Knowler grabs OSCA series lead
Southland driver Lawrence Knowler moved into the South Island OSCA Championship lead with a solid showing at Teretonga Park, Invercargill, and last weekend.
The meeting was the final event of the Southland Sports Car Club’s 50th Anniversary year.
Knowler wrested the OSCA series lead off Invercargill driver Colin Dawson, the reigning New Zealand champion.
Dawson won the first race in his 6.0-litre Mazda RX7 after a good battle with Knowler. Chris Hatton (Camaro) was third.
In the second race, a handicap event, Knowler scythed through the pack to win, from Hatton and Laine Ettwell (Pontiac GTO). Dawson could only manage fourth and then didn’t make the start of the final race because of a diff problem.
Etwell won from Raymond Hart (Nissan Skyline) and Knowler.
Knowler’s results, allied to Dawson’s retirement, left him in the championship lead.
Neville Stowell of Timaru set the pace in the Kumho Sport Saloon Series, winning two of the three races in his Nissan Skyline GTR.
Fellow Timaru driver Mike Small, in a similar car, put pressure on Stowell, finishing second in the opener and winning the second race before retiring from the third, a handicap race won by Stowell.
Dunedin’s Steve Ross took pole position for the Pre 65 Saloon races, but it was local driver Wayne Tuffley who romped away with the first race to win from Greg Stewart and Ross. All three drove Ford Mustangs. On his way to the win, Tuffley set a new lap record of 1m 07.46 seconds.
Tuffley was quickly into the lead of the second race but received a drive-through penalty which dropped him down the order. Ross won from Jim Little (AP6 Chrysler Valiant) with Gareth Hall third in his Ford Falcon. Little won race 3 from Roy MacDonald (Ford Fairlane), with Sim third.
Nathan Blomquist of Christchurch won two of the three Super 6 saloon car races, leading Peter Hughes and Lance Thompson across the line in the second race before winning the final race from Thompson and Hughes third.
Dunedin’s John Whelan dominated the South Island Formula Ford Championship races, qualifying fastest on Saturday and winning all three races on Sunday. Driving his Van Diemen Stealth, the Motorsport Solutions driver, who is currently second in the NZ Formula Ford Championship, won all three races quite comfortably.
Winton driver Pierre Neame was the fastest of the Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Series drivers, winning the first race from Matthew Ralston in a Nissan Silvia and Scott Laurence in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.
However, Neame’s Ford Capri expired in a cloud of smoke during one of the OSCA races leaving Stephen Grellet (BMW M3) to win the second race from Darryn Andrews (Nissan Primera) and Laurence. In the engine capacity class races later in the day, Andrews and Laurence both won their classes, while Jeremy Dawson and Paul Thompson took the others.