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13-yr old to debut at Teretonga Park


Teretonga Park's final race meeting of 2006 this Sunday features a strong line up of categories.

The event, presented by Fulton Hogan, features five different classes of racing.

The Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans classes are joined by the Pre 65 Saloons, the Kumho Sport Saloons, Super 6 Saloons and Pro 7's to make for an exciting and varied programme.

Thirteen - year - old Damon Leitch will compete at the meeting in a Van Diemen RF87 Formula Ford. Leitch, a year 9 student at James Hargest College, will have a busy weekend of motorsport. On Saturday he will race in a kart enduro at the Invercargill Kart Club track and the following day he will make his motor racing debut at Teretonga. To add interest to his debut the youngster will be racing against his father, well known Southland motorsport identity Barry Leitch. The younger Leitch comes to the sport with an impressive karting pedigree having been a Club Champion 7 years in a row and having finished 2nd in the South Island Junior Championships this year and 4th last year.

The single seater class on Sunday also includes Canadian driver Evan Williams in a Swift DB4.

Other family ties at the track this Sunday include the Ralston family with father Robert and sons Matthew and Anthony competing while Inky Tulloch and his daughter Amanda are also among the entries.

The Pre 65 Saloon grid features some impressive machinery in a grid reminiscent of some of the best days of this category. There are two Ford Mustangs including that of Invercargill driver Wayne Tuffley plus Steve Ross of Dunedin in the ex Glen Brazier car while Jason Galbraith of Christchurch will race his 7 litre Chrysler Plymouth. Cliff Brunning of Nelson will be in his 6.8 litre Chevrolet Nova while Roy MacDonald has a Ford Fairlane and Tony Jeffs a Ford Galaxie.

The Kumho Sport Saloon races should develop into a battle between early season pacesetters Ashburton driver Kerry Bartlett and Timaru's Mike Small plus reigning champion Arron Black of Dunedin. Bartlett drove his Mazda RX7 "Batmobile" to victory at the opening round of the series at Powerbuilt Tools International Raceway while Small took victory at Timaru in his Nissan Skyline. Black shared a round win at Teretonga Park with Small the first time the series visited the southern track last year and won the round on the second visit.

Others to watch out for are John Hepburn, the former motorcycle and truck racing champion of Timaru who has made a very successful transition to cars, and two other Timaru drivers - Neville Stowell who is racing a Subaru Legacy until his new Nissan Skyline is ready and Matt Dunn.

The Super 6 Saloons bring their 6 cylinder Ford versus Holden battle to Teretonga for the first time this season. Twelve Commodores and five Falcons will line up with Gore drivers Russell Keeler and John Muir plus Invercargill's Mervyn Lloyd among their ranks.

The Pro 7's return with their field of Mazda RX7's. One - make racing is always extremely close and exciting and although there is a small entry the cars will run in a delayed start with the Super 6 Saloons.

Practice commences at 10.30am on Sunday morning with racing to follow throughout the day. Admission for adults is $10 each with children under 14 years of age free.

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