Horsepower rolls in for drifting event

Troy Findlay, of Invercargill, and Benji Sneddon, of Wellington, with Sneddon's unique  Rotary 6...
Troy Findlay, of Invercargill, and Benji Sneddon, of Wellington, with Sneddon's unique Rotary 6 drift car which was the centre of attention at Queens Park on Friday. PHOTO: TONI MCDONALD
The bright blue Rotary 6 car parked outside Queens Park’s Feldwick Gates at lunchtime on Friday captured the eye of Invercargill petrol-heads.

Car owner Benji Sneddon was in town from Wellington to compete at the Hard Park Take Over Festival at Teretonga Park last weekend.

Sneddon has been involved in motorsport since he was 12 years old and had been driving the custom car for about a year.

He mainly competed in speedway events and this was his first visit to Southland.

Sneddon said the car was unique because of the build combination of the six rotor engine.

"The calibre of the build is world-class. Every component is as good as you get."

He had the car made to "create traction for his motorsport brand".

"We wanted to invest in an asset I knew I would always love to own and drive and utilise in that way."

People were attracted to motorsport because of its adrenaline.

"The adrenaline of going sideways with huge amounts of horse power and wheel speed that makes smoke — it’s pretty crazy to be driving through it when you’re chasing someone else.

"And obviously that adrenaline of going so close to others on the track sideways.

"Technically the car is out of control, but you are in control of it. That’s probably what’s the most exciting part of it," Sneddon said.

Speedway is a speed-based sport while drifting competes for points based on style, smoke, angle and achieving track markers.

It was normal to burn through a set of tyres each time the custom car, built in Whanganui, went on to the track, Sneddon said.

Event manager Troy Findlay said he brought Sneddon and his car down as a drawcard for the annual event.

It was the sixth time the family-friendly motorsport festival had been held in the south.

 - By Toni McDonald