Historic race returns this weekend

The historic Waimate 50 has become a fixture for petrolheads. Photo: Hamish MacLean
The historic Waimate 50 has become a fixture for petrolheads. Photo: Hamish MacLean
The best drifters in New Zealand and the fastest street racers will once again make a mockery of the road rules at the Waimate 50 this weekend.

The roads in the centre of the small South Canterbury town close, and the footpaths fill with petrolheads as thousands flock to watch the racing. Waimate 50 event director Rob Aikman said the weather looked promising  — unlike last year.

Last year, with a wet track, the shoot-out win went to Konrad Scott, who completed the 2.5km circuit in 1:58.97 in his two-wheel drive 7L Chevrolet Corvette.

"It’s mainly four-wheel drives that emerge at the top," Mr Aikman said. 

"But he is coming back to defend his title."

This year, 65 drivers would compete in the Street Attack.

The 10 fastest have their times wiped and a one-lap, fastest-time-takes-all final lap of Waimate on Sunday determines the winner. The historic invitational, when 20 cars would take to the street, showcased the race’s 1950s heritage.

There are more motorcycles this year: eight professional drift teams from the North Island are competing against eight South Island teams.

International rally star Hayden Paddon will also compete.

Racing got under way yesterday with 30 cars competing in the Point Bush Rd hill climb.  

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