Thunderous action at Teretonga Park

Brendan Mason (Invercargill) powers his Chev Camaro out of the loop in a Mainland Muscle Car race at the Southern Thunder meeting held at Teretonga Park last weekend. Photos: Dave Loudon

SUPER Truck racer Alex Little, of Lower Hutt, maintained his success rate at Teretonga Park during the New Zealand Super Truck Championship last weekend.

Little stood atop the podium at the Invercargill circuit for the fourth time after winning the round from Troy Wheeler, of Hicks Bay, and Shane Gray, of Lower Hutt, at Southern Thunder presented by Downer.

Little qualified fastest in his Freightliner but had to race his father’s similar machine when his own truck developed problems. Wheeler, in another Freightliner, won Saturday’s race while Little carved through the field only to tangle with Gray (Kenworth T409) and fall to sixth at the finish.

Gray recovered for second while Dave West, of Pukekohe, in a Freightliner Argosy, was third. Little won on Sunday morning from Wheeler and West and then took the handicap race by .447 of a second from Wheeler with Gray third. West won the Flying Farewell from Gray and Troy Etting, of Auckland, in a Volvo NH.

Championship leader John Hepburn, of Timaru, extended his round wins to seven in the Mobil 1 Mainland Muscle Car class. Michael Wallace, of Dunedin, in his Chev Monza, won the first from the Chev Camaros of Temuka’s Craig Gilbert and Brendan Mason, of Invercargill. Steve McLachlan, of Christchurch, won the handicap reverse grid race on Sunday morning in his Mustang from Hepburn in his Monaro with Grant Sisson, of Christchurch, third in a Camaro while Wallace did not finish and was out for the event.

Gilbert took the third from Hepburn with Mason third and Tony Forde, of Invercargill, won the final handicap race. Gilbert claimed second overall behind Hepburn with McLachlan third.

Zac Christensen, of Rolleston, won the South Island Formula 1600 Championship. The three drivers still in the title race, Christensen, Matt Hamilton, of Christchurch, and Alex Crosbie, of Invercargill, battled hard all weekend. Christensen in his Ray GR20 edged Hamilton (Van Diemen RF88) by .042 of a second in the first with Crosbie in his Ray GR21 third.

Christensen won again on Sunday morning with Hamilton and Crosbie second and third again. Crosbie started the final race from pole with Christensen alongside and Hamilton third. Hamilton dropped down with a gearbox issue before charging back to win, but a penalty for driving standards cost him the victory giving Christensen a clean sweep, the round and the championship with Hamilton second in the championship and Crosbie third.

In the Historic Formula Ford class, Robert Toshach, of Christchurch, in a Royale RP21, won the first two races, the first from Andy Downs, of Christchurch (Lola 642E), and James Dicey, of Cromwell (Lola T342), and the second, finishing under safety car, from Dicey with Graham Dickie, of Dunedin (Lola 644E), third.

Downs won on Sunday morning from Dicey and Stephen Heffernan, of Invercargill (Johnston FF08), after Toshach retired early in the race.

Eddie Iraia, of Timaru, took the top step on the SS Cup podium, winning two of the four races after Brad Rule, of Queenstown, won the first two. Rule was leading the third when he slowed with a problem and got tagged by another car, ending his day. Jordan Rae, of Timaru, was second overall and Connor Sutherland, of Wanaka, third.

Paul Clarke, of Mosgiel (Ford Mustang), was dominant in the Pre 65 Saloons, winning two of the three races and setting a lap record on a charge to second in the final race, a reverse grid handicap. He took top points for the weekend followed by Wayne Patrick, of Christchurch, in his XP Falcon, with Piers Mingham, of Ashburton (Ford Anglia), third.

In the NZ6 Saloons, Dunedin’s Mick Ross prevailed in a Commodore after winning two of the three races, taking the round from Mike McCarthy, of Dunedin (Commodore), and David Worgan, of Ashburton, in a Falcon.

Jordan Michels, of Invercargill, won all four Noel McIntyre Drainage Club Saloon races in his very quick V8 Ford Focus with Liam MacDonald second overall in his Falcon and Kyle Dawson, of Invercargill (Nissan Skyline), third. Rule took the Class 3 honours in the class race.

Michels also won the A1 Auto Services 1 Hour Race, setting a lap record of 58.990.