Racing returns to Teretonga

SOUTHLAND Sports Car Club officials are delighted New Zealand’s premier motor racing categories will return to Teretonga Park in Invercargill over the weekend of January 21 and 22.
Teretonga normally attracted some of the biggest and most passionate crowds in the country and club president Dean Maw said the club was ‘‘stoked’’ to have the national series back again.
‘‘This year’s series will be even bigger and better than last year, with a host of the country’s top classes on the programme. The teams enjoy racing at Teretonga as the Southland crowds make them feel very welcome.’’
Geoff Short, managing director of Speedworks, the company charged with promoting the major motorsport classes in New Zealand this summer, said it was a difficult decision choosing which South Island track to use.
‘‘There are four race tracks in the South Island all wanting one of the two events that we bring to the South Island each year. Southlanders have always supported the series well, so Teretonga was the best decision for this year.
‘‘However it is so important Southlanders do support the round at Teretonga. It is always a great event down south and it is important that it is again this year and that means that the crowd support needs to be there.’’
There will be nine classes on the programme — Toyota Racing Series, touring cars, super trucks, mainland muscle cars, super saloons, V8 utes, TR86, Formula Ford and the six saloons North Island versus South Island battle.
The Toyota Racing Series will feature many of the world’s most talented young drivers, many of them vying to make it to Formula One in the near future.
The North versus South battle in NZ Six Saloons should attract some parochial support. Add into the mix the number of Southlanders competing at the top levels of the sport currently and Short’s promise of the best show for many years looks well justified.

• More than 50 historic race cars from overseas will be driven at Teretonga Park on February 18 and 19 as part of the world-wide Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee.
The international competitors will join the drivers of around 30 New Zealand-owned Formula Junior cars to race at five circuits.
Terry Collier, who will compete and is helping organise the New Zealand leg of the celebratory world tour, said Formula Juniors were scaled down Formula One cars built during 1958-1963 from easily available production car components such as Fiat, Saab, Ford Anglia and Austin A40.
‘‘We had and still have a good number of Formula Junior cars in New Zealand. Large numbers were raced in the early Tasman Championship era, but fitted with larger engines — a typically Kiwi response.’’

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