For those that attended last year's Nelson-located V 4&Rotary South Island Champs, you would have noted that the first day [Saturday] was a strictly drag-racing affair. With a 600km-odd shift down the coast to Timaru, this time round the team were able to make get the ball rolling at Levels [Timaru International Motor Raceway]. A small but technical track, Levels was bursting at the seams with all things circuit, drift, rally, burnout, show, and practically any other discipline you can imagine. Perhaps it was the proximity to Christchurch and other alleged ‘boy racer’ capitals found down south that stirred the feeling on, but the whole thing was reminiscent of the good ol’ days in the scene, a proper grassroots-vibing event — this was highlighted by the previous night's cruising, too, which saw the town overrun with old, new, modified, and stock examples of all flavors.
The track day’s cruising sessions saw the more show orientated vehicles out amongst it, typically five-up and reaching speeds that wouldn’t be considered acceptable out on the roads, while the drifting and circuit saw a gaggle of heavily modified examples hitting the track for some sideways and straight line action respectively. We must note the firm grip that the southies have over the countries collection of older Toyota chassis. Although still available up in the North island, they are few and far between, and arriving in these neck of the woods opens your eyes to the southies hordes of the things — they know how to build them right and how to handle them on track.
As the day wound down after the smoke show that was the burnout comp, we were left red from the blaring sun that had graced the day's action — and probably a touch of envy of the sweet, sweet machines we had witnessed. We could go on and on about how awesome of a time it was, but we’ll let the huge gallery below do the rest of the talking for us. Enjoy!
Photos thanks to Mikey Mayers and Ross Dransfield