Weekend for thrills

By Jared Smith

There were plenty of thrills for the car buffs and spills for the farmers to fix across the back roads of Wanganui at the weekend.

Wanganui Car Club's second 2012 Speed Weekend drew a strong turnout of 48 cars and crews for a dual hill climb on Saturday on Western Line, then yesterday on Brunswick Rd.

Five different decades of car models competed across seven different classes.

After a tour of each road, followed by a practice run, drivers had four cracks at making their best time, which were then combined over the two days to decide the winners.

Organiser Andy Deighton said having two combined events allowed them to attract drivers from Wellington, Hawke's Bay, Tauranga, Palmerston North and elsewhere.

Indeed, more than half the field were from out of town, creating a nice little boost for the local economy, especially the petrol stations.

"They're getting a good lot of rallying for two days," said Deighton.

Fellow committee member Geoff Hintz agreed it made the event profitable as visiting drivers were able to commit. "It makes it worthwhile for them to stay overnight."

Local knowledge of the "tricky" corners was not a prerequisite for success as Hintz discovered on the dash up the Western Line.

His Honda Interga 1600 turbo spectacularly crashed through the fence at the final turn, taking out the timing gear while just missing a power pole.

A little sheepish, Hintz said it was only his third off roader in 20 years. "I guess we just rebuilt the engine. The tyres were a bit cold.

"It was an exciting start to the day."

In fact, with a little panel work, the car was back up to scratch and could continue the weekend.

Hutt Valley Motorsport Club's Wade Noedl spun his Subaru WRX into a fence on the opposite side of the road in the day's final lap.

Having a smoother run in their Anglia was Wanganui's Dillon family father Patrick taking turns co-driving with daughter Toni, who at 17 was the youngest competitor. There was a debate when asked who drove the best times. "It was a little bit sideways when Dad was racing, but it was fun," said Toni.

Toni grew up in racing as her dad was involved in jetsprints and then Targa rallying.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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