SMOKE, drifting and all-out action is the name of the game at Teretonga Park near Invercargill this weekend.
Three days of fantastic feats would begin tomorrow and extend through the weekend as Drift South brings round three of the Drift South Series south, alongside a programme of motor racing presented by Downer with the thunderous OSCA Super Saloons, South Island Formula 1600, NZ Six Saloons, the 2K Teretonga Challenge and the Noel McIntyre Drainage Club Saloons.
The Drift South competitors would be on-track on Friday and Saturday, with a promise of providing some spectacular action.
Practise would take place tomorrow, from noon, with ranking battles from 4.45pm-6.30pm.
The cars would also be on-track during the lunch break during Saturday’s programme before the elimination battles from 3.45pm-6pm with podium presentations to follow.
This would be the third round of the Drift South Series.
Two of the competitors – Dave Collier, of Tauranga, and Michael Thorley, of Auckland, would travel south from the North Island for the event.
Local drift exponents, Scott Welsh in a Nissan Silvia RB30T, Rob Neeley (Nissan Silvia S15 V6 turbo), Campbell McKenzie (Nissan Skyline RB25) and Seth MacHattie (Nissan RB30 turbo) were looking forward to taking on the visitors in their backyard.
“Everyone loves coming here, people just want to go fast and we don’t drift slow down ere,” Welsh said.
OSCA Super Saloons
The headline on the racing programme would be the OSCA Super Saloons.
It was just over a month since they last appeared at Teretonga Park when Dunedin drivers Chris Henderson, in his LS-powered Toyota GT86, and Steve Ross (Jaguar XK), battled it out.
Henderson took the top step of the podium with two wins, a second plus a fifth in the four races, while Ross was second overall, with one win and a new lap record of 59.257 seconds.
Pierre Neame, of Winton, in his Ford Mustang, and Brendan Mason, of Invercargill, (ex-Grant Dalton Chev Camaro) would be the two Southlanders in the field.
Rangiora driver James Penrose was unbeaten in the South Island Formula 1600 Championship this season having led every lap of the series in his Van Diemen Stealth.
Former karting star, 15-year-old Jacob Douglas, of Christchurch, made his motor racing debut at Teretonga Park in December, underlining his talent by finishing third in his inaugural motor race.
Harry Wilson, of Invercargill, who would turn 19 on Saturday, leads Class 3 from fellow Southlanders Noel Atley and Dave McKenzie, while another Southlander, 14-year-old Alex Crosbie was showing well in his rookie season.
Invercargill drivers Liam MacDonald (Falcon) and Kyle Dawson (Nissan Skyline) would be among the frontrunners in the Noel McIntyre Drainage Club Saloon races, along with Arron Black, of Dunedin, in a BMW E46, Brendan Mason (Camaro), Brent Cross, of Winton, (EVO) and Duncan McCrostie, of Cromwell, (Porsche 997 GT3 Cup).
Former NZV8 competitor Justin Ashwell, of Christchurch, (Ford Falcon) would be the favourite in the New Zealand Six Saloon races, while the 2K Teretonga Challenge would be hard fought with the emphasis of the class on driving ability in a car which had to be purchased for under $2000 with only mild modifications permitted.
On-track action begins from noon on Friday, with a 9.45am start on Saturday, and 9am on Sunday. Tickets to the event were available from Auto Centre and E Hayes & Sons, Invercargill.
A discounted weekend pass (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) pre-sale was $20, while weekend passes sold at the gate cost $25. Children 14 and under were free, if accompanied by an adult.