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NaZCAR Series Regulars Dominate First Open Invite ‘Mega’ Endurance Race At Hampton Downs Last Month

“You can all head back home now justifiably proud of what you achieved here today.”

These were just some of the words spoken by alternative motor racing event promotor Dr Jacob Simonsen as the field of around 70 entrants gathered at Hampton Downs for a prizegiving ceremony after completing the inaugural ‘open invite’ NaZCAR ‘Mega Endurance race meeting on Saturday Nov. 18.

From humble beginnings back in 2016 when he put together New Zealand’s first 24 Hours of Lemons event at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, the undisputed king of Endurance racing in this country, entrepreneur Dr Jacob Simonsen, has built a successful enterprise - the NaZCAR 24 Ltd organisation - out of giving ordinary, everyday motorsport fans exactly what they wanted; the opportunity to “go racing without,” he stresses, “breaking the bank.”

Seven years on, and after giving literally thousands of otherwise ‘cash-strapped’ fans the opportunity to ‘check out the view from the other side of the track wall,’ via his now NaZCAR-badged, Lemons & Limes multi-day, up-to-24-hour Endurance events and his Sanctioned NaZCAR Pro National Endurance Championship 3 & 6 Hour series, Dr. Simonsen launched his latest initiative; a single-day, multi-distance ‘Mega’ Endurance meeting (hence the name) open - literally - to all comers.

“The concept of our NaZCAR ‘Mega' endurance events is to give participants a ‘smorgasbord menu’ of race durations and speeds. “They can choose short, medium or long races depending on their preference,” he said.

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“’Mega' races are a step above the fun ‘Lemons’ events, and do away with the silly antics, penalties and themes," explains Dr. Simonsen. “These events will allow drivers to be competitive, without the pressure of competing in a National endurance championship like NaZCAR Pro.”

"It doesn't matter what category or class your car was originally built to run in, if it meets our NaZCAR regulations and you can stay within our break-out lap times then there'll be a spot on at least one of the grids at a Mega Endurance race round for you."

“As such, a Mega event would be a perfect 'toe-in-the-water' exercise for anyone with a suitable race car, which is why this time I went out of my way to make sure all the other marque groups and motor racing clubs knew what I had in mind and if I thought they had cars which would be able to match - or at least get fairly close to - our targeted breakout times for this inaugural event, then we’d love to see them turn up,” Dr Simonsen said.

"As an added bonus we pack as much ‘seat-time’ into one day as possible, by running multiple durations of races at the same time. So we can run larger fields, which makes for very exciting racing.”

The fact that his invitation was both taken seriously and indeed taken up by several squads from across the local one-make, marque and budget racing spectrum, certainly bodes well for the future health of the Mega day/event concept.

As it turned out, however, it was teams already converted to Dr Simonsen’ unique and above all else cost-conscious and cost-effective way of doing things which proved the big winners on the day, with several of his event regulars standing out.

Chief amongst them were the SsangYong Actyon ute-running Ghost Dog Racing squad from Taupo who claimed line honours in both the 4 and the day-long 8-Hr race with their #1 000 Ute and backed that winning double up with a fine 2nd place in the 4-Hr and a 3rd place in the 8-Hr with their #2 00 M111 machine.

Splitting the two SsangYong Utes meanwhile in the final 8-Hr classification to claim an impressive 2nd place overall in the big race of the day, meanwhile, was the BMW E36 4-dr of one of Dr Simonsen’s other NaZCAR event and series regulars, Team Get In Behind Racing, which completed the same number of laps (291) as the the third placed SsangYong Actyon ute of Team Ghost Dog Racing’s M111(00) squad, but reached the finish line 40 seconds in front.

While finishing 4th in the 8-Hr, 3rd in the 4-Hr then winning the 1-Hr race outright, was the record set by the #1 BMW E46 3-series of the Hamilton-based Team Warbirds Racing team, with their #2 car – also an E46 BMW 3-Series - backing the impressive performance of the #1 car up with a 9-8-9 run through the 8-4-1-Hr race distance.

