A huge crowd witnessed another superb weekend of motorsport when the CRC 200 took place at Teretonga Park in Invercargill this weekend
Racing in many of the classes was ultra-close as the country's best drivers and several international competitors put on a great show at the fast 2.6-kilometre circuit.
Championship leader John McIntyre of Nelson took another round win as Round 3 of the BNT V8s Championship was fought out. However competition was tight as the former two-time champion took pole position in qualifying by just .082 of a second from Auckland's Angus Fogg and then featured in one of the closest ever V8 race finishes on Sunday afternoon when he crossed the line just .036 of a second ahead of Craig Baird.
McIntyre won the first two races of the round with Baird second on each occasion while Tim Edgell and Fogg took a third place each in a meeting dominated by the Fords. In the reverse grid race Paul Manuell took a win for Holden from Nick Ross and defending BNT V8s Champion Kayne Scott. Overall for the weekend McIntyre took the round from Baird. Fogg was originally third but received a time penalty in the final race promoting Scott to the podium. However Fogg protested and was later reinstated.
The Spirit Of A Nation Trophy, contested in the second of the Toyota Racing Series races, is bound for Estonia after Sten Pentus won the race. He also accumulated enough points across the three races to win the round. Fifteen-year-old Auckland star Mitch Evans was the man to beat initially, taking pole position and winning Saturdays opening race. Evans was leading the Spirit Of A Nation Trophy race too until he slowed dramatically within sight of the flag, handing victory to Pentus. The third race went to Lucas Foresti of Brazil who won the race after kiwi Andrew Waite who led across the line incurred a time penalty after a false start. Former Team New Zealand A1GP driver Earl Bamber endured a tough weekend with a multitude of problems, before he salvaged second in the final race. Tauramanui driver Daniel Jilesen had a top weekend, three third placings giving him third overall for the round behind Pentus and Evans.
The Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup races were hotly contested with Australian V8 Supercar driver David Reynolds winning both of Sundays races after American based kiwi Matt Halliday won Saturdays double points mini-enduro. Reynolds took the round win from Halliday and Craig Baird, backing up from his V8 drives.
Championship leader and local star Damon Leitch was forced off the track in the first two races of the Zoagn Formula Ford Championship and was given a drive through penalty in the last to round off a miserable weekend for the Southlander. While he battled the odds, Martin Short of Hamilton and Matt Williams of Christchurch fought it out with some superb battles, Short winning two races to win the round from Williams who won the other race.
Ben Dallas of Auckland was the overall winner of the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup round. Wanganui driver William Bamber won the first two races, the first by a huge margin but Dallas scored a win plus a second and third placing while Bamber could only manage fifth in the reverse grid race, leaving him second overall.
The Production Racing Series races featured great racing between Simon Sceats of Auckland and Queenstown driver Grant Aitken. Sceats took the round and Scott McKelvie, by virtue of his win in the reverse grid race, finished second overall with Aitken, who was slowed in the finale, third.
Matthew Hamilton of Christchurch won the MINI Challenge class in his TKR Mini from Auckland's David Grigor with championship leader Ryan Bailey third.
The next race meeting at Teretonga Park is the Evolution Motorsport Classic SpeedFest on 20/21 February.