Speedfest stars cars and some classic drivers

When it comes to the annual Classic Speedfest event at Teretonga, it is very much a case of the cars being the stars.

This weekend the Southland Sports Car Club will again host Classic Speedfest, where a touch over 100 competitors will line up in a host of different types of classic cars.

For local racing identity Rick Michels - who is also the event sponsor through his Evolution Motorsport business - the Classic Speedfest is a popular event on the racing calendar.

"It's a pretty relaxing weekend because we are racing for what I've always described as chocolate fish, and in best-case scenario you might get one," Michels said.

"From the public's point of view, you get a fantastic opportunity to keep up close to the cars because the cars are the stars ... not only are the cars classic but some of the drivers are pretty classic nowadays to. The guys will get their helmets on and drive the cars as hard as the next bloke, there's no question about that, but it's not the be-all or end-all to win or lose, which I think is what makes it as enjoyable as what it is."

Michels said it was also another chance for those who may have taken up motorpsort later in their lives to have a crack at racing.

"A lot of the guys that are racing couldn't afford to do it when they were younger and they've sort of gone on and lived their lives and now they can afford to do it and are as competitive as the next guy," he said.

While the Classic Speedfest doesn't hold the profile of a national series event, Michels suggested it shouldn't be scoffed at, particularly with the cars that will be on display.

"The gear that's being raced will put to shame some of the stuff that's running at national championships, money-wise. These BMWs, for argument's sake, are probably in the vicinity of $250,000 and some of them are being driven like they're stolen," he joked.

Classes at the Classic Speedfest will include historic touring cars, classic saloons, vintage single-seaters, sports cars and racing cars.

The Southland Times