Canadian here for racing, golf

JACOB PAGE
Last updated 05:00 09/02/2013
jack ondrack
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ

GLOBAL RACER: Jack Ondrack likes to split winter vacation time between racing his TVR Tuscan V8 and several rounds of golf around New Zealand.

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For 57 years Jack Ondrack's passion for racing cars has taken him all over the world and he shows no signs of slowing down.

The 73-year-old from Edmonton and his rebuilt TVR Tuscan V8 have been a regular sight at the Southern Racing Series events like the one at Timaru's International Motor Raceway this weekend. For the last 13 years he has never missed a chance to line up on the grid.

Ondrack has been a regular visitor to New Zealand for the last 23 years - he has spent six to eight weeks here during the summer months to avoid the sub-zero temperatures of the Edmonton winter.

Ondrack, who owns more than 10 racing cars including five Porsches and three former IndyCars, purchased two Tuscan V8s in America more than 20 years ago and then shipped the parts to Riversdale, 20 minutes outside of Invercargill, where Greg Elder put one car together over the course of several years

"From the remains of two TVRs that sat in my garage for five or 10 years . . . We shipped all these parts to Invercargill and Greg put it together."

The first few times behind the wheel did not go so well.

The beginning was diabolical.

"The TVRs are well known for their ill-handling . . . But we gradually worked it out . . . The last two or three years, the car has been quite highly developed."

Ondrack races in America, Canada and Europe.

He raced a Porsche 911 last year around the streets of Copenhagen and got into a crash he says was caused by Prince Joachim, sixth in line to be King of Denmark.

"He came over later to apologise for the incident and I didn't know whether to bow or curtsy.

During his time in New Zealand, Ondrack said he wanted to play as many rounds of golf as possible and wanted to have at least one round where he shot his age.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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