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Family and friends make for special SpeedFest weekend

Southland Sports Car Club Vice President, Stacy Lines, is looking forward to this year’s Mobil 1 Classic SpeedFest at Teretonga Park near Invercargill even more than usual. His reasons are twofold. The meeting will be the first time he has lined up on the same grid for a race as his son Kent, plus he will step up from his Mini to drive a 1968 Ford Mustang built as a tribute of the Shelby Racing Team 1968 Trans Am car. The car has been loaned to him for the weekend by good mate Leon Hallett of Mosgiel who will be debuting a Boss Mustang.

“It will be special to be on the same grid as Kent and I am rapt we can share a moment,” said Lines this week.

Stacy and Kent will both drive cars that are invited to compete as part of the Historic & Classic Saloons Pre 78, Stacy in the Mustang and Kent in the Mini that Stacy would normally race. The Mustang Stacy will steer is a specially invited Historic & Vintage Racing Association car.

“Kent and I have tried to race at the same event before but we haven’t made it,” says Stacy. “Mechanical misfortune has sidelined Kent twice during qualifying.”

Kent jokes that he is looking for a “bit more success” than his previous attempts to get into a race. “Driving the Mini will be cool, I’ve never driven it in anger and it will definitely be a change from being inside the pit wall.” Kent is just looking to get into the groove on debut and get some racing with other cars in close proximity. “In the Pre 78’s the essence is on camaraderie. We are racing for chocolate fish not sheep stations.”

Both father and son started out in ClubSport, entry level motorsport. “I did a few seasons and then moved into racing, firstly with a Leitch Super Sprint and then I built up a Toyota Corolla and then bought a Mini for classic racing and let the Corolla go,” says Stacy. “The Pre 78 class has big fields and good camaraderie with plenty of great racing. It is pretty cool. There is always a car or two around you to race with.”

Kent got his start in ClubSport at the age of 12. “I’ve spent 8 years of my life in ClubSport. It is a great stepping stone and gives you experience and knowledge of driving and is a pathway to racing if you want to.”

Stacy says that while motor racing is not seen as a family sport, “it is a great way to connect with family and meet new people.”

Ironically it was meeting Leon Hallett the day he first brought the Boss Mustang, to Teretonga Park for a few fun laps that has led Stacy to a drive of Hallett’s other Mustang this weekend.

“I was testing at the track and saw Leon, went over and said gidday. He was talking about entering club races in a Capri that he had and I said come down. We both started racing at the same time and have become bloody great mates. I let him share a drive in a One Hour race in my Corolla early on and it is pretty humbling to be given the Mustang to race this weekend as he debuts his other Mustang.”

“He is probably returning serve after my sharing of the drive but this a different league. It is very, very, cool and pretty special. I won’t drive the car until Friday practice but at least I know which way the track goes. I will treat the car with a lot of respect, I don’t own the car and I don’t want to either,” he says, laughing with reference to the old ‘you break it, you own it adage’.

While Stacy and Kent race around Teretonga Park this weekend, Angela, Stacy’s wife and Kent’s mum, will be in the thick of it as well. Angela is employed by the Southland Sports Car Club at Teretonga Park and will be on duty in the race office over the weekend.

The Mobil 1 Classic SpeedFest will be held at Teretonga Park over the weekend of 19/20 February within the rules and guidelines to comply with the restrictions set out in the Covid-19 Protection Framework (Red Traffic Light setting). Tickets are on sale at Auto Centre, Tweed Street, Invercargill, E Hayes & Sons, Dee Street, Invercargill and Harrisons Supplies, Mersey Street, Gore. Gate sales will be dependent on pre-sales and vaccine passports are required for admission to the event. Spectators will not be permitted on the infield and there will be no food vendors at the event so please bring your own food.

Qualifying commences at 9am on Saturday with racing from late morning and a full day of racing with seventeen races scheduled start from 9.30am.

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