Wild weekend of motorsport

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High winds whipping across the hillclimb course on the second day of the Waimate50GTSeries failed to dampen competitors and spectators alike as they watched a full field of drivers compete in the Waimate Pharmacy race to the White Horse hillclimb.

Entries for all events over the three days of motorsport in Waimate had been at capacity days leading into the weekend and in the hillclimb, ultimate honours rested with Richard Baddock, of Kaiapoi, in the Subaru Impreza WRX who finished ahead of Michael Tall, of Christchurch, and Mat Summerfield, of Rangiora, also in a Subaru Impreza WRX ST1.

Waimate rocked to the sound of quick wheels on Saturday night with the Loot Jewellers Main Street Thunder where vehicles aim for the quickest time over the set course.

Form driver Duncan McCrostie, from Kaitangata, in the Mitsubishi Evo, garnered first place, just seconds ahead of Stu Rogers, in the Nissan Skyline, and Auckland’s Clark Proctor in his Ford Escort claiming third slot.

On the third and final day of the weekend of motorsport in Waimate, big crowds rolled into town for a full programme of events and static displays, which included two invitation races, using a grid style similar to the original layout of the Waimate 50.

The Ellis-Lea Farms historic open wheels race featured one of the iconic vehicles of the Waimate50, the Lycoming Special owned by Ralph Smith.

But as it headed for the first turn in the track after crossing the start line, the vehicle failed to fire and crowds were left to look it over in the pits.

The second invitation race, the Ellis-Lea Farms Classic Saloons, had a full field of 12 cars with crowd favourites Jim Little, in the 1972 Valiant Charger E49, and Grant Silvester, in the 1938 Chevy Coupe, sharing the front row of the grid.

The lead changed constantly amongst the top four cars during the race with Little initially leading Silvester, before a changeover to Silvester, followed by Wayne Murdoch in his sweet-running Datsun 1200 Coupe.

But when the final flag was lowered, Jim Little proved local knowledge was too good for the rest of the bunch, with Murdoch and Silvester following him over the finishing line, followed by Keith Tunnicliffe in the Sprague MKIII Zephyr.

Full coverage, results and photos will be published in tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) Oamaru Mail.