The opening meeting of the 2009/2010 season at Teretonga Park in Invercargill this weekend was notable for dominant performances in most classes
Timaru driver Jarrod Parmenter was the man to beat in the Toyo Tyres Pro 7 Class. He qualified on pole and won all three races, each time leading Craig Borley of Mosgiel across the line.
Christchurch driver Jason Corboy was third in two of the races while Dean Maw of Invercargill picked up the other third placing. The class provided some good battles along with several spins amidst close competition. The other Invercargill driver in the field, Wayne Elliott, qualified well but struck problems in the races.
Steve Ross of Dunedin impressed on his first appearance at Teretonga in his new McRae GM1 during the Sports & Racing Car races. The McRae, one of the most successful cars of the Formula 5000 era in the early 1970s, was too quick for the less powerful competition. Ross took pole position and then won all four races, each time starting from the pitlane.
Don Nelson of Riverton was his closest challenger taking two second placings before his Reynard succumbed to mechanical problems. Steve Heffernan of Invercargill took second place in each of the remaining races after finishing third in the previous two. John Stevenson of Queenstown, making a welcome return to the track, and Irish driver Paul McCulla shared the other podium finishes.
Local driver Colin Dawson almost made a clean sweep of his races in his V8 powered Mazda RX7. Dawson, a former NZ OSCA Saloon car champion, qualified fastest and won the opening
Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloon Group A race. He also won the Clubmans Class race and the traditional Flying Farewell and was clearly the fastest saloon on the track.
However, he jumped the start in the second Clubmans Group A race and was penalised 20 seconds. Although he crossed the line in the lead when the penalty was applied he dropped to third behind Andrew Cundall and Pierre Neame of Winton.
Cundall of Invercargill had earlier finished second behind Dawson in the opening race with Steve Scoles of Outram third in his Triumph TR7. Cundall and Neame in a Ford Capri later chased Dawson home in both the Class Race and the Flying Farewell to finish second and third respectively on each occasion.
Meanwhile Jeremy Dawson dominated the Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons Group B races from Greg Elder. Rick Michels took his Ford Falcon replica Star Car to third in the first race while newcomer Kane Shuttleworth was third in the other in a Nissan Silvia.
Michels had a busy day, driving the Star Car in some races and his BMW M3 in others. He won the 1601-2500cc Class Race in his BMW while Dawson won the 1301-1600cc class and Walter Wilmott of Invercargill took the 0-1300cc Class in another Star Car. Wilmott capped a good day with a new lap record for the 0-1300cc class, setting a time of 1 minute 11.706 seconds.
In Saturday's Asko Appliances South Island Endurance Series race Auckland duo Matt and Dwayne Carter took their BA Ford Falcon V8 Supercar to a 54.913 second victory over Scott and Lindsay O'Donnell in their Porsche GT3 RSR.
The race was scheduled to run for three hours but a lengthy interruption for an incident that saw the Datsun 510 of Derin Greenslade hit the tyre wall heavily meant the distance was trimmed to two hours. Greenslade was taken to hospital for x-rays after he was extracted from the badly damaged Datsun.
After qualifying on pole position the Carter Falcon led off the line only to require an early pitstop to replace a plug lead. That allowed the O'Donnell Porsche to build a good lead but after the restart the gap had closed and the Carter Falcon steadily reeled them in to take victory. The Chev C5 Corvette of Bruce Davidson and David Garden, a car they built themselves, was third.
The next meeting at Teretonga Park takes place on Sunday 1 November and will feature the A1 Auto Services 1 Hour Endurance Race, the Southland versus Otago Challenge, Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons, Sports & Racing Cars plus motorcycles.