EVOLUTION CLASSIC SPEEDFEST
You know that you’ve just watched a great race when, on the cool-down lap, all the flag marshals leave their posts to applaud the two leading contenders — what a battle! Invercargill’s Brendon Mason gave it his all in the last race for the Classic Saloons over 2501cc class, and provided a real crowdthriller finish. Bearing in mind that the PDL Mustang is a purpose-built race car that was hugely successful in its day and Mason’s Camaro was a highly modified road car, the epic battle that ensued at this meeting was classic racing at its best.
Sidelined on Saturday with gearbox problems, the PDL Mustang crew worked hard to get this iconic race car back on the track for two wins on Sunday.
Mason really threw the big Camaro around the tight back curves of Teretonga Park, putting heavy pressure on Stewart, who held on to the win — the standing ovation around the track was well deserved.
Mason won the first race on Saturday for this group over Ross Graham (New Plymouth) in his Holden Torana, followed by Bradley Dawson (Invercargill) in his Camaro. Le Roy Stevenson returned to the pits with a blown differential in his Freeth Starlet before he was able to race. In the second race (handicap), Graham Fraser (Queenstown) led home in his BMW with Stuart Black (Dunedin) in his Porsche 944 second.
Classic Saloons 0–2501cc was dominated by Darren Clark (Queenstown) in his Toyota Starlet with two good wins, while Scott O’donnell (Invercargill) had a win in his Alfa Romeo GTV2000, and Sandra Eden (Queenstown) took the other win in her BMW in the handicap race on Sunday. Formula Ford (FF) honours went to Jordan Michels in his Mygale FF with fellow Invercargill driver Steve Heffernan second in his FF in all their weekend races.
Historic Touring Cars provided another highlight when two-time World Touring Car champion Paul Radisich arrived down for the weekend of racing and also for the special Ford Motorsport celebration at Bill Richardson Transport World on the Friday evening before the race meeting. When Radisich was reunited with his old Ford Mondeo super tourer, he showed that he has not lost his touch, finishing second to
Phil Mauger in his Nissan Primera. Radisich had to leave early and did not take part in the second race, again won by Mauger, with Bruce Miles (Christchurch) in a BMW in second. Miles won twice on Sunday.
Vintage Racing Cars had two races on Saturday with Paul Coory (Mosgiel) the winner in his Chevrolet Sprinter in both. On Sunday, Graeme Hamilton (Lyttelton) won both of Sunday’s races in his ACE III. Formula Libre was dominated by Gary Cooper (Mosgiel) in his Reynard with three wins and twice breaking the lap record. In the last race, he copped a 10-second penalty, and Brendon Leitch took the win his Ralt.
Sports Cars was dominated by Jack Ondrack (Canada) in a TVR Tuscan V8, who won all four races. Trevor Lines (Auckland) in his beautifully prepared Redline Special, Jason Crosbie (Invercargill) in his Beck Special, and Dave Robertson (Invercargill) in his ACE Buckler shared the other placings.
Pre-65s racing was a great weekend for Paul Clarke (Dunedin) in his Ford Mustang with three wins from four races. In the handicap race, John Mackley (Wallacetown) took a win in his Ford Anglia, while, down the order, some great battles entertained the crowd.
Noel Mcintyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons showed Liam Macdonald (Invercargill) to be too tough to beat, with the orange Ford Falcon flying home well ahead of the field for wins in all four events. Liam also took the honours in the Flying Farewell.