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New season begins at Teretonga Park



The 2016/17 motor racing season begins at Teretonga Park near Invercargill this weekend.

Saturday will see the opening round of the 2016 Carters Tyres South Island Endurance Series whileSunday's programme consists of Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloons, Pro 7 Saloons and Sports and Racing Cars, all presented by Downer.

As well as two days of top class motor racing those who attend on Saturday can enter a lucky draw to win an electric powered Mercedes SLS car for the kids. This will be drawn at lunchtime on Saturday, just visit the Carters tent on the infield before lunch to fill in an entry form for this wonderful prize.

The Endurance races on Saturday feature superb fields of some very exotic racing machinery. Scott O'Donnell of Invercargill and Allan Dippie of Dunedin won last year's 3 Hour Race in their Porsche after George/Angus McFarlane of Christchurch in a similar car pitted with a puncture near the end of the race, returning to finish third behind the Auckland duo of Matt/Dwayne Carter in their Falcon V8 Supercar. All three crews return this year although all have new cars. The Carter's, who are also the series sponsors this year, have a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 at their disposal while O'Donnell/Dippie and the McFarlane's, who went on to win last year's series have new Porsches'. Several other frontrunners from last year's race including Simon McLennan/Richard Moore of Auckland in their Holden Commodore V8 SuperTourer return while others of note include the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 driven by Aucklander Sam Fillmore and former Australian GT Champion Richard Muscat, Paul Kelly and former NZ Grand Prix winner Daniel Gaunt in a Porsche and the Inky Tulloch GT3 Sareni Chev Camaro driven by John McIntyre of Nelson and Taradale's Simon Gilbertson.

The 1 Hour race precedes the 3 Hour on Saturday and it has attracted a massive grid with several cars on a waiting list to race. Last year's winner, Hugh Gardiner of Auckland, returns in his Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car. Danny Whiting of Christchurch (Porsche), Grant Williams/Brent Buist of Christchurch in a Ford Falcon V8 SuperTourer and Tim O'Connor of Lower Hutt in a Ferrari 458 Challenge are all likely to feature in a field that includes Porsche, BMW, Lotus, Chev, Mercedes, to name just a few of the marques in the line up.

On Sunday expect Brian Scott of Dunedin to be the man to beat in the Noel McIntyre Drainage Clubmans Saloon races in his Corvette with Adam Cullen of Dunedin in his Nissan Skyline GTR also to the fore with several new names among the entries.

Former TRS and NZV8 driver Brent Bones Collins leads the Pro 7 Plus competitors while NZ2, Jack Milligan of Prebbleton and NZ3, Mitchell Hamilton of Pleasant Point, look set to head the Pro 7 field of Mazda RX7's. The Sports & Racing Car field is a small one but as the class has proved in the past they can still provide exciting racing even with small grids.

The action commences at 9.30am on both Saturday and Sunday. A Saturday pass is $15 and Sunday $10 while children 14 and under are free on both days.

The cars in last year's 3 Hour Endurance Race at Teretonga Park head for the opening corner of the race with #26, the Holden Commodore of Simon McLennan/Richard Moore prominent along with #19, the Matt & Dwayne Carter Falcon -- Photo credit: Euan Cameron

2015 Teretonga 3 Hour Endurance Race winners Scott O'Donnell of Invercargill (left) and Allan Dippie of Dunedin (right) -- Photo credit: Euan Cameron

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