Carters Tyres One Hour Series set to scorch Ruapuna
Carters Tyres One Hour Series set to scorch Ruapuna
It’s another bumper field as the 2016 Carters Tyres One Hour Race Series heads into its second round at Mike Pero Motorsport Park Ruapuna on Saturday 1st October, with a field of nearly 50 cars set to take the starters lights. Entries are again wildly varied and range from late model factory Porsche and Ferrari race cars through to tyre shredding V8 machinery and little Toyota’s and Honda’s that grandma would normally drive. With the One Hour Race Series drivers experiencing the thrill & strategy of endurance racing and compulsory pit stops, teams and spectators alike are guaranteed to see some great racing action on the technical Christchurch circuit.
The Teretonga race was held in beautiful fine conditions and it was a credit to all the drivers for courteous and clean race. Hugh Gardiner (Porsche 997 GT3) scorched around the Invercargill circuit snatching pole position and then going on to win the race, claiming top points in both the overall and in GT class standings. Along the way he lowered the existing race distance record and also shaved a second off the previous 1hr lap record. Second overall and first in Class 1 was the monstrous Toyota AE86 V8 of Chris Henderson who finished ahead of series regulars Allan Dippie/Scott O’Donnell (Porsche 997 Cup S) in third. However, as the Series heads to the home circuit for a large number of the 1hr competitors others to look out for in the exotic GT class will include Russell McKenzie who will also debut his new Porsche 991 spec car and Danny Whiting in a similar 991. Series rookie Jarrod Owens (997 GT3) was one of the star performers at Teretonga and is joined by Paul Wright (997 GT3) in GT class as well as Tim O’Connor’s gorgeous Ferrari 458 that unfortunately didn’t start the Teretonga Race. V8’s are also represented in the GT class with the return of Grant Williams/Brent Buist (Falcon V8 SuperTourer) who suffered engine damage at Teretonga and the amazing TLX chassised Holden Cruize V8 of John Wadsworth.
Class 1 (3501cc+) always brandishes spectacular machinery and although Henderson took round one honours easily at Teretonga we can expect a big challenge from Bruce Davidson who is working hard to ready his C6R Corvette after a qualifying crash at Teretonga. However unfortunately our defending class champion, the immaculate C5 Corvette of Brian Scott will miss the rest of the season after an engine failure at Teretonga. Young guns Chris & Johnny Small (Nissan R32 GTR) finished an impressive 6th outright at Teretonga, and Ruapuna will also see the other R32 GTR of Johnny Waldron back after completely missing the Teretonga round due to engine issues. Both the pair of RX7 Turbos for Lee Rhodes and Ben Coffin will be hoping for a less troubled run as we head to round 2, and as predicted it was the reliability of the NZ6 spec Commodore of husband and wife team Vicki & Derek Curzon that helped them snare a solid class finish at the season opener. Formula Fordsters James Dicey and Steve Heffernan (Mercedes C32 AMG) are another team who will be looking forward to a race start after a rear hub failure during Teretonga qualifying and joining this class for Ruapuna is NZ6 competitor Justin Ashwell wo will use the series to gain some laps in his newly acquired NZV8 Falcon as well as a pair of older Porsche 996 Cup cars, that have now been reclassified back into Class 1, for Noel Simons and Johnny Wilson.
The competition will be as fiercely fought right through each class within the Series and especially Class 2 (2001cc-3500cc) which probably has the most widespread range of cars. Class frontrunners Pat & Ryan Heagney (Toyota AE86 turbo) are another car that is out for the Series after engine damage at Teretonga, which will make life easier for current class leader Andrew Wright (BMW E36 M3). The class podium was filled by the Honda Integra 2.4 of James Mitchell and The Neil Allport Motorsport prepared Subaru WRX of Nick Archibald/Wayne Leach at Teretonga and this diverse class sees everything from genuine ex European Touring cars to cars that competed in the BMW Mini Challenge and Mazda Pro7 categories.
Opening round honours for Class 3&4 (0-2000cc) went to Daniel Cropp (Honda Civic), after a last lap spin for then leader Stu Black (Starlet) left him sitting in the gravel trap and recording a very costly DNF, however business commitments will see Cropp miss the Ruapuna round. The Dawson brothers both performed well at Teretonga so will be favourites for the potential class lead if they finish well at Ruapuna. This class also sees entries for the experienced Grant Aitken (Toyota 86), Mark Meadows beautiful wee Lotus Exige and the immaculate DX Corolla of Dan Yeoman. A few uncharacteristic DNF’s from the baby class will see Art Markus (Starlet) Sam Bushell (Starlet) and Geoff Clear (Civic) all looking forward to seeing the chequered flag as is past class champion Gary Ponting (Civic) who is working overtime to re-shell his car between rounds after it was heavily damaged on the first lap of the Teretonga race. So although this class has our smallest cars, every year it produces fantastic down to the wire racing and expect nothing less this year.
After Ruapuna, the Carters Tyres One Hour Race Series moves to Timaru’s Levels Raceway on Saturday 15th October for Series’ Grand Finale, where a Series Champion will be crowned. Thanks to Series sponsor Carters Tyre Service as well as Allied 24/7/Fuel, the Carters Tyres Series will again have the richest prize money pool in NZ Motorsport, with One Hour competitors in for a share of over $30,000- that will be paid out as prize money for 2016, as well as major spot prizes up for grabs to a competitors in either the one hour or three hour Series.
There are still a couple of entry spots available for the Ruapuna round and for more information, or to be added to the South Island Endurance Racing Drivers Club’s e-mailing list, please contact Chris Dunn via e-mail email@example.com Club information and live updates on race day can be found on the clubs facebook pagewww.facebook.com/sierdcnz, and for more information on the series sponsor Carters Tyre Service, please visitwww.carterstyres.co.nz. The Ruapuna action starts from 10.30am Saturday and gate entry is only $15-00.