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Teretonga opener attracts good entries


The 2006-2007 season at Teretonga Park gets underway on Sunday with a race meeting featuring both cars and bikes.

The meeting, presented by Fulton Hogan Ltd, has attracted some interesting entries and close, competitive racing should result.

The feature event will be the A1 Auto Services 1 Hour Endurance Race. Twenty - four cars have entered the enduro with competitors travelling from as far afield as Wellington, Nelson and from throughout Otago and Southland. The corresponding race last year was a thriller. Gore driver Dave McLean led until the last lap when he left the track in his Honda Integra and let Invercargill driver Donald Walker through in his Subaru Impreza to win. Both men are back this year but the opposition will be very, very tough.

Mark Scott of Wellington has made the trek south for the event with his Group A BMW M3 while Steve Ross of Dunedin has entered his Oldsmobile Cutlass. The Oldsmobile is more at home in shorter sprint races but if it can see out the distance should be a contender for victory. Other possible frontrunners include Gore driver Gary Jenkins in a Holden Commodore, Queenstown's Grant Aitken in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9, Ross Hurley of Nelson in another Integra and Chris Henderson of Dunedin in his BMW GTR. The quality of the entry makes this year's 1 Hour race one of the most difficult enduro's to predict in recent times.

Sunday's programme also includes the annual Southland versus Otago challenge, where Southland are the reigning champions, plus the Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons. In addition to Ross and the Oldsmobile there are several exciting big banger saloons among the entries. Colin Dawson of Invercargill will have his V8 powered Mazda on track along with Pierre Neame in his Ford Capri and Roy MacDonald of Dunedin in his Ford Fairlane. However despite the presence of these heavyweights there are several very fast, smaller saloons capable of mixing it with the bigger cars. That includes many of the Enduro competitors such as Scott, Henderson and Walker plus Dunedin's Stuart Black in his rapid Toyota Starlet, Darryn Andrews in a Nissan Primera and Invercargill's Robert Ralston in a Nissan Skyline to name just a few. There is a wide variety of machinery in the Clubmans races including Nissan Skylines, several Mitsubishi EVO's, Ford Falcon's, Porsches and more.

The B Class Saloons will see several new names amongst the field and the return of Ivan Burney to the track after some years away from competition.

The motorcycles will have three races throughout the day, the only occasion that both cars and bikes race on the same programme at Teretonga Park each year. Fourteen bikes have entered with the battles at the front of the field likely to be dominated by Jeremy Holmes on a Honda CBR600, John Beck on a Kawasaki ZX6 and Ricky Porter on Beck's former Yamaha TZ250.

The action begins at 11am with the admission price for adults $10 each while children under 14 are free.

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