Topsy-turvy end to race season

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"Good fun" . . . Southern Saloon Series driver Terry Soper and his damaged Corvette saloon car in Dunedin on Tuesday. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

In a series, reporter Shawn McAvinue spends five minutes with Dunedin motorsport enthusiasts about their passion for their form of racing.

Your Corvette saloon car is looking a bit worse for wear.

I ran it up a wall and ended upside down at Riverside Speedway in Invercargill on Saturday.

How is the car?

I have to wash it and get the motor rebuilt – during the roll, the carburettor broke and went through the motor – but it’s the end of the season, so I’m not too stressed about it.

Why where you racing in Invercargill?

It was the last round of the Southern Saloon Series, which runs in Dunedin, Cromwell and Invercargill, and the driver with the most points overall wins.

Where were you on the points board going into Invercargill?

I was leading after winning the first two rounds in Cromwell and Dunedin and all I had to do was finish in Invercargill, but after rolling, I finished second overall.

So you could have won the series by hanging at the back of the pack?

Yeah, but when you get put to the back of the field you lose your biscuit a wee bit.

Who put you to the back of the field?

I was relegated to the back after a judge ruled I made a false start. The only way from the back to the front is around the outside and it’s a bit dangerous out there – it’s do or die.

What emotions do you feel when you finish your season upside down?

It’s just one of those things – there’s not much you can do about it. You have your good nights and your bad nights and we’ve had a lot of good nights.

What is like being in a crash?

It happens pretty quick and you know at a certain point you’re not going to be able to drive out of it and the car will go over, so you take your hands off the steering wheel to try and avoid breaking your thumbs.

How long have you been racing?

This is my first season back after having about 20 years off.

Why did you take a break?

I was busy with my business but I got to a point in my life where I wanted to do something. Golf was getting too dangerous so I thought I’d go car racing – it’s good fun.

Any injuries from the crash?

I walked away from it – the cars are pretty safe and made to go over.

So you won’t be racing in the Epic Finale in Beachlands Speedway, Waldronville on Saturday?

No, the car won’t be ready.

I thought your car number – eight – is supposed to be a lucky is some cultures?

All I know is eight is a car number which looks the same when a car is upside down – I found that out in the weekend.