Speed demon Darcy Prendergast had a giant grin on his face for most of last weekend.
He drove his new Semog Cross Car for the first time at the Shayne Adams Memorial Street Sprints and nearly rolled it.
The 54-year-old did his first run around the Riverside Industrial Estate in 2 minutes 40.45 seconds and went on to win the cross car class at the two-day event.
His best run was 2.35.61.
Prendergast’s first run saw him at one point hit sixth gear and take a corner on two wheels, nearly rolling. He was surprised he had not lost control.
But he was still buzzing back in the pits with crew Andrew Rudd, of Dynoworx.
“You probably can’t print what I’m going to say, that was (bloody) awesome!” he said.
“I don’t really know what happened, I might’ve got a bit carried away.”
Prendergast is a self-confessed petrol head and a member of the Ashburton Car Club.
He was honoured to be among the 65 drivers racing in the Shayne Adams memorial event and gave a “big ups” to the Ashburton Car Club for hosting the special event.
Shayne Adams did so much for the car club and street sprints, he said.
He was proud to have been one of the drivers in the guard of honour which saw Shayne’s ashes take a final ride around the track with fellow driver, and Shayne’s good friend, Pete Templeton ahead of racing.
Prendergast has been racing for the past 25 years mostly motorbikes, superquad and racing karts but also a small amount of car racing including in a past street sprints when he drove a Mitsubishi EVO 3.
The cross car had a good international reputation and had been brought into New Zealand from Portugal by Paddon RallySport.
“It’s sort of a new class they’re trying to get under way,” he said.
There were three cross cars in total competing at the street sprints but Prendergast was the least experienced in racing the vehicles. His engine was a GSXR 750. He considered himself the underdog as he had owned it since September last year but not raced until the weekend.
“It’s a learning weekend,” he said, of getting to know the car and what it could do.