THERE were plenty of highlights at the opening round of the Southland Sports Car Club’s Evolution Motorsport ClubSport Championship at Teretonga Park in Invercargill on Sunday.
Prior to the action commencing, driver Jordan Michels, of Invercargill, unveiled the Evolution Motorsport Nissan Sentra, a car which would be available for anyone aged over 12 wanting to have a go at motorkhana events at Teretonga Park.
It was a strong turnout with 32 entrants contesting the motorkhana in the morning and 30 drivers competing in the autocross in the afternoon.
The range of competitors was impressive, two-time NZV8 champion Liam MacDonald, of Invercargill, and former New Zealand Formula 1600 Champion Michels were both competing Michels’ first time competing in a ClubSport event.
“I have never laughed so much at a motor race circuit; it was fantastic,” Michels said at day’s end.
Finn Reed, of Invercargill, in a Toyota Starlet was the youngest competitor on the day at just 13.
The motorkhana was hard fought with the club’s motorkhana champion of the past three years, MacDonald in his Nissan NX, taking the honours.
Andrew Kennedy (Toyota Starlet GT) and Josh Cooper (Toyota Levin) were close behind.
There was added excitement when the afternoon’s autocross got under way with the appearance of 14-year-old Jack Winter-Gibson, of Dunedin, in a Semog Crosskart powered by a Suzuki GSXR 750 with six-speed sequential transmission producing 170hp and weighing 300kg.
The spectacular machine proved to be extremely quick and he won the autocross ahead of MacDonald and Craig Allan in his Nissan 180SX.
Drivers as young as 12 can compete in ClubSport, with parental or guardian consent, providing a great opportunity for fun and also to develop driving skills.
The next round of the championship is on Sunday, September 20. The club welcomes inquiries from prospective competitors and also questions about the Evolution Motorsport Nissan Sentra to SSCC ClubSport co-ordinator Malcolm Mitchell at 021 666 956 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lindsay Beer is the Southland Sports Car Club publicity officer