Local Success Amid Thrills & Spills At Teretonga
There were the usual thrills and spills and some great performances by local drivers as the Speedworks Motorsport Championship visited Teretonga Park on the outskirts of Invercargill this weekend.
Saturday’s action was held in dry conditions before a wet day on Sunday which resulted in slippery conditions and plenty of incidents and action.
Southland’s Brendon Leitch in his ITM FT-50. Photo: DAL Photographics
Local driver Brendon Leitch shone on Saturday, grabbing second in the opening race of the weekend in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series behind Dutchman Richard Verschoor after Thomas Randle of Australia was penalised for a jump start. Leitch was taken off the track in an incident at the beginning of the second race on Sunday morning along with Ferdinand Habsburg of Austria and Enaam Ahmed of the UK while soon after American Kory Enders slid off and his car overturned, Pedro Piquet of Brazil winning from Verschoor and Randle.
The Southlander’s ITM FT-50 was damaged in the melee and despite having pole position for the feature race, the Spirit Of A Nation Cup later in the day, the hastily repaired car was difficult to drive and dropped steadily down the order in a contest won by Verschoor.
Jason Bargwanna (Green) Photo: DAL Photographics
Nick Ross of Cambridge won the opening BNT NZ Touring Car Championship race on Saturday in his Nissan after Aucklander Simon Evans was penalised for an infringement while Sunday morning’s race saw a great battle between Australian Jason Bargwanna in a Toyota and Evans, Bargwanna running out the winner. Evans who later copped another penalty which dropped him down the order in race two bounced back to win the final race. In Class 2 Liam MacDonald of Invercargill took all three race wins while fellow Southlander Jamie Conroy’s run of ill luck continued when he retired from the opening race after qualifying fastest. Conroy came back to take two second places from the back of the grid.
Riverton driver Ethan Anderson broke the nine win sequence of championship leader Liam Lawson of Pukekohe when he won the first NZ Formula 1600 race on Saturday but Lawson resumed his winning ways in the rain on Sunday to win both races from Invercargill driver Jordan Michels with Anderson securing third in the final race.
Gary Price. Photo: DAL Photographics
Invercargill driver Andrew Cundall won the opening OSCA Super Saloon race from fellow Southlander Liam MacDonald on Saturday before Daniel Cropp of Prebbleton won Sunday morning’s handicap race which ended under Safety Car.
In the finale, another handicap event, Ryan Austin of Timaru held off Cundall.
The NZ Super Trucks featured twice on Saturday, Alex Little of Wellington in a Freightliner winning the first from Troy Wheeler of Papakura before Wheeler won the second from Malcolm Little. Winton driver Garry Price won the third race on Sunday.
Richard Moore of Auckland in a Holden won the Saturday race in the Porter Group NZV8 Ute race while Paul Manuell made no race of the Sunday morning contest in the rain. Moore prevailed again in a great battle in the finale.
The Toyota TR86 Championship featured some superb racing with Ryan Yardley of Christchurch taking the win on Saturday, before team mate Jack Milligan took the partial reverse grid race on Sunday, a race in which Mike Lightfoot of Auckland rolled at the loop. Yardley ended the weekend with another victory in the third race.
NZ1, Bronson Porter of Hamilton, dominated the NZ Six Saloon class in all conditions taking three race wins.
The next meeting at Teretonga Park is the Evolution Motorsport Classic SpeedFest over the weekend of 18/19 February.
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