2014 Mike Pero Wi­gram Re­vival

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News Classic News & Views From All Arou - Words and Pho­tos Lloyd Proc­tor, Can­ter­bury Car Club

As has be­come tra­di­tion, the im­pend­ing ar­rival of sum­mer in Can­ter­bury was an­nounced by the sound of engines wak­ing from their long winter hi­ber­na­tion for the Can­ter­bury Car Club’s Wi­gram Re­vival meet­ing. As Wi­gram has been taken from us as a venue, rac­ing is at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Rua­puna, and South Is­land driv­ers were rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity of a pre-sea­son hit-out be­fore the in­tense sched­ule of clas­sic meet­ings across the coun­try over the next three months.

A de­cent bit of weather doesn’t hurt ei­ther, and the crowd on the banks and wan­der­ing through the pits were get­ting great value for their money. Where else would you get to see a real V12 Fer­rari For­mula One car or an Ar­rows AX3 three-seater up close and on track?

The meet­ing was a com­bi­na­tion of some of the tra­di­tional crowd pullers, as well as a new class which pro­vided a bril­liant spec­ta­cle, the Main­land Mus­cle Cars. A full field of 25 thun­der­ing pre 1985 V8s hark­ing back to the great days of All­com­ers Sa­loons have been sit­ting in sheds, while the His­toric Tour­ing Cars put on their usual high-class show. One spe­cial guest driver, lov­ing the at­mos­phere at Rua­puna, was Jim Richards — vis­it­ing from his base in Vic­to­ria to drive Pete Stur­geon’s Group A BMW M3, the ex Ce­cotto/bran­catelli Cibeemme car from the World Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship which later was raced here by Denny Hulme and Brett Ri­ley.

For real his­toric rac­ing, look no fur­ther than the Vin­tage Car Club. The mix of New Zealand–built sin­gle-seat spe­cials, Mis­trals and more pro­duc­tion-based sports cars made for a very var­ied grid of cars. Don’t think that just be­cause the cars are all more than half a cen­tury old, the ac­tion would be se­date: at the front of the field these guys are try­ing. Russ Haines in the Fran­gapelli Spe­cial, Rob Cope-wil­liams’ and Paul Rogers’ Lo­tus 23B repli­cas were tak­ing the hon­ours, al­ways kept hon­est by Rob Boult’s Edel­brock Spe­cial.

That great South Is­land in­sti­tu­tion, OSCA, Pre ’65s and a real blast from the past, Mini 7, meant that mo­tor-sport fans of all per­sua­sions were catered for over the week­end.

As the event was the Wi­gram Re­vival, it was only fit­ting that a tro­phy from the great days of rac­ing on the air­field cir­cuit was up for grabs. The Can­ter­bury Car Club there­fore had the Wi­gram Cup as the award for the fea­ture For­mula Li­bre race. Ev­ery­thing from For­mula Ford to For­mula Pa­cific lined up to try and take the his­toric tro­phy, but it ended up as a sib­ling fight be­tween the Leitch broth­ers — with Da­mon tak­ing the flag in Garry Or­ton’s Ralt RT4 from Bren­don in an­other bor­rowed car, his own RT4 hav­ing stopped in a large cloud of blue smoke in prac­tice.

As a pre­cur­sor for the ac­tion to come over the ap­proach­ing sum­mer of clas­sic mo­tor sport, it looks as if we are in for some fan­tas­tic cars and some amaz­ing rac­ing.

Mus­cle cars hit the track Gen­tle­man Jim Richards and M3 Da­mon Leitch in his cup-win­ning Ralt RT4

Three-seater Ar­row and Fer­rari F1 cars on a demo lap

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