Timaru drivers take Pro7 honours

A great weekend of motor racing kicked off the season at Teretonga Park in Invercargill.

The racing featured the one-hour and three-hour South Island Endurance races on Saturday, followed by the opening round of the New Zealand Pro7 Championship, Clubmans Saloons and Sports and Racing Cars on Sunday.

In the Pro7 Plus class on Sunday, Timaru driver Hamish Collins won two of the three races, with Napier's Dean McMillan claiming the other. Matt Gibson, of Whanganui, Matt Carkeek, of Wellington, and Tim Forster, of Hastings, were also prominent.

An incident in the first race pushed Collins down the order. Former NZV8 driver McMillan now takes a seven-point lead into the second leg of the championship at Manfeild in February.

In the Pro7 class, Timaru driver Daniel Taylor took the honours in two races while Bob Smith, of Whanganui, won the third. Taylor left Teretonga with an eight-point lead over Smith, with Mosgiel driver Ken Thompson third.

Colin Dawson dominated the Clubmans races in his Mazda RX7 V8, with Scott Laurence, Darryn Andrews and Anthony Ralston sharing the placings. In the class race, Dawson took the honours in class 4, Warren Kett class 3 and Jeremy Dawson in class 2.

In the Flying Farewell, Paul Fairweather, of Invercargill, tasted victory on debut in a Nissan Primera, from Ralston and Gore's Glen Johnston.

Dave McKenzie, of Invercargill, won three of the four Sports and Racing Car events, with Don Nelson, of Riverton, taking the other.

On Saturday, defending champion Paul Kelly, of Christchurch, and Melbourne-based Kiwi Daniel Gaunt took the honours in the Three-hour South Island Endurance Series race after a great battle with second placegetters Ant Pedersen (Hamilton) and Andrew Bagnall (Auckland). Christchurch pair Rick Armstrong and Matthew Hamilton were third.

Southlander Scott O'Donnell held the lead the field for some time during his stint at the wheel.

The first three pairings across the line drove Porsche 997 GT3s. In the one-hour enduro, Grant Williams and Brent Buist, of Christchurch, in a Mazda RX7 V8 took the lead with a slick pit stop and maintained the gap to beat Kelly across the line, with George McFarlane and Grant Silvester, of Christchurch, third.

The next meeting at Teretonga Park will be held on November 4.

The Southland Times