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Classic motor racing takes centre stage at Teretonga Park

Classic motor racing takes centre stage at Teretonga Park in Invercargill this weekend with two full days of action as the Ascot Park Hotel Classic SpeedFest takes place at an appropriate venue, the country’s oldest motor racing circuit.

Five classes of historic racing cars – Pre 78 Saloons/Historic & Vintage Racing Association (HVRA), Formula Junior, Classic Saloons, Formula Ford/Libre and Vintage Racing Cars – plus the Noel McIntyre Drainage Club Saloons will add up to a fantastic weekend of action and entertainment. Spectators are welcome to wander through the pits, look at the cars and talk to the drivers about their machines. International drivers are starting to return to the event post-pandemic with drivers from the UK, Australia and Denmark amongst the entries.

The Pre 78 Classic Saloons/HVRA have combined this year with the Pre 78 Saloons providing interesting cars with Rodger Cunninghame of Te Anau in his Mustang and John Munro of Coatesville in a Daimler XJ6, just two examples.

The HVRA competitors add some big banger cars. Brothers, Leon and Kyle Hallett, line up in their Falcon and Mustang respectively, along with fellow Mosgiel driver, Paul Coory in another Mustang, plus Gary Johnstone of Rolleston in his Jaguar.

The class will compete for the Brian Crosbie Memorial Trophy in their finale, a 6-lap handicap race.
Formula Junior was a stepping stone to Formula 1 in the period from 1958 to 1963 and were driven by many of the world’s best drivers. A sizeable contingent from the UK has travelled to New Zealand for the event with a brilliant line up of cars from the period.

Dunedin’s Steve Ross pilots the iconic PDL Mustang 1 in the Classic Saloon races while Porsche drivers Guy and Marcus Stewart of Christchurch and Mike Baker of Picton will be prominent.

There is real variety in the Formula Ford/Libre field with Steve Heffernan of Invercargill one to watch as is Gerald Duncan of Cromwell in the SID while young Southland driver Jacob Begg joins the field fresh from competing in the South Island Formula Ford Championship.

Paul Coghill of Dunedin is always competitive in the Vintage Racing Car class while one very interesting entry in the class is Jac Nelleman of Denmark in a Mallock. Nelleman was the Danish Formula 3 Champion in both 1976 and 1977 and entered the 1976 Swedish Grand Prix in a Brabham run by the small RAM team in a field that contained names like Scheckter, Andretti, Amon, Lauda, Hunt, Fittipaldi and many more superstars of the sport.

Many of the south’s best come together in the Noel McIntyre Drainage Club Saloons with Jordan Michels (MARC Mustang), Liam MacDonald (Falcon) and Dion Dawson (Saker) among the entries.

Saturday’s programme is expected to commence at 10am with qualifying for each class followed by racing from around 12 noon. Sunday’s programme will commence at 9.30pm with a full day of seventeen races.

Discounted weekend passes are available from Auto Centre, Tweed Street, Invercargill or E Hayes & Sons, Dee Street, Invercargill and Harrisons Supplies, Mersey Street, Gore – superb value at only $40 plus any applicable administration fees.

Day passes and weekend passes are also available at the gate during the event.

Children 14 & under accompanied by an adult are free.

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