Mike Small in front of his 1967 Ford Mustang Notchback which he will race at the Southern Classic at Levels Raceway.
There are wins and losses for motor-racing fans attending the annual three-day Southern Classic at Timaru’s Levels Raceway.
Race organiser Brian Dixon said some classes had lost entries for several reasons, including Covid-19, while a new class – Classic Saloons Pre 1978 – and Mainland Muscle, pre 65 and pre-1961 were well populated with 150 entries overall.
The Classic Motor Racing Club of New Zealand organised event will run nine classes and the effect of Covid-19 was behind a group of 12 Formula Junior racers from the United Kingdom being unable to attend while a 13 car crash at Ruapuna on Sunday took out of seven cars in the Formula Libra ahead of this weekend.
Meanwhile, only two cars in the New Zealand Sports Cars class would make appearances after organisers had expected about 15 at the event, he said.
Dixon said he did not know why they had pulled out of the race.
“We are a little disappointed.”
A new class, Classic Saloons Pre ‘78, had been added this year as a club member had resurrected it, he said.
“It is to encourage people to get their cars out of their garages, we have 25 entries.”
The line up in the Mainland Muscle class featuring “big American cars of the 70s and 80s” included 21 entries, he said.
Dixon said 16 cars are set to compete in the Pre 65 class while 22 cars will line up in the Sports and GTs.
The Vintage class will see 13 pre-1961 cars take to the track, Dixon said.
Dixon said there was also a strong field in the Classic Saloons with 27 entries.
“We are looking forward to a weekend of exciting racing.”
South Canterbury Car Club vice president Mike Small, who has been racing since 1976 agreed with Dixon, saying Covid-19 had had an effect on motor racing, specifically around international travel.
However, he said the Southern Classic was always a very “laid back” event.
“It’s just a relaxed atmosphere, it’s more about people enjoying what they do rather than winning.
“The South Canterbury Car Club is very happy to host this event and a lot of motor racing enthusiasts come to it.”
Small will make an appearance in his 1967 Ford Mustang Notchback at Levels in the Mainland Muscle class on the weekend.
It is a replica based on Australian motorsport legend Ian “Pete” Geoghegan’s 1967 Mustang GTA with a Ford 302 Cl V8 engine with an estimated 600 horsepower.
— to www.stuff.co.nz