'Cars are the stars' at Teretonga Park's Classic Speedfest

Colin Dawson with his Camaro which he will in the Historic Muscle Car category as part of the Classic Speedfest at ...
John Hawkins

Colin Dawson with his Camaro which he will in the Historic Muscle Car category as part of the Classic Speedfest at Teretonga Park this weekend.

The mantra for this weekend's Classic Speedfest event at Teretonga Park is pretty direct - 'the cars are the stars'.

About 200 drivers will turn back time to line up a host of historic racing cars at the Invercargill circuit.

Included at this year's Evolution Motorsport Classic Speedfest is a Historic Muscle Cars category - mostly 1970s V8s which have remained largely untouched from their initial racing days.

Amongst the dozen or so Historic Muscle Cars will be a 1967 Shelby Mustang which was first raced at Teretonga Park in 1968 and this year will be driven by Nigel McDonald of Hawera.

READ MORE: Leitch involved in frightening crash

It is the car which Southland's Colin Dawson used to win the 1970 NZ Saloon Car Championship.

Southland's Rodger Cunninghame and Dawson have been regulars racing in the Historic Muscle Cars class throughout the country in recent years. It is a series of meetings which have traditionally been held in the North Island.

However, the Southland duo have convinced those involved in the series to make a trip to Teretonga Park.

It's fitting considering Teretonga Park is one of New Zealand's most historic circuits and many of the cars had raced there in the early days.

Unfortunately for Cunninghame his role will be restricted to the announcer this weekend rather driving himself.

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In December, during a tune up meeting for his car at Teretonga, he was involved in a crash.

Cunninghame's car was damaged and he suffered a badly broken ankle.

"I'm absolutely gutted," he said about not racing this weekend.

Cunninghame said the Classic Speedfest was a special event to be part of where everyone ended up marvelling over the cars.

"It is all about the cars, drivers are racing for a chocolate fish and if they go fast they will get handicapped for the next race," Cunninghame said.

Another feature this weekend at Teretonga Park will be the presence of the Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee Tour.

The tour has taken cars to South Africa, Europe, Australia and now New Zealand.

The cars were one of the stepping stones to Formula 1 in an era spanning 1958 to 1963.

Drivers from Scotland, England, Denmark, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and all corners of New Zealand will race their cars at Teretonga this weekend.

Cunninghame said given the calibre of cars on display at the Classic Speedfest the pits is expected to be the most popular place this weekend as people search for a close glimpse.














 - Stuff

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