Speedfest brings a trip down memory lane to Teretonga Park

The Rover Vitesse of Allan Dip pie, of Wanaka, leads Christchurch driver Matthew O’Donnell (BMW 318) and War ren Dunn, of Palmers ton North, (BMW M3) in the Archibalds Touring Car Class at the recent Skope Clas sic at Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch. Photo: Richard Opie

CLASSIC motor racing comes to Teretonga Park in Invercargill this weekend with the annual Mobil 1 Classic SpeedFest.

The Archibalds Historic Touring Car Class would feature a field of saloon cars and, in a real coup for the event, former two-time World Cup Touring Car champion, Kiwi Paul Radisich, would be at the wheel of his 1994 FIA Touring Car World Cup-winning Ford Mondeo.

Radisich, who had a successful career in both single-seater race cars and touring cars in Europe, the United Kingdom, The United States, Australia and New Zealand, won back-to-back FIA World Touring Car cups in a Rouse-built Ford Mondeo in 1993 at Monza, Italy, and in 1994 at Donington Park, England.

It was at a time when touring car racing was at its peak and some great names and great marques fought for dominance.

The class would feature a plethora of BMW touring cars, a Ford Sierra Cosworth, Alfa Romeo, Rover Vitesse, Jaguar XJS and two Holden Commodores, many which had an interesting history, such as the BMW E36 318i driven by Matthew O’Donnell, which was the car driven by Tony Longhurst when he and team-mate Paul Morris came to blows during a race in Australia after a tangle.

There would also be championship-winning cars from various countries and cars with real pedigree also lining the grid.

A large field of classic saloons would line up in a separate class with Steve Ross, of Dunedin, piloting a famous Kiwi race car — the PDL 1 Mustang, which at its peak was promoted as “electric blue and 180mph”.

Ranged against Ross will be another Mustang driven by Paul Coory, of Mosgiel, a Camaro, an MGB GT V8, and several varieties of Porsche to an Austin Mini Clubman GT and a Ford Mark 3 Zephyr.

There would be more saloon cars in the burgeoning Historic and Classic Pre-78 Class where anything and everything from a Ford Galaxie to a Ford Anglia and everything in-between would be racing.

The Sports and GT Class would feature some New Zealand-built classics such as Sid II and the Rhubarb Mark 3, a McRae U2 and the Southland-built Beck Special and Ford GT40 replica.

At the other extreme, the field would also contain global marques such as TVR Tuscan, Porsche and MGB.

Formula Junior would send spectators back to the 1960s with marques such as Lotus and Brabham with their sleek, cigar shapes, while the Formula Libre grid would feature Barry Leitch in the beautiful Ralt RT4, and Carl Rabbidge in a Begg Formula Ford.

The Vintage Racing Car class would take race-goers even further back in time with Jaguar, Daimler, Mistral, Austin Healey and the Lycoming New Zealand Special.

The Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans competitors would also be on the bill with a large field of varied machinery.

A parade of vehicles, organised by the Cobra Club of New Zealand, which were visiting Invercargill, would be held during Saturday’s lunchbreak.

Tickets were available from Auto Centre, Tweed St, Invercargill and E Hayes & Sons, Dee St, Invercargill, as well as Harrisons Supplies, Mersey St, Gore.

A pre-sale weekend pass was $30, while at the gate they would cost $40. Children under 14 were free if accompanied by an adult.

The action would begin at 9am on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Lindsay Beer is the Southland Sports Car Club publicity officer