Keeler races away from Teretonga rivals

Last updated 05:00 18/03/2013

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Gore's Russell Keeler dominated the track as the chequered flag fell on the 2012/2013 motor-racing season at Invercargill's Teretonga Park yesterday.

Much-needed rain fell at times during the programme, creating a variety of track conditions.

Keeler dominated the NZ Six Saloon event, qualifying fastest and winning all three races.

In the first race, Keeler took the honours by more than 13 seconds from Dunedin driver Bryce Thompson and Christchurch's Wayne Christie.

In the second race, Keeler came from the back of the grid to lead home Thompson and Dunedin's Ashley Hooper.

Thompson and Hooper were again second and third, respectively, in the finale. All four contenders drove Falcons.

The Pro 7 Saloons provided plenty of close racing.

Daniel Taylor won the first race narrowly from fellow Timaru competitor George Gilbert and Leeston driver Mal Walters.

An eventful second race went to Christchurch driver James Askew, from Taylor and Timaru's Mitchell Hamilton. Taylor won the decider from Askew and Gilbert.

The clubmans fields were well-subscribed, with competitors split into two sections. In class A, the opening race was won by Colin Dawson in his Mazda RX7 V8 after a battle with fellow Invercargill driver Robert Ralston in a Nissan Silvia. Lincoln's Darryn Andrews was third in his Nissan Primera turbo after getting past Invercargill driver Dion Dawson in a Nissan Silvia late in the race.

Colin Dawson also took the second race from Ralston, while Dion Dawson again held third well into the race before youngster Liam MacDonald came through to take that placing in his NZV8 Falcon.

The class B opener was won by Nathan Pilcher in a Holden Commodore from fellow Dunedin driver Brian Scott in a Chev Corvette and newcomer John Waldron, of Alexandra, in a Nissan Skyline R32.

Waldron snatched victory in the second race from Pilcher, with Dunedin driver Rhys Turner third in a Honda Civic.

Brent Cross used the four-wheel-drive traction of his Mitsubishi EVO to power to the lead of the 2501cc and over class race at the start and stayed in front.

Robert Ralston and Liam MacDonald vied for second spot, with MacDonald pulling away.

In the other class race, Bradley Dawson won the 1301-1600cc section in his Toyota Trueno; Walter Willmott claimed the 0-1300cc class in his rapid Holden Star Car, and Invercargill's Jeff Vincent won the 1601-2500cc group in his Honda Civic.

Ralston won the Flying Farewell after passing the fast-starting MacDonald, who held off Andrews and Cross to take second spot.

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The season was rounded out with the One-Hour Endurance race won by Andrews from Bradley and Jeremy Dawson.

- The Southland Times

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