Last weekend was a busy one for motorsport in New Zealand as at Hampton Downs the New Zealand Grand Prix was run and won, as at Ruapana’s Skope Classic a high quality field of historics enjoyed a hit out headlined by a packed Historic Touring Cars NZ grid.
Among the drivers taking part were Steven Richards in an ex-Spanish championship Nissan Primera P10 Super Tourer owned by Peter Sturgeon, while Kayne Scott returned to the track for the first time in 10 years to steer the ‘Peanut Slab’ Whitakers Ford Sierra RS500 he shared with Greg Murphy three decades ago at Wellington.
Australian John Bowe was also part of the strong field returning to the Dick Johnson Racing Shell Ford Sierra RS500 he raced in 1991.
Richards started from pole in the opening race alongside Scott, but it was Bowe from the second row taking the lead into Turn 1 as the Primera dropped to fourth as the Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R driven by Stu Rogers assumed third behind the two Sierras.
However, Rogers managed to overhaul the Sierras to take the last heat race by quite a margin, but Bowe, Scott and Richards put on quite a show in the battle for second.
The feature and with it the wet conditions provided Richards the opportunity to thrive as he dominated the event. Scott provided some action as the gap between the two fluctuated, while the addition of Conrad Timms in an ex-Andy Rouse built British Touring Car Championship Ford Mondeo steered by Kelvin Burt to the battle was a further element.
Bowe and Rogers started back in the field as the rolling start was set strangely, but for the fast duo from earlier in the day the field proved to tough to make ground.
Richards held the lead throughout the Sir Robertson Stewart Grand Prix from Scott and Timms, as Bowe made his way into the top five.
The field included Group A models such as the Rover Vitesse, Holden Commodore, Ford Mustang, BMW M3s and 635csis.
Super Tourers were highly prominent in the field with Honda Accords, Volvo S40, BMW 320is, Toyota Carina and even the rare Mazda Xedos all appearing.
Other models representing New Zealand’s special Schedule S touring car regulations completed a very strong field.