Mighty Mainland Muscle cars ready to rock Teretonga Park

| Photographer Credit: Euan Cameron Photography

The Mobil 1 Mainland Muscle Car series is heading to Teretonga Park in Invercargill this weekend (16/17 March) and a massive grid of twenty-six cars is sure to add plenty of thunder to the Southland Sports Car Club’s annual Southern Thunder meeting.

Timaru driver John Hepburn leads the series in his Holden Monaro as the class heads south with a twenty-point margin over Christchurch driver Rhys Gould (Ford Falcon XE). Local driver Brendan Mason is third in the points in the Chevy Monza he debuted at the corresponding meeting here twelve months ago.

Tony Densem of Rangiora in his Holden Torana. Densem is currently third in Class B of the Mobil 1 Mainland Muscle Car Series as it heads to Teretonga Park this weekend – photo Mark Hellyer.

All three have experienced plenty of success at Teretonga Park. Hepburn topped the podium at the Teretonga round in both 2021 and 2022 and was runner-up to Gould last year, just one point separating the pair on that occasion. Mason too is always extremely competitive at his home circuit so expect plenty of fireworks from the leading trio.

There are plenty more capable drivers in the class who will be mixing it at the front of the field. Matt Coory of Dunedin in a Mustang is fourth overall in the series and leading Class B from Tony Johnson of Fairlie (Holden Commodore) and Tony Densem of Rangiora in a Holden Torana while Michael Bushell of Christchurch leads Class C in his Falcon from Ryan Tinnelly of Christchurch in a Monaro.

Add in combinations such as Duane Ingley of Queenstown in his Dodge Challenger, Graeme Allan of Christchurch, (Chev Camaro), Dunedin driver Michael Wallace (Chev Monza) and from South Canterbury Mike Small (Ford Mustang), Bruce Tinnelly (Holden Monaro) and Rod Hayman (Pontiac Firebird) and a great spectacle is guaranteed.

Bruce Tinnelly of Timaru lifts a wheel in his Holden Monaro during a Mobil 1 Mainland Muscle Car race earlier in the season. The series visits Teretonga Park in Invercargill this weekend as part of the annual Southern Thunder meeting – photo Mark Hellyer.

Local driver Tony Forde joins the fray in his Holden Commodore and Sandra Eden of Whanganui was a race winner last time out in her Torana.

One thing the class always provides is plenty of action and with four races across the weekend and two of them reverse grid handicap contests and a grid of twenty-six mighty muscle cars this year will be no exception.

Joining the Mobil 1 Mainland Muscle Cars on the programme are the NZ Super Trucks plus Pre 65 Saloons, NZ 6 Saloons, the MX5 Heritage Cup, the Historic Vintage Racing Association and Noel McIntyre Drainage Club Saloons.

Presale tickets are available now from Auto Centre, Tweed Street, Invercargill, E Hayes & Sons, Dee Street, Invercargill and Harrisons Supplies, Mersey Street in Gore.

Presale tickets are just $40 plus any applicable charges while a weekend pass at the gate over the weekend of the event is $50. A single day pass for either Saturday or Sunday is $30 per day while children 14 & under are free throughout the event as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

The action starts at 10.00am on Saturday (16 March) and at 9.30am on Sunday 17 March.

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