Sister act takes on motorsport

Sliding on . . . Sarah Van Asperen, of Balclutha, takes her sister’s Suzuki Swift to second place in the grass motorkhana held during the Southland Sports Car Club’s Evolution Motorsport ClubSport Triathlon at Teretonga Park in Invercargill last week. PHOTO: RON VEINT

Entry-level motorsport continues to thrive in the South, a number of new faces
— including a family from Balclutha — contesting the ClubSport Triathlon held at Teretonga Park in Invercargill last weekend.
The Southland Sports Car Club’s evolution motorsport triathlon was a non championship event featuring a standing 1/4 mile, a grass motorkhana on an area of the Teretonga Park grounds and a sealed autocross event.
The Van Asperen family, of Balclutha, made the trek south to participate in inexpensive motorsport, father Mark bringing along daughters Olivia (20), Sarah (18) and Jasmine (14) to have a go.
Sarah, having her first motorsport outing, said she had never had so much fun, making quite the impression in the grass motorkhana by finishing second overall and fastest in the under-1600cc class in her older sister’s Suzuki Swift.
She beat her father, who has previous motorsport experience.
Mark said he had been having a lot of fun racing in the entry level 2K cup up north, and his daughters had often asked him for a chance to race, so when the opportunity of competing in the ClubSport Triathlon came up he took them all down and encouraged them to have a go.
‘‘They all did really well and want to do more.
‘‘Sarah did really well in the grass track even though she was up against other drivers in big V8s, but the car was light enough and more stable on the grass course and she came second,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a great learning experience for them all.’’
Southland Sports Car Club ClubSport co-ordinator Malcolm Mitchell said it was a fantastic day.
‘‘What a blast it is from my point of view to see people getting out and having a go,’’ Mitchell said.
The next ClubSport event at Teretonga Park is a Bent Sprint on Saturday.