A new national championship and an appearance from Kiwi racing royalty were the signature dishes as southern petrol heads were served up a motorsport smorgasbord during the weekend.
Riverside Speedway played host to the inaugural New Zealand production saloons title on Saturday, whilst Teretonga Park played host to double World Touring Car champion Paul Radisich.
Speedway promoter Dean Miller said, despite rain on Friday causing the postponement of racing, the event was a great success.
“We had officials from Speedway New Zealand, from around the country, and they said it was the best event they have attended.”
Shaun Heron, of Rotorua, took out the inaugural production saloons title, with Asha Clements, of Invercargill, second and Matt Sherlock, of Christchurch, wrapping up third place.
Clements’ podium finish had been particularly popular with the local fans at the prizegiving on Saturday evening, Miller said.
“The clubrooms erupted, they went into a frenzy.”
The rain on Friday meant racegoers got extra value the following day, with both days programmes running on Saturday.
“The crowd was good, the arena was full, the sun was out and we had a great day out, a lot of people stepped up.”
Circuit racing fans enjoyed a full programme of classic racing cars at Teretonga Park on Saturday and Sunday.
Southland Sports Car Club publicity officer Lindsay Beer said having Radisich in attendance was “an opportunity that doesn’t happen often”.
Radisich raced on Saturday in the 1994 Ford Mondeo SuperTourer in which he won his second world title, finishing second to Phil Mauger, of Christchurch, in the historic touring car class.
“He’s one of the best drivers New Zealand has ever produced, and to have him here was just brilliant,” Beer said.
Local drivers also saw plenty of success during the weekend.
Southland winners included Jordan Michels, Scott O’Donnell, Brendan Mason, Liam MacDonald and Brendon Leitch, whilst John Mackley of Wallacetown won a handicap race in a Ford Anglia.