Highlands Festival of Speed
At Easter, the spectacular Highlands Motorsport Park hosted their first-ever Festival of Speed as they brought a touch of Goodwood to Central Otago.
As I was returning to the South Island on the Thursday prior to the weekend and getting the carpet of the editorial Porsche washed by the floodwaters between Picton and Christchurch I seriously doubted that any sort of motorsport was going to be happening.
Yet by the time I got to Cromwell on Good Friday, the sun was out, the skies clear and conditions were looking good for classic racers to make their Highlands debut.
The 70+ cars entered were split into four classes getting two races each day. The lunch break featured the Highlands Fling, a “run what you brung” single car sprint on a shortened track for those wanting to take their proper cars for a blast on the track without the worry of having someone else’s accident.
Inky Tulloch added some smoke and noise to proceedings with demonstrations of his Freightliner race truck and circuit owner Tony Quinn was showing off his exMichael Schumacher Benetton Ford, the car in which the nine-time Formula One champion scored his first Word Championship points.
Crews were encouraged to wear period costume and Rob Boult’s all-female, all-pink team were by far the best dressed and most photographed mechanics in pitlane.
In the area in front of the National Motorsport Museum a display of classic cars and motorbikes was an interesting distraction from the on-track action and the daily fashion parade (fashion from the period of the old car you were associated with, rather that the sort of clothing you would actually want to be seen in public wearing) drew a large and appreciative crowd each day.
The “Highland Fling” sprint was almost as popular as the actual racing
Classic racers need a good sense of humour