Timaru driver Daniel Taylor took out a thrilling first round of the New Zealand Pro 7 Championships held in Invercargill.
Taylor and Pareora's Hamish Collins both drove extremely well to take two wins each in their respective classes.
Taylor, however, took top spot in the Pro 7 class posting two wins and a second place.
Collins finished second to Dean McMillan in the Pro 7 Plus class for the round with a sixth and two wins. McMillan's consistency saw him placed first, second and third in the three races.
The races also doubled as a round of the South Island Championships.
Close racing in the Pro 7 caused a few bent panels on a number of cars. In race one Taylor made a good start to lead into the first turn, then eased away lap by lap to win by 2.7sec.
Timaru's George Gilbert was the big mover in the race, moving from 10th to fourth.
The reverse top 10 grid provided plenty of drama with Gilbert getting hit off down the first straight, out of the race and weekend with a broken suspension arm.
Four corners later, two cars came together and others went in all direction to allow the fast three of Ken Thompson, Bob Smith and Taylor to the front by the end of lap one. Smith and Taylor got by Thompson and had a good fight of their own before the flag, with Smith winning.
Race 3 started with Taylor going from first to fifth by the first corner. Smith took the lead from Thompson but by the race end Taylor worked his way through to take a great win from Smith and Wayne Elliott.
In Pro 7 Plus race 1 McMillan won by just 0.3sec from Matt Gibson, while Collins finished sixth after taking evasive action to miss a car on lap one.
Race 2 reverse grid start saw Collins lead from start to finish and the final race saw McMillan lead until Collins slipped past over the back side of the circuit to take a great win.
The next round for South Island Pro 7 is on October 14 at the Timaru International Motor Raceway.
- The Timaru Herald