ASKO Endurance Series set to rumble
ASKO Endurance Series set to rumble
With only weeks to go until the 2012 ASKO Appliances South Island Endurance Series roars into life, the Series has an impressive range of entries from across the board and has again secured a huge prize & prize money package for its competitors.
The series is again thrilled to have ASKO Appliances as its naming rights sponsor and along with series sponsors Allied Petroleum - Mobil 1, Hagley Aluminium, Paul Kelly Motor Company and Southern Finance they have managed to secure a significant prize money pool to pay out to series competitors. “We have $20,000 in cash that we will pay as class prize money, plus $10,000 for the 3hr Series winner” said series secretary Chris Dunn. “Plus we have a magnificent Norm Sinclair original painting valued at around $10,000 and a set of new Michelin tyres to give away as a spot prizes, so it’s NZ’s biggest prize money package!”
The ASKO SI Endurance Series will again be run over 3 rounds, with separate races for both the 3 Hour & 1 Hour Series’ and a round held at each of the three South Island race circuits. The 1 Hour Series starts at Powerbuilt Ruapuna, Christchurch on 16 September 2012, whilst the 3 Hour Series starts at Teretonga Park, Invercargill on 29th September which will also be Round 2 of the 1 Hour Series. Both series then move to Levels Raceway, Timaru on 13th October which will also be the 1 Hour Series final and then the 3 Hour Series final is Powerbuilt Ruapuna, Christchurch on 24th November at the much anticipated V8 SuperTourer endurance race meeting.
With the V8 SuperTourers dubbed the “V8 series of champions”, the 3 Hour Series will be an “Endurance series of champions” with 2011 ASKO Champion Paul Kelly (997 GT3) returning, along with past series champions from 2010 - Grant Aitken (Mitsi Evo 10), 2009 & 2007 - Matt Carter/Dwayne Carter (BA Falcon Supercar) and 2006 - Angus McFarlane/Michael Bushell (996 GT2 Twin turbo). For the first time will also see the best from the North Island competing with 2012 North Island Endurance Series champions Craig McDermid/Scotty McDermid (Corolla twin turbo), as well as 2012 Pukekohe 6 hour champions Craig Innes/Sam MacNeill/Tim O’Connor (Ferrari 430/458) plus the team that came oh so close to winning the 2012 Hampton Downs 12 hour race, Glenn Smith (Porsche 997 RSR). Add in 2010/2011 NZ Endurance Champion Andrew Bagnall, 2010/2011 & 2011/2012 champ Ant Pedersen (997 GT3) and the field just gets classier! Dunn says “The Series always produces a remarkable range of cars and there is always new and exciting machinery filling the grids, and with 70 cars already registered it’s looking to be our best series yet.”
The 1 Hour Race Series runs in conjunction with
the ASKO 3 Hour Series, and gives those with less
experience, lower budgets or just those wanting pre-season
race miles a great opportunity to be part of the series and
is a great insight into the strategy & stamina involved in
8 of last years top 10 1 Hour Series cars also return for 2012 with Invercargill’s Jeremy Dawson (1600cc Starlet) seeking back to back titles. “Last years 1 Hour Series was a real nail biter where Grant Molloy’s Mirage looked set to wrap up the title before a late race puncture in the final round eventually dropped him to third in the Series” said Dunn. “With most of the 1 Hour guys returning for 2012 it will again make for very close racing & another hard fought and exciting 1 hour series.”
With the races separated, both series’ will still have 5 separate racing classes with cars divided into four capacity based classes being, Class 4: 0-1600cc, Class 3: 1601-2000cc, Class 2: 2001-3500cc and class 1: 3501cc and over, but also include a GT class for the Porsche GT3’s & V8 Supercars and other exotic cars, such as the new Ferrari 458 Challenge, in the field.
Although excited about the entries to date Dunn says that there are still a few grid spots available in both the 3 Hour & 1 Hour Series’. Dollar for dollar endurance racing is great value for money Motorsport, plus it probably has the most open eligibility of any Motorsport NZ Sanctioned Series.