Invercargill men Todd Blackmun and Andrew Kennedy are having a ball competing in entry level motorsport events run by the Southland Sports Car Club.
They compete in a 1999 Ford Ka that cost just $75. After purchasing the car they discovered $10 in the ashtray so in reality as they share the car at each event it has cost them $32.50 each.
Blackmun came across the Ford Ka when he was looking for wheels for the Star Car he races at Teretonga Park. He saw it advertised for $75 and thought it was worth it to get the wheels. When he discovered the wheels were not the size he required it was suggested that he use it for basic Clubsport events. The bog standard car was eligible for motorkhana’s, timed competitions around a course of cones, so the duo and a female friend thought they would give it a go, all three sharing the car at their first event. “The entry fee was just $20 each so away we went.” They recall their female companion “drove as though she were in the supermarket car park” while they were more aggressive. She beat them, finesse and smoothness winning the day.
Todd and Andrew have competed in the Ford Ka for three seasons now. “Clubsport has a great atmosphere. You compete on a Sunday morning and we are home by 11.30am. We get the car out the night before, dust it, check the tyres and we are ready to go. Entry is $20 and we probably use less than $40 petrol for the whole season. We have a ball. We are not competing against the others as much as against each other. We share the car and our times are always very close, there is nothing in it,” a fact borne out by the fact Kennedy was sixth in the Motorkhana Championship last year and Blackmun seventh. The car has 79,000 km on the clock and the boys have done 159km’s of that – in motorkhana’s. They are not above taking the mickey either, the car featuring racing stickers which on closer inspection are actually a shopping list, a nod to a background of a vehicle that is considered a shopping basket while they had much fun fitting an “aerodynamic” wing for laughs at one stage.
While they have so much fun with the Ka there are changes afoot. Blackmun has brought a car in which he will be able to enter Clubsport events as well as race events at Teretonga Park while Kennedy will continue in motorkhana’s in a Toyota Starlet GT. What does that mean for the Ka? The boys are undecided but they may sell it or they are also considering it as a hire car for aspiring motorkhana competitors. “A young guy could hire it for an event to try clubsport (drivers as young as twelve can participate), pay the $20 entry fee, and maybe $30 to cover our time getting it to events etc. I would recommend it to young guys – it is a great foundation and everyone helps you,” says Blackmun.
Both Blackmun and Kennedy have always spent their motorsport budget wisely, getting great bang for their buck. Rather than taking their initial motorsport steps in the entry level Clubsport events such as Motorkhana’s and Sprints, they started out in local Clubmans racing at Teretonga Park in Star Cars, mini touring cars powered by motorcycle engines. In motor racing terms the Star Cars are not expensive but they are very competitive. Blackmun won the 0-1300cc Class of the Championship in his very first year, also winning the Novice Of The Year Award. He has now won the class four times and this year was second overall in the Club Championship missing out to Liam MacDonald by just 15 points. “Unfortunately I had a problem at the last meeting and I am indebted to fellow competitor Ian McKenzie who loaned me his car.”
The Evolution Motorsport Clubsport season runs from August to April each year with the first event of the 2017/2018 season scheduled for Sunday 19 August. It is inexpensive and a great place to develop driving skills while having fun.
For more information contact Stacy Lines, Clubsport Co-ordinator, Southland Sports Car Club, – 0275 076452.
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