THERE were the usual thrills and spills and some great performances by local drivers as the Speedworks Motorsport Championship visited Teretonga Park on the outskirts of Invercargill last weekend.
Saturday’s action was held in dry conditions before a wet day on Sunday resulted in plenty of incidents and action.
Southland driver Brendon Leitch shone on Saturday, grabbing second in the opening race of the weekend in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series behind Dutchman Richard Verschoor after Thomas Randle, of Australia, was penalised for a jump start.
Leitch was taken off the track in an incident at the beginning of the second race on Sunday morning along with Ferdinand Habsburg, of Austria, and Enaam Ahmed, of the UK, while soon after American Kory Enders slid off and his car overturned. Pedro Piquet, of Brazil, won ahead of Verschoor and Randle.
Leitch’s ITM FT-50 was damaged in the melee and despite having pole position for the feature race, the Spirit Of A Nation Cup, the hastily repaired car was difficult to drive and dropped steadily down the order in a contest won by Verschoor.
Nick Ross, of Cambridge, won the opening BNT NZ Touring Car Championship race on Saturday in his Nissan after Aucklander Simon Evans was penalised for an infringement, while Sunday morning’s race saw a great battle between Australian Jason Bargwanna in a Toyota and Evans, with Bargwanna running out the winner.
Evans later copped another penalty which dropped him down the order in race two but bounced back to win the final race.
In Class 2, Liam MacDonald, of Invercargill, took all three race wins while fellow Southlander Jamie Conroy’s run of ill luck continued when he retired from the opening race after qualifying fastest. Conroy came back to take two second places from the back of the grid on Sunday.
Riverton driver Ethan Anderson broke the nine-win sequence of championship leader Liam Lawson, of Pukekohe, when he won the first NZ Formula 1600 race on Saturday but Lawson resumed his winning ways on Sunday to win both races from Invercargill driver Jordan Michels, with Anderson securing third in the final race.
Invercargill driver Andrew Cundall won the opening OSCA Super Saloon race from MacDonald on Saturday before Daniel Cropp, of Prebbleton, won Sunday morning’s handicap race which ended under the Safety Car. In the finale, another handicap event, Ryan Austin, of Timaru, held off Cundall.
The NZ Super Trucks featured twice on Saturday, with Alex Little, of Wellington, in a Freightliner, winning the first from Troy Wheeler, of Papakura, before Wheeler won the second from Malcolm Little. Winton driver Garry Price won the third race on Sunday.
Richard Moore, of Auckland, in a Holden, won the Saturday race in the Porter Group NZV8 Ute race and prevailed again in the finale.
The Toyota TR86 Championship featured some superb racing, with Ryan Yardley, of Christchurch, taking the win on Saturday, before team-mate Jack Milligan took the partial reverse grid race on Sunday in a race in which Mike Lightfoot, of Auckland, rolled at the loop.
Yardley ended the weekend with another victory in the third race.
Bronson Porter, of Hamilton, dominated the NZ Six Saloon class in all conditions taking three race wins.
The next meeting at Teretonga Park is the Evolution Motorsport Classic SpeedFest during the weekend of February 18 and 19.