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Big Night Out for Southland Sports Car Club

Big Night Out for Southland Sports Car Club

It surely must rate as one of the most successful nights in the long and illustrious history of the Southland Sports Car Club.

Five club members were honoured at the recent Motorsport NZ Premier Awards in Dunedin while two others were finalists for some of the country's major motorsport awards.

Two club members, Jamie Conroy and Cameron Morison, were on hand to pick up their national titles won throughout the 2013/2014 season. Conroy won the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship in his first season at national level, dominating the championship with 16 wins from 18 races. Meanwhile Morison claimed the 2014 Motorsport New Zealand Clubsport Championship in Waimate which gained him the NZ Gold Star and the Molesworth Trophy.

Damon Leitch received the Bruce McLaren Memorial Trophy after finishing third, and first kiwi, in the 2014 Toyota Racing Series.

Meanwhile Bevan Gerrard, the current Chairman of the Southland Sports Car Club Race Committee and a timekeeper at the circuit for more than thirty years, received a Distinguished Service Award while Wal Wilmott, the first mechanic employed by Bruce McLaren in England, won a Historic Heritage Award.

Conroy was also a finalist for the prestigious Jim Clark Trophy for the driver who shows a sportsmanlike attitude to the sport and natural ability in putting up the most meritorious racing performance during the season. The award was won by Mitch Evans who is currently competing internationally in GP2, the feeder series to Formula 1. Conroy and fellow club member Brendon Leitch were both finalists for the Steel Memorial Trophy for a junior driver who has displayed dedication, skill and a level of professionalism in their driving aiming to progress to the upper echelons of the sport. James Munro of Christchurch, currently leading the Formula Masters China Series, won this award.

There was more good news for the club when two members, Conroy and NZV8 Touring Car star Liam MacDonald were confirmed as inductees into the 2014 Elite Motorsport Academy during the evening. The Elite Motorsport Academy is run by the Motorsport NZ Scholarship Trust in conjunction with Excellence In Sport South Island and the Otago University sports science specialists. It features a demanding programme, both physically and mentally, focusing on a wide range of skills required for high performance sport. Participants must meet a high level of physical fitness before attending.


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