Street cars steal the show

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A family van stole the show at Sunday’s Quail Valley Autocross.

Street cars were welcome with open arms for the first autocross event of the Nelson Car Club’s rally calendar and the inclement weather played into their hands. Ethan Curtis took a Toyota Estima van around the course to clock a surprisingly fast 44.960 seconds, taking top spot in Class D and overall, ahead of actual rally cars.

His time was more than two seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, his father Adrian Curtis.Adrianfinished the farm course in 47.100 seconds in his Honda CRX. Both Ethan and Adrian are top drivers, having won multiple national autocross titles. But the pair shared roles in the Estima because of its ability on the muddy track.Adrianclocked an unofficial time of 41.600 seconds when he took the wheel of the family van.

Colin Harvey, also driving a Honda CRX, was second in Class B and third overall. He clocked 47.800 seconds.

Morgan Pritchard won Class C in a time of 53.140 seconds while Nick Sands took out Class A in a time of 1 minute 6.620 seconds. Nick was 12th overall.

The track had to be shortened because of boggy conditions.

Nick, who also organised the event, says participation numbers had doubled since advertising the event in the Nelson Weekly. “We had a really good response from the previous article. There were a lot of spectators as well. It’s been years since we’ve had 30 plus entries to any event so we were really happy with the response.”

The next event is a gravel hill climb onTunnel Rdin theSpoonersRange. It will be held on August 19.

Another two autocrosses are being targeted for the summer and it will again be open to street cars. “We want to organise something that people can race their own cars in around October so people need to keep an eye out.”

For further information visit www.nelsoncarclub.co.nz