Novelty Pukekohe Endurance Event Proves Popular With Entrants
Despite the organisational difficulties – and last-minute dramas – which, apparently, are part of the territory if you want to organise a major long distance motor race at the tail end of New Zealand’s latest, longest and most devisive COVID-19 Lockdown, novelty endurance race entrepreneur Dr Jacob Simonsen is very pleased with the way his ambitious two-day BadThurst 12-Hour event panned out at Pukekohe’s Pukekoehe Park Raceway over the (Dec 18-19) weekend.
”Absolutely,’ he said last night. “How could I not be happy, it was a fun-filled and - mostly - fault-free event which everyone involved, from our drivers to our volunteers seem to have really enjoyed. And it has certainly whetted everyone’s appetite for our biggie, the continuous 24 Hours of NaZCAR at Hampton Downs in February (Sat-Sun Feb 19 & 20) next year.”
Official winners of the 2021 BadThurst 12 Hour race were Team Assassin, who completed 463 laps in the 12 hours, 7 more than the Holden Commodore Ute of Team Aussie Spares which ended up in second place overall having completed 456 laps.
Of the 22 cars that entered the event, 18 were still going at the end; not bad for a field of LeMons cars, most initiallly acquired for $1,.000 (or less)..
Several more cars could have faced the starter on Saturday as well – but Dr Simonsen had to cull the entry list down to 22 cars so as not to exceed the limit of 100 people imposed on the venue for outdoor gatherings while Auckland and environs remain under a red ‘traffic light’ (until Thursday Dec 30 at the earliest).
Despite this, the event gave some of the country’s keenest amateur racing drivers the opportunity to get back behind the wheel after four months ‘locked down’ at home.
On which point, Dr.Simonsen says that a ‘special thanks’ is due to; “everyone involved for their positive attitudes, open-minded-ness and generally being good buggers.”
The unique format of the BadThurst 12 Hour race saw two separate races making up 12 Hours, the first over four hours on the Saturday, then the second – covering the other eight – on the Sunday.
The Government’s response to the Delta strain of the COVID-19 virus proved particularly hard on motor racing event organisers like Dr Simonsen this year.
He was forced to cancel the third and final round of his new NaZCAR 3 and 6-Hour Pro Series, then had to postpone the ‘jewel’ in his novelty event crown, the 24 Hours of NaZCAR event at Hampton Downs, not once but twice, first from the original dates (Sept 24 and 25) to Thursday and Friday October 21 & 22, then to February 19-20 next year!