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The lap record took a beating in the Formula Libre races at the Evolution Motorsport Classic SpeedFest at Teretonga Park in Invercargill this weekend.

Former Southlander LeRoy Stevenson began the weekend in the Powderline sponsored class by winning the first two races in a Formula 5000 Leda LT27, breaking both the Formula Libre and Classic Single Seater lap record with a lap of 54.154 in the second race. However on Sunday morning the Leda broke an input shaft on the warm up lap leaving Christchurch driver Michael Collins, who had been second in both Saturday races, to win the two remaining contests in a McRae GM1 from Gary Cooper of Dunedin in a Reynard 92H. In doing so Collins cracked Stevenson’s record from the previous day leaving it at 53.762 seconds.

The class lap record was also broken in the Southland Tyre Centre Formula Junior Class where Alex Morton of the UK in his Lightning Envoyette dominated, winning all four races. He set the new record early on Saturday with a lap of 1min 08.358 seconds. His countryman Iain Rowley in a Lotus finished second in three of the four races and third in the other while New Zealander Phil Foulkes in another Lotus took a second and three third placings.

The Cooke Howlison BMW Historic Touring Car races were evenly split. Dunedin driver Aaron Black in a BMW E30 M3 won the first two, the first from Kevin Pateman of Timaru in a Ford Telstar after Bruce Miles of Christchurch had led across the line only to receive a 10 second time penalty for a false start which dropped him to third in his BMW. In the second Black led Christchurch father and son Lindsay and Matthew O’Donnell in a Volvo S40 and BMW 318 SuperTourer respectively across the line. Miles won the last two contests, grabbing victory from Black right on the line of the third before leading all the way in the last.

Tony Mann of Dunedin in a Ford Capri won the opening Professionals Real Estate Classic Saloon race by just .804 of a second from Mark Scott of Wellington in a BMW M3 CSL E46 with Australian Jim Wallace third in his BMW M5. Mann was a non-finisher in the second race won by Scott from Wallace and Bradley Dawson of Invercargill (Chev Camaro). On Sunday Dougal MacGibbon of Nelson in his Nissan Skyline took the first from Scott and Dawson before Mann ended the way he began by taking the final race from Dawson and Doug Munro of Invercargill in a Commodore.

Chris Glasier of Dunedin in his Marcos LM500 was unbeatable in the Invercargill Hire Sports & GT Class with four victories across the weekend. Sam Smith of Wallacetown in the Rhubarb sports car recorded two second places while Jason Crosbie (Beck Special) secured the runner-up spot in the other two and added two third placings.

The wins were shared in the Jesco Hydraulics Vintage Racing Car Class. Ashburton driver Russ Haines in his Frangapelli Holden took two victories while Jim Bennett of Dunedin in a Furi Impulse and Ralph Smith of Cromwell in the Lycoming Special took one win apiece.

Australian Lyndon Arnel made a clean sweep of the Downer Formula Ford races, winning all four in his Lola T440. Ron Wilkin of Tuakau in an Elden was second in three of them until he retired from the last leaving second place to Dave Harris of Invercargill in a Johnston.

Darryn Sutherland of Dunedin won the first three Pre 65 Saloon races in a Ford Falcon, the first from Paul Clarke of Mosgiel (Holden EH Special) and Stuart Mitchell of Invercargill in a Valiant. The second race was a handicap event and Sutherland came through to win from Paul Whiting of Christchurch in an Anglia and Michelle Clarke of Mosgiel in a Mustang. He just got home in the third, another handicap event, ahead of Michelle Clarke and Ian Perry of Christchurch in a Sunbeam Stiletto before an exchange of cars for the fourth and final race, another handicap contest. Paul Clarke won in the Mustang from Mitchell who struggled home with a tyre problem in his Valiant with Whiting third in the Sutherland Falcon.

Brothers Kyle and Dion Dawson from Invercargill dominated in the Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons. Kyle won the first race in his Nissan Skyline with Dion second in a Saker. Dion won the other three with Andrew Cundall, Bradley and Jeremy Dawson also prominent. In the class race Dion Dawson, Southland Sports Car Club President Rachael Beck, Bradley Dawson and Ian McKenzie were the respective class winners.

The next meeting at the circuit will feature NZ Super Trucks and Mainland Muscle Cars over the weekend of 23/24 March.

Photo: Richard Dimmock

Caption: Michael Collins of Christchurch in a McRae GM1 on his way to a new Formula Libre and Classic Single Seater lap record in the Powderline Formula Libre category at the Evolution Motorsport Classic SpeedFest at Teretonga Park, Invercargill.

Media release: Lindsay Beer, Southland Sports Car Club

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