It was quite simply a superb day of classic motor racing at Teretonga Park in Invercargill today as the first day of the Mobil 1 Classic SpeedFest featured at the circuit.
The Archibalds Historic Touring Car Class headlined the action with a great grid of machinery, many with a rich history. They provided a great spectacle too in their only race of the day, with Brett Stevens of Motueka in a Ford Sierra leading until he slowed before retiring almost in sight of the flag leaving the victory to Nigel Arkell of Waimauku (Honda Accord) with local driver Scott O’Donnell second in a Ford Mondeo after a charge from the rear of the grid.
Former two-time World Cup Touring Car Champion Paul Radisich was third in his 1994 World Cup winning Mondeo ahead of Arron Black of Dunedin in a BMW E30 and Bruce Miles of Christchurch (BMW 320i) who had spun out of second place near the end of the race.
One of the most popular cars at the event, the PDL Mustang 1, which delighted crowds in the 1970’s, was at it again in the Professionals Real Estate Classic Saloon class winning the first contest in the hands of Dunedin driver Steve Ross while fellow Otago driver, Allan Dippie, won the second race for the class in his MGB GT V8 with Ross setting the fastest lap in each race. Guy Stewart of Christchurch who finished second in both Classic Saloon races took his Porsche 911 IROC to victory in both Downer Sports & GT races.
Roy McDonald of Dunedin won the only race for the Historic & Classic Pre 78 Class today, leading home the Alfa Romeo’s of Lindsay O’Donnell (Christchurch) and Nick Cross (Queenstown).
The Vintage Racing Car Class saw Dunedin driver Paul Coghill secure two wins in his Jaguar Special while in Southland Tyre Centre Formula Libre race Southland’s Barry Leitch brought his immaculate Ralt RT4 home for a comfortable win while Aucklander Noel Woodford took his Gemini Mk3A to wins in both the I Hire Invercargill Formula Junior races today.
The Noel McIntyre Drainage Club Saloons were also on the programme alongside the classic vehicles with local driver Liam MacDonald qualifying fastest and then winning today’s race before taking a helicopter flight to Cromwell where he is due to race a speedway car tonight. He will return to Teretonga Park for tomorrow’s racing.
The action tomorrow commences at 9am with a full programme of twenty races scheduled. Tickets for tomorrow’s action are $25 each while children 14 and under are free if accompanied by an adult.