“There are some fantastic cars here!” That comment was heard more than once around the pits at Teretonga Park near Invercargill today as the Evolution Motorsport Classic SpeedFest got underway at the circuit.
The appearance of two-time World Touring Car Champion Paul Radisich of New Zealand in the Ford Mondeo Super Tourer in which he won the 1994 World Touring Car Title was a highlight, Radisich finishing second to Phil Mauger of Christchurch (Nissan Primera) in the opening race. Unfortunately Radisich was a non-starter in the second, also won by Mauger from Bruce Miles of Christchurch in a BMW with Scott O’Donnell (Wolf Mondeo) third.
Invercargill driver Brendan Mason won the first Classic Saloon race for cars 2501cc & over in his Camaro from Ross Graham of New Plymouth (Torana) and Bradley Dawson of Invercargill in another Camaro. The PDL Mustang II, one of the iconic cars of the event, did not start due to a gearbox issue while the demise of LeRoy Stevenson in the ex-Rodger Freeth Starlet came when the car blew a diff before the start. The second race for the cars was a handicap event and Graeme Fraser of Queenstown in a BMW M3 Evo held on from Dunedin’s Stuart Black (Porsche 944) and Dougal MacGibbon of Nelson in a Nissan. The PDL car was back after the gearbox issue was found not to be as serious as first thought, finishing sixth from the back of the field. Ross Graham and Duane Ingley of Queenstown in a Dodge Challenger had a tight battle for fourth and fifth with Graham only just prevailing.
Jordan Michels won both Formula Ford races, the second after starting from the pitlane. Fellow Southlander Stephen Heffernan and Phil Foulkes of Clevedon were second and third respectively each time.
Darryn Clarke of Queenstown in a Toyota Starlet and Scott O’Donnell of Invercargill in an Alfa shared the smaller Classic Saloon class wins with Ian Williamson of Wanganui and Todd Read of Queenstown picking up the placings .
Gary Cooper of Mosgiel took his Reynard to two wins over Jonathon Deaker of Prebbleton and John Williams of Christchurch in Formula Libre with Cooper picking up a lap record in the second.
Canadian Jack Ondrack in his TVR Tuscan won both Sports Car races from Trevor Lines of Auckland (Redline Sprint) and Jason Crosbie of Invercargill (Beck Special).
In the only Vintage Racing Car Class race held today Paul Coory of Mosgiel prevailed from Graeme Hamilton of Lyttleton and Paul Coghill (Dunedin).
Paul Clarke of Dunedin in a Mustang won both the Pre 65 Saloon races, the first from locals Wayne Tuffley and John Smolenski (Falcon XP) and the second a handicap event from Keith MacDonald of Dunedin (Chevrolet Nova) and Tuffley.
Liam MacDonald of Invercargill won the only Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloon race of the day from Jeremy Dawson (Camaro) and Martin Dippie of Dunedin
Racing continues tomorrow at 9am.