50th Anniversary Celebrations A Huge Success

Published: Mon 12 Nov 2007 08:45 AM
11 NOVEMBER 2007
50th Anniversary Celebrations A Huge Success
It was a celebration befitting the proud history of Teretonga Park as the circuit on the outskirts of Invercargill became the first in New Zealand to mark fifty years of motor racing this weekend.
The events began at Teretonga Park on Friday evening with a get together for those attending the celebrations. There, many memories of Teretonga Park's remarkable history were relived. During the evening a book entitled "Going Round In Circles" compiled by club historian Keith Douglas was launched. The book complements two earlier books to bring the documented history of the track up to date. A DVD created by Joelle Osborn named "Lapping It Up" featuring 50 years of great images from the circuit was also launched at the function.
On Saturday a race meeting known as "Blast From The Past" presented by Fulton Hogan was held on the track. The entry list included some drivers and cars not seen at Teretonga for many years and provided a very healthy crowd with some great racing. Doug Macdonald of Marahau near Motueka, who competed at the very first race meeting on 30 November 1957 returned to race his Alfa Romeo replica. Macdonald thoroughly enjoyed the experience and said the improvements to the track over the fifty years were a credit to the Southland Sports Car Club.
Following the race meeting a Commemorative Dinner & Chat Show took place at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill. The evening featured interviews conducted by Donald McDonald and Rodger Cunninghame with special guests representing the various decades since the opening of the circuit. Eoin Young, a founder of Bruce McLaren Racing and formerly a leading UK Motorsport Magazine Sports Editor, Jim Palmer a leading New Zealand single seater driver of the 1960's, 1970 Tasman Champion Graeme Lawrence, current kiwi international Craig Baird, local star Inky Tulloch, President of Motorsport New Zealand Steven Kennedy and local competitor Tony Forde all enthralled the large audience with their memories of the circuit.
The large crowd was pleasantly surprised when Lynette McDonald of the Southland Sports Car Club Ladies Committee presented Club President Wayne Shieffelbein with a cheque for $25,000 to provide shelters for flag marshall points at the track. The Ladies Committee who operate the catering services at the circuit celebrate forty years of activity next year and have contributed hugely to many developments at Teretonga. Past President Harry Hedges also presented a new trophy to the club during the formalities.
The evening concluded with an auction of motorsport memorabilia with some spirited bidding on items from Tasman Motorsport and Chip Ganassi Racing plus motorsport art works, Teretonga memorabilia and a hot lap in the 2008 model Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car with special guest Craig Baird when he returns to race in March.
Activities wrapped up with a very successful day today (Sunday) as huge numbers participated in a Standing 1/4 event in the morning followed by circuit drives in the afternoon along with a luncheon between the on track activities.
The weekend was extremely successful and another wonderful chapter in the rich history of Teretonga Park.

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