Mr Kirk, of Timaru, still enjoys racing, although he says his Valiant V8 probably reaches a top speed of only about 90kmh on the Beachlands’s 408m-long clay race track.
As he prepared for this race, he struck a problem with a broken clutch, but friends quickly rallied round and helped find him a replacement.
These friendships, honed by more than 50 years of car racing, help keep him coming back.
The social links also help in other ways, such as friendly phone calls updating him on the latest weather reports for out-of-town tracks.
“There’s quite a bit of it [mutual help and support],” he said.
“If your mates all hated you, you wouldn’t last a year.”
A perpetual big grin and a lively…