Scott O’Donnell, driving his Porsche GT3 Cup car, won the one-hour feature race on the South Canterbury Car Club’s programme at Timaru Raceway last Sunday.
The race was closely contested, with father and son pairing Trevor and Jarrod Parmenter’s 2.3-litre Mitsubishi Lancer Evo racing away from the front row and building a small buffer over O’Donnell.
The Parmenters looked set to take a hometown victory, but about 10 minutes from the finish a wire to an injector broke causing the Mitsubishi to lapse on to three cylinders.
That enabled O’Donnell to close in and take the lead and retain it to the chequer.
Parmenter managed to keep going and take second place ahead of Lindsay O’Donnell in the second of the Porsche GT3s.
Then it was back to Ron Shelton in his fast Nissan Silvia and the Bruce Davidson/David Gardner Chevrolet Corvette C5.
The first five finished on 51 laps, with Brent Russell a lap down with his Mitsubishi Evo in sixth.
Former champion Lawrence Knowler qualified on pole for the opening round of the Printstop South Island OSCA Series, with his Brennan Camaro setting a time of 1m 04.994s – comfortably faster than fellow Invercargill man Colin Dawson with his Mazda RX8 (Mazda-Chev) on 1m 06.016s.
Third on the grid, behind Dawson, was Chris Hatton with his newly acquired ex-Andy Greenslade Chevrolet Camaro.
Knowler won the opening race from Dawson with Laine Etwell in his self-built, Lexus-powered Mitsubishi GTO getting up to third place and setting the fastest lap at 1m 04.969s.
In the reverse grid race Raymond Hart led away in his Nissan Skyline GTR, but the faster cars closed quickly and Dawson took the lead with two laps to go. He was chased by Etwell who had an edge on handling, but his smaller Lexus V8 lacked the power of Dawson’s Chevy on the straights.
Dawson took the flag first from Etwell and Knowler.
In the handicap race Hart made the most of a generous time delay to the V8s provided by the handicappers. Steven King-Turner, making the move up from club racing, held second with his Camaro from a fast-closing Dawson.
It was a battle of the V8s in the Kumho South Island Pre 65 series’ second round.
Steve Ross took pole in his Ford Mustang fastback at 1m 12.023s, from Wayne Patrick’s XP Ford Falcon on 1m 12.884s, and went on to win a close first race from Patrick and local man Jim Little (Chrysler Valiant V8).
The reverse grid heat saw little lead initially, until he made an uncharacteristic error and ran off-track and let Manny Sim through in his notchback Mustang. Ross piled on the pressure, but Sim was equal to the task and held out to the flag with his ex-Sprague Mustang.
Former champion Roy MacDonald led most of the handicap race in his Ford Fairlane, but Sim caught and passed him to take the chequered flag ahead of MacDonald and Ross.
The Firestone Super Six field looked set to provide some close racing when five cars qualified in the 1m 15s bracket, points leader Peter Hughes top qualifying.
Hughes won the scratch race, while Clara Bond’s challenge faded as Nathan Blomquist and Lance Thompson got by her to take second and third places.
In the reverse grid event, Blomquist battled to the front and held off some stern challenges from Thompson to run out the winner, with Todd Sutherland some distance back in third.
It was Blomquist again in the third race, leading all the way and once again coming under pressure from Thompson but holding out to the finish, while Hughes finished third chased by Bond.
Gary Johnstone raced his Mini Challenge car together with the Toyo Tyres Pro 7s and the Flexoplas Mini 7s, and top qualified, but had to start each race from the pitlane.
Graham Beirne (#2NZ) was the fastest Pro 7 runner ahead of the experienced Gregg Taylor, while Mark Mitchell was the fastest of the Mini 7 contenders.
As expected, Beirne won the Pro 7 scratch race, with Ecca Tanfana second and Anton Summerfield third.
In the Mini 7 category Grant Kugener again took the battle to Mitchell and led the former class champion home with Scott Paterson taking a strong third.
The second Pro 7 race was fairly straightforward – Mark Elliot leading all the way and Summerfield taking second place after he got past Craig Borley. Mitchell, Paterson and Kugener scrapped in the Mini 7 section with Mitchell holding the upper hand and Paterson and Kugener crossing the line virtually side-by-side for second and third.
Taylor led all the way in the third Pro 7 race with another former champion Hamish Collins holding off an early challenge from Beirne to take second. Paterson showed that the battle for the South Island Mini 7 Series might be a three-way tussle this season by winning the class from Mitchell and Mark Donaldson.