It was a superb start to the Star Insure Classic SpeedFest 2023 at Teretonga Park in Invercargill yesterday.
The day saw qualifying sessions for all classes in the morning with at least one race for each class throughout the remainder of the day.
Matt Coory won the sole Historic & Vintage Racing Association race on the programme, beating home Paul Burnet of Orakei in another Mustang with Dennis McConnell of Feilding third in the ex-Halliday brothers Ford Escort.
The Pre 78 Classic Saloon races produced two different winners with Roy Macdonald of Dunedin in his Ford Fairlane snatching victory right on the line from Rodger Cunninghame of Te Anau (Ford Mustang) in the first race with Mark McGuinness of Wellington third in his Alfa Romeo GTV105.
The second contest was a handicap race and Alistair Campbell of Alexandra did a fine job in his Fiat 128R to take the flag from Blair Bishop of Dunedin in his Fiat 124 OT 1300 and Clyde driver Rod Sinclair in an Alfa Romeo Guilia third.
Barry Leitch of Invercargill dominated Formula Libre in his Ralt RT4 leading Grant Clearwater of Kerikeri in a Brabham BT16 home in both of today’s races with Gerald Duncan of Auckland in his SID 2 third each time.
Mark Barrett of Christchurch qualified fastest and won both the Vintage Racing Car races in his Lotus 23B replica. In the first he crossed the line ahead of Wellington’s John Rapley in a Brabham BT2 Formula Junior with Barrett’s wife Tracey third in a Lotus 23C Replica. In the second, Tracey Barrett was second with Graeme Hamilton of Lyttelton third in an ACE III.
Both Historic Formula Ford races produced identical results with Stephen Heffernan of Invercargill winning both in his Johnstone from Aucklander Robin Longdon (Lola T342) and Ron Wilkin of Tuakau in an Elden.
The Classic Saloons and Rennsport cars raced together in just one race today with Graham Baker taking the win in a Noble Ford from Robert Hyslop of Tauranga in a Mazda RX7 with Jeff Luske of Christchurch, the first Rennsport car, third in his Porsche 996GT3.
The Noel McIntyre Drainage Club Saloons were split into two groups and Jordan Michels of Invercargill won both Group A races in his MARC Ford Focus, the first from Andrew Cundall of Invercargill (Toyota Levin) and Liam MacDonald (Ford Falcon) and the second from Kyle Dawson of Invercargill (Nissan Skyline) and Pierre Neame Winton of Winton in a Ford Mustang.
Kieran Roberts from Invercargill in his Commodore won the only Group B race held today from Warren Kett of Invercargill in a Mazda RX7 and Paul Sayer of Queenstown in a Toyota Starlet. Today’s programme, which consists of eighteen races, commenced at 9am.
One of the highlights will be the inaugural race for the Brian Crosbie Memorial Trophy to mark the recent passing of one of the Southland Sports Car Club’s best ever saloon car racers. Brian’s son Shane will do two parade laps in a DKW previously raced by his father preceding the race.
Images: Vanessa Adcock Photography.