SOUTHLAND wunderkind Cormac Buchanan paid tribute to those who had come to help him in the best possible way.
He rode really fast.
Buchanan won two titles and smashed a lap record at the Yamaha Sprint Races at Teretonga Park at the weekend.
The 15-year-old Invercargill prodigy won all four races in the SuperSport 300 class on his Yamaha YZF-R3, setting a lap record for the track and class of 1min 8.1sec in the process.
He backed up by winning all four races in the Formula 3 class on his IMD250.
Auckland rider Dave Sharp won the Formula 1 title, and Napier rider SJ Cavell won the Formula 2 title.
Wellington rider Nixon Frost, who makes Buchanan seem positively old, showed his potential at the age of 11 by winning the SuperSport 150 class.
Frost is now heading to Australia for the Oceania Junior Cup, the event that really kick-started Buchanan’s career.
New Zealand superbike champion Mitch Rees, of Whakatane, had a nasty spill on Sunday.
He won both races on Saturday and was leading the first race yesterday when he crashed at Castrol corner.
Rees’ management team posted on social media that the rider was awaiting surgery for a fractured neck, perforated diaphragm and broken ribs.
“Without the fantastic team on hand at Teretonga, his outcome could have been a whole lot worse. The paramedics, volunteers, nurses, and club all did an outstanding job.”
Teretonga was split into four zones for spectators to comply with Red setting requirements, and steady drizzle on Sunday did not prevent a full programme of races being completed.
The event, rejigged as a replacement for the cancelled Burt Munro Challenge, was a fundraiser for Buchanan.
He and father/mechanic Stacey head back overseas on February 25 so the young rider can compete for the Spanish AGR Racing team in the European Talent Cup, and line up for his second season in the prestigious Red Bull Rookies Cup.
Buchanan said the weekend was “a blast”.
“It was unreal to spend the weekend racing with an awesome crew of riders — especially since it was my last race in New Zealand until next summer.
“To have riders from throughout the country turn up trackside at Teretonga, I know I head to Europe with a massive amount of support behind me.”