Oily track brings early finish to Teretonga racing

Alex Crosbie on his way to third place in the South Island F1600 Championship race at Teretonga Park on Saturday. Photo: Ron Veint

A TRAIL of oil dropped by a car on an already wet track brought a slightly early end to proceedings at the motor racing presented by Downer at Teretonga Park last weekend.

Saturday’s races were conducted in fine, dry conditions but Sunday dawned wet and when the oil was spilt early on Sunday afternoon, the meeting ended a little earlier than scheduled.

Until then, there had been some great racing with Sunday’s races punctuated by several safety car interventions because of incidents.

Steve Ross, of Dunedin, in his Jaguar TraNZam XK, took the top step of the OSCA Super Saloons podium after winning both of Saturday’s races before finishing second to Paul Brooks, of Ohoka in his Nissan 200SX S15, in the rain on Sunday morning. Brooks was second overall for the round after earlier securing a second and third while Ashburton driver Michael Gallagher was third.

Southlanders were to the fore in several classes with Jordan Michels taking a clean sweep in the Noel McIntyre Drainage Club Saloons at the wheel of his Ford Focus V8 to podium ahead of Brian Scott, of Dunedin (Porsche 997), and Dan Barlow, of Queenstown, in a Ford Capri. Liam MacDonald suffered a puncture in Saturday’s race which cost him dearly in the points.

Bradley Dawson, of Invercargill, took the top step of the podium in the Pro 7/8 Class after a clean sweep on debut in the class. Kris Mackie, of Christchurch, was runner-up with two seconds and a third with Sam Wallace, of Christchurch, third overall.

The South Island F1600 field only had one race but it featured a colossal battle which went the way of Louis Sharp, of Christchurch, in a Spectrum 015, from the experienced Matthew Hamilton, of Christchurch, in a Van Diemen RF88. Invercargill driver Alex Crosbie put in a fine performance to mix it with the leaders to eventually finish third in his Ray GR21, ahead of Zac Christensen, of Rolleston, in a Ray GR20.

Invercargill drivers Scott O’Donnell and Murray Kelman shared the Historic & Classic Pre 78 Saloon race wins but at the end of the weekend, Mark McGuinness, of Wellington (Alfa Romeo GTV), stood atop the podium ahead of Leon Hallett, of Mosgiel (Ford Galaxie), and Nick Cross, of Queenstown, in another Alfa.

Corey Ross, of Rolleston, in a Ford Mustang, made a clean sweep of the three Pre-65 Saloon races to take the round win from Wayne Patrick, of Christchurch (Ford XP Falcon), and Piers Mingham, of Ashburton (Anglia).

Corey Ashworth, of Ashburton, won the 2K Teretonga Challenge in his Toyota Celica from Warren Reynolds and Greg Mitchell while Eddie Iraia, of Timaru, took the SS Cup honours in his Honda Civic EF9 from Bradley Dawson (RX8) and Jordan Rae, of Temuka (Honda Civic).

Mini 7 South produced close racing, particularly in the dry, with Justin Neill, of Christchurch, prevailing from Rolleston driver Justin Ashwell and Paul Bennison, of Christchurch.

Omakau drivers Cody Welch, with two, and Tony Herbert (one) shared the NZ Six Saloon race wins.

The next meeting at Teretonga Park is the Mobil 1 Classic SpeedFest scheduled for the weekend of February 19-20.

  • Lindsay Beer is the Southland Sports Car Club publicity officer