Craig Allan of Invercargill continued his recent good form when he won the Southland Sports Car Club’s opening event of the 2021/2022 season, a Bent Sprint at Teretonga Park in Invercargill on Saturday.
Allan had won the club’s Triathlon event last month and set the fastest time of 84.72 seconds in qualifying on his second run on Saturday morning before missing the last two runs due to mechanical issues with his Nissan 180SX. The car was repaired for the sudden death top ten shoot out in the afternoon in which he set a time of 84.91 seconds to clinch the event. Second fastest qualifier Liam MacDonald (Nissan Pulsar) maintained second place in the shootout setting an 86.17, a tad slower than his qualifying time of 85.99.
Otago Sports Car Club member Donovan Isted was third in qualifying with an 89.06, a time he improved to 87.46 in the shoot out to seal third place.
Southland drivers Luke Oliver and Malcolm Mitchell secured fourth and fifth respectively while the top ten was rounded out by Neil Allan, Dave Jenkins (Eastern Southland Car Club), Mauri Balzarini (Queenstown Car Club), Graham McRae (ESCC) and Steven Watson. Balzarini’s daughter, 16-year-old Mauritz, proved to be very competitive finishing eleventh overall.
Sixteen competitors entered the sprint, believed to be a record number for a bent sprint.
Southland Sports Car Club ClubSport co-ordinator, Malcolm Mitchell said, “it was a great day and well received by competitors. I will definitely run another bent sprint next season.”