Southerner back for battle

In flames ... The moment the Scania of former Southlander Glenn Johnstone burst into flames at Timaru International Motor Raceway in January. PHOTO: TONY KNIGHTS

Former Southlander Glenn Johnstone’s Scania truck bursts into flames at Timaru International Motor Raceway in January.

Glenn Johnstone was competing in his first event at Round 1 of the NZ Super Truck Championship in January when his Scania burst into flames.

Johnstone, now resident in Canterbury, emerged unscathed and has been working on being ready to line up at the second round of the championship at Teretonga Park.

Johnstone grew up in Invercargill and worked for GWDs, where he completed an apprenticeship in the panel shop, before moving to Canterbury.

After a short time he was on the move again, this time to Australia where he drove road trains before returning to Christchurch where he started his own business.

He raced drag bikes and twice collected NZ1 and that was the full extent of his motorsport career until established Southland truck racer Garry Price rang him and said “your race truck is in my yard. I’ve known Pricey for 20 years and that is how I got into the sport – he told me I was going to do it”.

His first event was at Timaru and in just the second race of his career disaster struck.

“I have a new nickname – Fireballs,” Johnstone said.

However, two months and around $30,000 later the truck is on its way to Teretonga Park.

“It doesn’t look as though we will get any testing in before we come south but hopefully we will get a run on the Friday before the race meeting,” Johnstone said.

As well as the NZ Super Trucks the event will also include Mainland Muscle Cars, NZ 6 Saloons, Sports and Racing Cars, Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons and the A1 Auto Services One Hour Race.

The action at the event, presented by Downer, starts at 10am on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available from Auto Centre in Tweed St, Invercargill, and E Hayes & Sons, Dee St, Invercargill. A pre-sale weekend pass is $25 per adult while children 14 and under are free if accompanied by an adult.

– Lindsay Beer is the Southland Sports Car Club publicity officer