Doug McDonald returns to Teretonga Park circuit 60 years after first meeting video

JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ

Doug McDonald raced at the Teretonga race track official opening in 1957

On November 30, 1957 Doug McDonald and a group of other drivers wrote their names into New Zealand motorsport folklore.

It was the first ever meeting held at Invercargill's Teretonga Park, a track which now is regarded one of the country's most historic circuits.

Sixty years after the then 25-year-old McDonald raced his MG-TD car at Teretonga's first ever meeting, he is back.

Doug McDonald, 85, with the 1957 Teretonga opening programme and his Alfa Romeo 750 Competizone car which he will race ...
John Hawkins/FAIRFAX NZ

Doug McDonald, 85, with the 1957 Teretonga opening programme and his Alfa Romeo 750 Competizone car which he will race at Teretonga Park as part of the annual Classic Speedfest in Invercargill this weekend.

The now 85-year-old is ready to line up in his 1956 Alfa Romeo 750 Competizone car at the annual Classic SpeedFest at Teretonga this weekend.

READ MORE: 'Cars are the stars' at Teretonga Park's Classic Speedfest

"I was at the 25th and I was at the 50th. I wasn't going to come as far this but when I heard it was the 60th year [for Teretonga] I thought we'll make the effort," he said.

McDonald, of Marahau, near Motueka, has special memories from day one of the Teretonga circuit - a circuit which 50 Formula 1 drivers have since raced at.

"It was a great meeting for everybody because it was the first.

"My recollection was it was a stinking hot day and tar started to melt on the new track," McDonald said.

McDonald rates Teretonga as his favorite track and paid tribute to everybody who had poured their time and energy into continuing to develop the circuit over the years.

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"[At the first meeting] there was a lot of sand and I can't get over the great job the Southland Car Club have done maintaining and presenting the track the way it is these days.

"It holds its own with anything. There's guys that have raced all around the world and say Teretonga is their favorite track, and I believe that."

For McDonald winning isn't about crossing the line first now he is 85.

"I'm just happy to survive. I have sisters who asked me if I won and as far as I'm concerned as long as you get off the track alright you've won."

McDonald's presence will add to what will be another intriguing Classic SpeedFest where drivers lineup in cars from yesteryear.

This year is the celebration of 25 years of Classic SpeedFest.

Cars from various eras will line up with a Ferrari 412T1B Formula 1 car being taken do demonstration laps at lunchtime on both days.

Former Formula 1 driver Gianfranco Brancatelli will return for a second year running at the wheel of a Ford Sierra RS500.  

The Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee Tour and Historic Muscle Cars will be two popular categories with drivers from Sweden, United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Denmark, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil taking part.

Action starts 9am both Saturday and Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 - Stuff

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