A Rotorua stockcar legend was the first to display the Rotorua Rebels' new flag today and was laid to rest with the old flag he had introduced.
New Zealand racing great Barry Hunter snr today took his final lap of the speedway as hundreds turned out to farewell the "legend" of the sport.
Many, who would have previously stood at the Paradise Valley Raceway ready to watch Hunter snr in action, were there today to say goodbye.
Things that would have been so familiar to Hunter, like the sound of the stockcars' V8 engines and the smell of petrol fumes, lingered in the air in a poignant tribute.
The 67-year-old died after a long battle with illness on Tuesday. Three years ago, he had been told he had only had three weeks to live.
The things that meant most to him circled around his coffin like a guard - a row of stockcars, a logging truck, a shiny stockcar trailer and his family.
Over the years, Hunter snr picked up almost every New Zealand stockcar title possible, including winning the New Zealand Championships in 1990 and going on to race in the world champs in England.
In 1986 he was the captain of the team that won the New Zealand Stock Car Teams Event for the Rotorua Rebels and last year he was inducted into the Team Champs Hall of Fame, the only Rotorua person to have received the honour.
"That's our dad - he was awesome", Hunter snr's son Gary Hunter said at the funeral.
Hunter remembered the cheeky and great "dad, grandfather and great grandfather", who loved a good chat and would never shy away from some "Māori-oke".
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"He's gonna be up there with Darcy now."
Darcy Hunter had been Hunter snr's nephew, who died after a battle with cancer in 2017. He was 42.
In his spare time, Hunter snr was known for his entertaining abilities. People who knew him fondly remembered his strong vocals and top-notch Elvis impersonation.
In honour of Hunter snr, the family gathered around to belt out a rendition of There Goes My Everything in true Elvis style, with audience members commenting at how proud Hunter snr would have been.
Eric Hatu had been good friends with Hunter snr for about 45 years and spent a good portion of his last weeks by his side.
Hatu remembered fondly how he and Hunter snr used to walk from "Waka to the speedway" to watch the races, before he jumped straight into the sport.
"All of sudden he started getting faster ... it was a reflection of the mana he had."
He said they would spend hours in Waikato Hospital chatting about all things stockcars and his hopes for his sons to "carry on his legacy".
About 10 members of the Hunter family were all a part of the stockcar racing community.
A small part of Hunter snr's legacy was buried with him today. Hunter snr had been the one to adopt the Rotorua Rebels' red, blue and white flag which was replaced this year.
He had "taken to it" down in Stratford and had been the first to fly the flag and display it on his cars.
Now the club had decided that he would also be the first to fly the new flag and quickly came together to have it made for the funeral.
The new flag, which had his well-known number 38R printed on it, was laid on Hunter snr's coffin.
Commentator Paul Hickey described Hunter snr as the "proudest" Rotorua Rebel and "a true legend".
His "passion and charisma" made it hard for him not to be the "centre of attention" at many club events, he said.
As the funeral wrapped up, Hunter snr's red car burst into life while the pallbearers placed his coffin in the trailer.
The family chose to sit inside the trailer while son Gary drove it around the track, followed by the red car for Hunter snr's final lap.
The Rotorua Rebels' flag could be seen waving out the window.
Racing legend Stan Hickey waved the black-and-white checkered flag that signalled the crossing of the finish line as Hunter snr's coffin left the grounds.