'Modern-day MacGyver' angers Aussies with his win
"It'll be the best-looking ponga wagon we've had."ISOBEL EWING
A $94,000 V8 performance car is leaving the Australian racing scene for New Plymouth, where its new occupation will include doing doughnuts and towing ponga trees.
Cameron Jellick, 22, recently won an Australasia-wide Supercheap Auto loyalty club competition.
His prizes included a 2012 HSV Holden Clubsport owned by Supercar driver Russell Ingall, two VIP pit passes to the Sydney Telstra 500 with flights and accommodation paid and a $2000 Supercheap voucher.
Cameron works for his father's business, Kotare Ponga, transporting ponga trees from their 1011-hectare farm into town where they are sold for landscaping and garden alterations.
Cameron's father Paul Jellick was looking forward to seeing how the Holden would shape up against his own performance car.
"We'll get [the] Corvette out and see which one does the best doughnuts."
The announcement of a Kiwi winner of the competition on Facebook was met with numerous comments from disgruntled Australians.
"Should've been a HSV Wagon, to fit all the sheep in," one commenter said.
Mr Jellick was delighted with the Aussie response. "They'll be spewing if they find out it's being used for doughnuts and pulling pongas. It'll be the best-looking ponga wagon we've had."
The winner almost had to be redrawn because Cameron was out of touch for two days while working out in the bush.
He plans to use the vouchers for servicing and new machinery for the ponga business.
"We've got a 10-tonne bulldozer, a full-size road grader, a 12-tonne digger. They're all in major need of repair.
"It's not just getting wasted on speakers."
But he wasn't looking forward to standing up in front of the crowd at the Telstra 500 to be presented the car by Russell Ingall. "I'll probably just wear shorts and jandals."
Paul Jellick said the prize was perfect for his son who was "at the beginning of his petrolhead career".
Cameron was one of the shop's biggest customers, he said.
"He's down there all the bloody time."
He said Cameron had been brought up surrounded by motorsports and had a broad knowledge of modern car technologies.
"He started working on cars with his dad at age 2 and was driving stock cars at 13.
"He's absolutely meticulous . . . if my gas axe doesn't work he'll come in and fix it up.
"He's a modern-day MacGyver."
- Taranaki Daily News
Is this the best summer ever?Related story: Wellington sizzles in January heat