The first Pre 65 race was held at Levels Raceway in Timaru at Labour weekend in 1979 and the official series started in February 1980. The club was formed by a group of drivers who wanted to race an affordable car that was a lot of fun.
As the name suggests, all the cars are produced prior to 31st December 1965 and must retain their original bodies, blocks, crankshaft stroke, heads and use gearbox and differential housings in production before the same date. The cars vary from Minis, Farinas, Morris Minors etc (D Class cars powered by a 4 cylinder engine of less than 1400cc), through to Anglias, Cortinas (C Class cars powered by a 4 cylinder engine), through to Vauxhalls, Holdens etc (B Class cars powered by a 6 cylinder engine) then on to the V8’s (A Class cars) that vary in range from Mustangs, Galaxies, T-Birds, Fairlanes, Falcons, Chevy’s to Plymouth Belvedere and a Mercury Comet.
The rules are very basic and have been developed over the years to accommodate depleting stocks and worn out parts due to the fact that they are now over 40 years old
New Zealand Wide
The South Island register have been going since 1980 and the North Island register was formed around 10 years later. The South Island register is called Pre 65 Saloon Register (Inc) and the North Island register is called Pre65 Racing Saloons (Inc).
In the past we annually ran an inter-island challenge held in alternate Islands once a year i.e. the South Island would travel north and the next year the North Island would travel south to race against each other for the coveted North/South trophy. Unfortunately, due to the economic downturn and various personal and work circumstances the challenge has been put on hold recently, but will hopefully resume in the near future. Currently the South Island have won the championship for six seasons in a row.
Race Structures and Points System
Because of the diverse range of cars in a race, a race structure had to be devised so that it was fair for all and so that a 4 or 6 cylinder car could have a chance of winning the overall trophy, rather than have a V8 win it everytime. Hence, for the 3 races that are held every race meeting the structure is as follows:
Race 1 = scratch (going on best times from the qualifying practice)
Race 2 = reverse grid (going on times from qualifying and race 1)
Race 3 = reverse grid handicap (going on times from qualifying, races 1 & 2)
The points system is a bit more complicated than other registers, due to the variety of vehicles competing in a race – from V8’s down to minis. Both islands have class points systems for the individual classes which start from 20 and go down to 1 and every car that finishes after that also get 1 point. The overall points are collated the same way and are calculated on the finishing order of qualifying and all three races – no matter what type of car it is.
Qualifying & all three races go towards the overall and class trophies and we have a separate trophy for race three – reverse grid (NB: the North Island register have a slightly different points structure.)