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Teretonga season wraps up


The 2010/2011 motor racing season at Teretonga Park in Invercargill was capped off by more good racing on the weekend

The race day, presented by Downer, saw some top class racing in all three categories.
Bradley Dawson of Invercargill enjoyed a successful day in the Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloon races. Driving the V8 powered Mazda RX7 of his uncle Colin Dawson, after many years of working as part of the pit crew on the car, Dawson won four of the five races for the class. In the first he came from fifth on the grid to cross the line ahead of pole man Darryn Andrews of Christchurch in his Nissan Primera with Robert Ralston of Invercargill third in his Nissan Silvia. Another Invercargill competitor, Andrew Brown in a Honda Civic Turbo, snatched fourth on the line from Brent Cross of Winton in a Mitsubishi EVO.
In the second race Dawson was on target for victory again when the distributor failed leaving Brown, who had made a great start from the second row of the grid, to win from Ralston with Andrews third.
The third contest, a race for class points, was red flagged after Ralston spun in the loop on the opening lap causing the field to take evasive action. Cross was the worst affected and did not take the restart. Brown led when the race got underway again but Dawson took the lead at end of the first lap and cruised away to win convincingly from Brown and Ralston. The class winners were
Dawson, Ivan Harvey of Invercargill (Toyota Levin), Jeremy Dawson of Invercargill (Toyota Starlet) and Walter Willmott of Invercargill in his Star Car.
Dawson raced away to win the Flying Farewell from Brown and Ralston while Willmott missed breaking Jamie Conroy's 0-1300cc class lap record by just 1/1000th of a second. When an extra race was added to the days programme Dawson was again victorious, leading home Ralston while Brown came from the back of the grid for third.
In the Pre 65 Saloons Barry Morgan of Wanaka in a Falcon XP was on pole for the first race with Wayne Tuffley of Invercargill in a Ford Mustang alongside. The duo had a good battle in the early stages with Brian Scott of Dunedin tracking them in his Falcon XP. Tuffley got through to the lead but his car started smoking badly and he retired near the end of race with a broken oil line leaving Morgan to win from Scott. Newcomer John Smolenski of Invercargill had a good run in the Greg Stewart Mustang coming from the back after a slow start to finish third.
The second race was a handicap contest with Ray Hurst of Raikaia leading early in his Ford Anglia. Tuffley was making great progress and took the lead at the start of final lap to win from Christchurch drivers John Michelle in a Ford Cortina and Bill Evans in an Anglia. Stu Mitchell of Invercargill was fourth in another Anglia ahead of Hurst. Scott and Morgan had a good battle to come home sixth and seventh, Scott beating Morgan by .074 of a second.
The final race was also a handicap event with Nathan Pilcher of Dunedin in an Anglia and Ian Perry of Christchurch in a Hillman Imp first away. The duo had turns in the lead before Pilcher got back in front to cross the line ahead of Smolenski, who did another good job to bring the Mustang through the field, and Michelle. However both Smolenski and Michelle received 50 second penalties for passing under yellow flags promoting Perry back to second with Gary Parker of Christchurch third in his Anglia. Tuffley again retired the Mustang during the race.
Young Invercargill driver Jamie Conroy took a clean sweep in the Sports & Racing Car Class in his Formula Renault. Don Nelson of Riverton was fastest in qualifying in his FF2000 Reynard ahead of Invercargill driver Damon Leitch in a Formula Ford. However neither started the first race, Nelson due to a starter motor problem and Leitch a water pump issue. That left Conroy and Steve Heffernan of Invercargill to battle for the lead. Conroy won from Heffernan and Trevor Earley of Invercargill. Nelson and Leitch returned for second race but were both off the back of the grid. Conroy won easily but Nelson got through to place second ahead of Heffernan while a suspension breakage sent Leitch spinning off circuit on the main straight.
Nelson led initially in the third race but Conroy took over to seal his third victory from Nelson with Steve Heffernan third after Damon Leitch, using the Reynard belonging to his employer Dave McKenzie, retired with a flywheel problem.
In the Flying Farewell Conroy led early before Nelson took over. The pair had a great dice with Nelson holding on until Conroy dived down the inside at the final corner to win from Nelson with Justin Heffernan of Invercargill third in his Van Diemen.
The meeting brought down the curtain on the 2010/2011 race season, one that featured plenty of memorable moments along with the highlight of the opening of the Southland Sports Car Clubs new state of the art Control Tower at the circuit.

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