NATIONWIDE EVENTS Classic events from around New Zealand
Williams won the first Arrows race, while Gareth Sampson in another Ford Capri won the second, with Mygind taking the final race, albeit by just 0.363 of a second when he overtook Sampson on the final lap.
Historic Formula Ford racing is for Formula Ford openwheelers built between 1967 and 1989, and includes the likes of Lola, Van Diemen, and Swift. All three races were relatively straightforward, with no incidents. Keith Mainland, who is often featured near the top of the field, once again showed neither he nor the car had lost any speed in the off-season, and they dominated throughout the three races.
The Alfa Trofeo Series was another to kick off its season this weekend. The Trofeo races are made up of several classes — the GTA Class, GT Jr Class, Veloce Class, Trofeo Class, and overall handicap. Simon Mills in an Alfa Sud Ti was staggeringly fast in the first race, leading from start to finish. His time difference at the chequered flag was 18.2 seconds. Race two was lead all the way by the Alfa GT of John Nuthall. The red flag was waved towards the end when Alex Schultz and Max Van Maanen came together in the final turn, thus ending their day with an expensive repair bill and damaged egos. Race three was the handicap race, which made for a compacted finish. Ross Olifent in his Alfa 33, starting last, gradually made his way through the field to approach the chequered flag first.
All Comer Saloons Pre 1993 is a relatively new class and, as such, did not have too many entrants. Ray Williams was entered with his Perana V8 and did not disappoint, winning all three races.
The popular Castrol BMW Race Driver Series included the 2.0-litre, E30, and Open classes. With high numbers of competitors, racing was very close, as demonstrated when a five-car pile-up occurred at turn one in the second E30 race — not surprising with 45 cars on track all vying for position and starting in reverse order. Anthony Tork went on to win this race, while the first and third races were won by Phillip Smurthwaite. In the 2.0-litre races, Peter Ball dominated in his 320i, winning the first and third races, while, in the second, Alexandra Clark, in an E46, got the high ground over Ball, leading from start to finish.
The BMW Open class rounded off the weekend’s racing. This features outrageous machines such as Robert Berggren’s E46 GTR and Andre Mortimer’s M3 GTR. Another of the standout cars in the field was Michael Delmont’s rare 1975 2002 Turbo. This was the first turbocharged car that BMW produced, of which only 1672 were reported to have ever been built. Although this class is split between A, B, and C, it was Andrew Nugent who dominated the day in his M3, winning the first and second races. The speed of the top cars was phenomenal, as demonstrated by Mortimer in a M3 GTR, who started his third race with a one-lap handicap — but, come the final lap (lap eight) he was in the lead.
If the racing at the Icebreaker was anything to go by, we are in for a grand 2016/’17 season, and, with the likes of the Historic Formula 1 cars and the Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee heading our way, next year’s event is also one to look forward to.