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John Hawkins' Motorsport


Can Am sports cars shake Ruapuna

Six American and Canadian Can Am sports racing cars, together will Ian Clements’ Formula 5000-based Frissbee, starred at last weekend’s Skope Classic race meeting at Powerbuilt Raceway, Christchurch.

Clocking speeds approaching 280kmh, the cars raced side-by side and swapped places, putting on an entertaining spectacle for the large crowd.

Canadian McLaren M6B driver Jay Esterer won the 12-lap feature race for the Can Am cars. Esterer said that he races the car perhaps two or three times a year in the United States and keeps sharp racing karts in Canada.

Former Tasman Cup Revival F5000 winner Clements (Christchurch) took delivery of the Frissbee two weeks before the meeting after importing it from the United States.

Although fitted with a 350 cubic inch crate engine, Clements was impressed with the handling characteristics generated by the high downforce sports car bodywork.

The rest of the field comprised two other M6Bs, a Lola T163, a Porsche look-alike Rawlson CR11 and the crowd favourite – Tom Malloys’s 8.1 litre McLaren M8E, complete with the large rear mounted wing.

Brian Blain from Visalia, California, regularly races at the Skope Classic meeting.

He said that together with former Canterbury Car Club president Keith Cowan, he had been trying to put together a group of Can Am cars to come to New Zealand for around 10 years. He has owned his ex-Chuck Parsons Lola T163 for 20 years.

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