Funds rev up plans

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Two of Oamaru’s top motorsport prospects are excited about what the next year holds for them.

Dean Sutherland and Dylan Cameron were recently given $1000 each by the North Otago Car Club trust to further their plans for 2017, when both drivers will compete in different forms of racing.

Sutherland will continue his Shell Sport Series campaign, while Cameron will take part in a full Mainland Rally Series for the first time.

Sutherland made the step up from kart racing a few years ago after a run of success, which included a Mainland series win and third place in the New Zealand schools karting series.

In 2014, he placed third in the South Island in the 2K Cup in his Honda Integra.

Last year, Sutherland placed third in the Shell Sport Series in his 1979 Toyota Starlet, despite missing the first round.

He got off to a solid start in the first round of this year’s series at Ruapuna, in Christchurch, and hopes to build on his early success when the series resumes next year.

“I qualified first and then came second in the first race, but after that the whole meet got cancelled. The second race got stopped for oil on the track and they ran out of time in the day for the third race.

“We got third last year so we’re hoping to go better this year .. I just need to make it to all the races, I guess.”

Sutherland’s next meet is in Timaru on February 10-12, followed by the Invercargill round on February 17-19.

The final round takes place in April.

He will also take part in the Highlands Spirit Series, provided dates don’t clash with the Shell Sport Series.

While Sutherland has a season of experience behind him, Cameron is eagerly awaiting his first full campaign.

Cameron was excited about the prospect of getting behind the wheel for a full Mainland Rally programme for the first time, having previously raced only in individual rounds.

The series features several events around the South Island, in locations such as the West Coast, Otago, Canterbury and Hanmer.

“It should be awesome – I always look forward to racing. I like to think I’ll do OK but you never know. It should be all right,” Cameron said.

“I’m just looking forward to being part of the series – you get a sense of achievement at the end of it if you make it through.”

Cameron drives a Toyota DX Corolla and said he enjoyed the thrill of rallying.

“I guess it’s just the buzz and adrenaline rush of it and the fact you’re racing against the clock.”

He hoped to go as far as he could in the sport.

“It’s all just having fun at the moment, but if an opportunity came up, definitely, I would like to keep going with it. But it’s a pretty expensive sport. I’ll have to play it by ear, really.”