Passionate people go the extra mile

Before the Southland Sports Car Club established its home at Sandy Point, the club wasn’t confined to a track. In the early days, the drivers tested their skills around the streets at Ryal Bush or took on the challenges of the sand dunes.

In 1957, the club founded Teretonga, it’s a motorsports hub and synonymous with racing, but did you know its name means Swift South in Maori?

A fitting name for a track that over the years has hosted drivers from across the globe. The club’s legacy is proudly showcased in their club rooms with various trophies and honours boards detailing the names of past winners, including Formula One drivers, who have left their tyre marks on this historical racing track.

Over the years Teretonga has evolved into a motorsport enthusiast’s dream, hosting a myriad of different motorsport events. Yet, amidst the development, one thing hasn’t changed and that’s the passion of the people involved in the club. Behind every race meet is a dedicated army of volunteers.

One such event was the Ascot Park Hotel Speedfest, held at Teretonga over the weekend. It’s often referred to as chocolate fish racing because it’s more about camaraderie and having a good time rather than winning. During Speedfest, classic cars including the iconic Ford Mustangs and Holden Commodores, graced the track.  

With over 100 competitors revving their engines, the real powerhouse behind the scenes is the volunteers.

Wayne Shieffelbein, Teretonga Park Race Committee Chairman, says they couldn’t put on events like this without the help of volunteers.

“We need around 70-80 people to cover all the different areas including the rescue team, the flaggies, the grid marshals and much more”.

“All the volunteers are passionate about racing. They’re a great bunch of people, who often have special skills like attention to detail or an even temperament to deal with the fast-paced environment”.

And that’s where ILT came in, they partnered with Southland Sports Car Club to improve the volunteer experience during Ascot Park Hotel Speedfest. Ensuring the team was looked after with clothing and safety gear so they could focus their attention on tasks around the tracks.   

ILT president, Paddy O’Brien said ILT was enthusiastic about the partnership.

“We see it as a natural extension of our relationship with Southland Sports Car Club and Teretonga Park, another organisation with a strong community focus. We were pleased to widen our support to include the dedicated volunteers whose passion and commitment are the backbone of events like the Ascot Park Hotel Classic Speedfest”.