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Invercargill's Teretonga hosts touring car round

Last updated 05:00 11/01/2014

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Exciting V8 power hits Invercargill today when the NZV8 Touring Cars TLX and TL class arrive at Teretonga Park for the second round of their national championship.

Two drivers from Invercargill, Grant Molloy and Liam MacDonald, will offer strong challenges in the TL class at this round of the national series both with the machinery and ability to take a race win or two or maybe even a clean sweep from the three races scheduled for the weekend.

Molloy sits in third position on the championship table, behind James McLaughlin, of Lower Hutt, and Hamilton driver Ian Booth after a hard-fought opening round at Pukekohe Park Raceway in November.

Taking a podium finish in race two with a third place, he dropped out of the running for second when a spin placed him down the field.

The Southland driver still managed to drive well enough during the weekend to earn the points needed to sit third overall after one round.

In his ENZED Ford Falcon, Molloy can be expected to use his homegrown knowledge to gain an advantage for more points and potentially one or more race wins this weekend.

On the other side of the coin and competing his first round of the 2013-14 season is MacDonald, who at just 16 has a mere three rounds of NZV8 Touring Car experience behind him from last year's efforts.

"I did karts when I was about 5 but that was a few years ago and I have done nothing really before jumping into the NZV8s last season, which was pretty good," MacDonald said.

Still a student at James Hargest College, MacDonald is driving the Discount Tyres Ford Falcon, which has some impressive history, having been driven in the series previously by Australian V8 Supercar driver David Besnard and World Touring Car champion Paul Radisich.

"We are still working on the car and we're not sure if it is competitive yet but the goal for this weekend is just to keep the car in one piece." he said.

Stiff competition for these local drivers will come from those such as the top runners in the NZV8TC TL class James McLaughlin and Ian Booth, who raced very strongly at the opening round against Molloy and sit first, second and third respectively.

With Molloy and MacDonald representing Invercargill, and Nathan Pilcher from nearby Winton, and Dunedin driver Ross Cameron also pitching in, both Southland and Otago will be well represented.

A large field of NZV8TC TL class Holden and Ford cars plus a full complement of the New Generation NZV8TC TLX class Holden, Ford and Toyota cars are entered for this weekend's V8-powered high-speed competition at Teretonga Park, so there is no doubt it will be entertaining and a must for motorsport fans.

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The on-track action gets under way today with morning practice sessions, and qualifying at 1.45pm followed by a top-10 shootout to determine the start order for the weekend's first race today at 4.30pm.

Tomorrow, the action heats up with two more races, including, in race two at 12.12pm, a reverse-grid start, where anything can happen when the field of V8s enters the treacherous first turn for which Teretonga Park is well known for.

The final NZV8 Touring Car race of the weekend starts at 3.57pm and is longer, at 25 laps, plus it involves a compulsory pitstop for the faster New Generation TLX cars creating a high-pressured race to the flag between them and the TL class involving much weaving and dicing for position.

- The Southland Times

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