late 1973.

“This is something very, very special,” Harris said. “This is a circuit I was involved in the building of in the voluntary days starting 1972 and when it opened in 1973.

“To drive round with Brian is special because we go back to the early days and it means a lot to me.”

Members of the Manawatū Car Club then formed a guard of honour with their flags as the pair departed from pit lane.

After two fast laps in deteriorating conditions, Harris was safely returned with more admiration of the drivers in their machines.


“Unbelievable, it really is,” Harris said. “It gives you an appreciation of what these GT cars are.

“It has given me a whole new appreciation of motor racing.”

There to greet the duo when they returned to the pit garage was V8 Supercar legend Greg Murphy.

The embrace was a moment that further bonded the pair beyond their career-spanning relationship.

Harris had commentated the races where a young Hawke’s Bay-based Murphy carved his path to professional level.

“It’s not very often I’m lost for words,” Harris said. “This is one of those times.”