Speedfest offers chance to see classics

MOTORSPORT
Last updated 05:00 16/02/2013

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The Evolution Motorsport Classic Speedfest will bring a mouthwatering array of racing machinery together at Teretonga Park this weekend.

The spectacular Formula 5000 cars take centre stage with a healthy grid of big, loud and noisy race cars of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Marques such as McRae, Lola, Matich, Surtees, Elfin, March, Lotus and Talon will be represented on the grid while the Begg name will be present in the form of Lindsay O'Donnell's FM5.

Steve Ross, of Dunedin, has been a pacesetter in the class over recent seasons in a McRae GM1 and he leads this year's MSC Tasman Revival Series as the cars head for Teretonga. However, Clark Proctor, better known to Southlanders from his NZV8s exploits, has joined the class and has experienced early success in his March 73A. Others to watch include British drivers Mike Whatley, Greg Thornton and Peter Dunn.

One to keep an eye on in one of the older cars in the class is Alan Dunkley, who has been in superb touch in his Lola T140. Phil Mauger brings the ex-Denny Hulme McLaren M23 Formula 1 car south again this year and will race amongst the Formula 5000 cars.

Meanwhile, a huge field of Formula Junior cars will race at the event. Formula Junior was a stepping stone to Formula 1 in the early 1960s and many of the great names developed their craft in the cars. These cars truly are classics and there will be some beautifully designed and superbly presented cars from a magical era at Teretonga with a strong international contingent on the grid.

In the Formula Libre races local Barry Leitch and Nelson's Garry Orton will both drive superbly restored Ralt RT4s.

The former Trevor Crowe V8 Toyota Starlet will be a feature of the Classic Saloon races.

Crowe originally built the car in 1979, and it is now owned and raced by Richard Quin, of Tauranga. It is powered by a 4200cc Oldsmobile V8 with a 4-speed Muncie gearbox and a Jaguar limited slip diff. The car won the hotly contested OSCA Series in 1981, 82 and 84 and also won the Coronet Peak Hillclimb in 1982 and the Ashley Forest Rallysprint in 1985. Crowe sold it to Jackson French, of Rotorua, in 1988 who raced it for many years before Quin bought it.

The Starlet will be seen in a mouthwatering field of saloon cars that also features Canadian Jack Ondrack in his Tuscan TVR and local Brendan Mason in his Chev Camaro.

There are also strong entries in Formula Ford, Sports Cars, Historic Touring Cars, Vintage Cars plus a huge entry in the Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons. The latter class includes 15-year-old Liam MacDonald who made an eyecatching debut in the NZV8 class at Teretonga and Timaru last month.

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The South Island Pre 65 Saloon Series will also provide a spectacular show.

Expect Wayne Tuffley, of Invercargill, to be at the forefront while Stu Mitchell, of Otautau, should perform well in his Valiant AP6.

The McBegg Sports car will make demonstration runs during the weekend.

- The Southland Times

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