Event director not leaving driver's seat yet

The man behind the Waimate 50 is not ready to get out of the driver's seat just yet.

Event director Rob Aikman said yesterday the multi-day celebration of the history of motorsport in the South Canterbury town that draws thousands of spectators to Waimate - in its eighth year in its current incarnation - gets harder to stage every year.

''We develop it and it just gets bigger and bigger,'' he said.

''I do it for the community. I do it for the preservation of this event, because it's got a lot of history.

''There was a time when it was forgotten. You could ask any Waimate person, what was the Waimate 50 years ago, and they wouldn't know. Now everyone knows,'' Mr Aikman said.

Based on the race that began in 1959, the Waimate 50 invitational draws drivers from across the country. Its drift battles drew seven professional teams down from the North Island, and the Street Attack attracted 60 drivers.

North Island drifters take on the South Island at the Waimate 50 yesterday. Photo: Hamish MacLean
North Island drifters take on the South Island at the Waimate 50 yesterday. Photo: Hamish MacLean

''We have a name that's out there now.

''I will maybe hand the baton over to someone else, but they've got to have the same belief in the history before I'll do that. I'll protect what we've made.''

The rain held off this weekend as drivers tore through the town's closed streets in the central business area until the Top Ten Shootout.

The 60 drivers who took part in the Street Attack were whittled down to the 10 fastest; their times were wiped and there was no room for error on a one-lap, fastest-time-takes-all final lap of Waimate.

The wet track proved tricky.

Tim Cook and Josh Burgess did not finish and perennial favourite Glenn Frew placed eighth with a time of 2:08.44. First place went to Konrad Scott, who completed the 2.5km circuit in 1:58.97 in his Chevrolet Corvette; Daniel Liemburg claimed second with a time of 1:59.84, driving a Nissan 370Z; and Josh Mitchell in a Subaru Impreza WRX clocked 2:00.88 to finish third.


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