Roaring engines, exhaust fumes and sunshine were the order of the day as hundreds of petrolheads descended on The Square for a chance to see their favourite stock cars up close.
Scrutineering ahead of the Superstock Teams Champs gave motorsport enthusiasts from around the country the opportunity to examine cars and even have the occasional chat with team members.
Most who spoke to the Manawatu Standard said they had come for the weekend to enjoy the thrill of the races and the atmosphere.
Grant Rosvall, who manages the souvenir shop at the races, had a stall at The Square yesterday, where he and his wife Linda were selling T-shirts and race jewellery.
He said there had been more people at this year's scrutineering and far more interest in his stall and even had people from other countries drop by.
"I served a group of about 12 from the UK, a group from Australia, and some people from Canada," he said.
Walking among the cars was Laurence Moir of Nelson, who said he was a firm Tigers fan.
"I've come every year," he said. "I've come for at least 40 years. My son was a racer for the Tigers but he gave up because he had too many concussions."
Craig Nevatt, who lives in Auckland, was also a regular at the Superstocks.
"I've missed three ever," he said. Asked what kept him coming back, he replied: "The action, the atmosphere, the venue. It's the best stock car track in the country for spectators."
He said he was behind the Panthers.
"I was born and raised in Palmerston North, so there's no other team."
Bay Park Busters fan Peter Hemi, of Mount Maunganui, was looking forward to watching a Superstocks race in Palmerston North for the first time. He said he had been wanting to come for 20 years, but his job had always prevented him.
"I resigned from my position, and I'm taking a break, so I took advantage of that and came to watch," he said.
"I think it's a very special event. At Bay Park, everyone talks about this one."
Michael Hughes, a Hawke's Bay Hawkeyes supporter from Hastings, was looking at the cars with his son Bradley, 11. Mr Hughes said he had come every year for about 20 years.
"I just come for the racing," he said. "It's the best racing event in the country."
Palmerston North man Hayden George also said the superstock champs couldn't be beaten.
Asked what attracted him to the championships, he said: "Big hits, cars rolling. I don't support a team, not too bothered with who wins."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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