The only event on the day-long schedule not to be absolutely dominated by one of Dr Simonsen’s NaZCAR event series regulars in fact, was the opening first-to-complete 40 laps, Firecracker40 ‘’event entree’ or long distance ‘taster’ held first thing on Saturday morning.

More an ‘enduro-sprint’ than a true endurance race as such, it was won in Fast ‘n Furious style by the late-model Volkswagen Scirocoo, entered by ‘new-team-on-the-scene,’ Team Dub Dub.’

It was a close-run thing in the end, despite Team Dub Dub’s sleek-looking Scirocco never really looking like it was going to lose its lead, despite two of the other squads - Team Super Duff Racing, and Team NZ Spouting Racing - remaining on the same lead lap throughout.

As it turned out the constant squawly rain showers which blew across the Hampton Downs circuit for much of the day on race day, meant that no one got even got close to the fairly quick break-out (dry) times set by Simonsen and his race management crew for the first-to-complete 40-laps Firecracker40 race held first thing in the morning (a fairly serious 1:13 and 1:18 respectively for the two classes) then a 1:15 and a 1:20 for both the 4 and the main 8-Hr endurance races later in the day.

All up, there were four different Endurance races keen competitors could sign up for on Saturday. The ‘biggie’ on the day was the Movember Mega 8-Hr - which drew close to 60 drivers with race start time at 11.00am and the chequered flag finally appearing out of the gloom, as dusk turned to dark at 7.00 pm.

A separately scored 4-Hour race was also run, with race start time the same as the 8-Hr but finish time at 3.00pm; which left the way open for a completely separately- run ‘cheeky’ 1-Hour endurance race to conclude the offering. Running concurrently with the 8-Hr, the 1 Hour enduro started from pitlane at 3.20pm and concluded with more than 2.5 hours still to run in the 8 Hour!

More information on upcoming NaZCAR events can be found on the organisation's website, www.nazcar.nz or on the 24 hours of NaZCAR page on Facebook at facebook.com/Nazcar24.

 

2023 NaZCAR ‘MEGA’ ENDURANCE RACE: Hampton Downs Motorsport Park Northern Waikato Sat Nov 18 2023

8 Hour

Team Ghost Dog Racing (SsangYong Actyon ute) 299 laps 7:52.51

Team Get In Behind Racing (BMW E36 4-Dr) 291 laps 7:53.17

Team Ghost Dog M111 Racing (SsangYong Actyon ute) 291 laps 7:53.57

Team Warbirds Racing (BMW E-46 3-series) 286 laps 7:53.54

Team Garage JDM Racing 269 laps 7:53.05

Team Aussie Spares Racing 258 laps 7:53.58

Team Le Pug Racing 265 laps 7:54.13

Team Go Gecko Go 264 laps 7:54.13

Team Warbirds #2 263 laps 7:53.49

Team Grid Girls 252 laps 7:52.58

Class A

1.. Ghost Dog Racing 299 laps

2. Get In Behind Racing 291 laps

3. Warbirds Racing 286 laps

Class B

1.. Ghost Dog M111 Racing 291 laps

2. Aussie Spares Racing 268 laps

3. Le Pug Racing 265 laps

4-Hour

Team Ghost Dog Racing (SsangYong Actyon ute) 151 laps 4:00.51

Team Ghost Dog Racing 111 (SsangYong Actyon ute) 149 laps 4:02.04

Team Warbirds Racing (BMW E46 4-dr)145 laps 4:00.44

Team Dub Dub Racing (Volkswagen Scirocco) 140 laps 4:00.01

Team Go Gecko Go 136 laps 4:01.37

Team Maximum Duff 134 laps 4:01.12

Class A

1. Team Ghost Dog Racing 151laps

2. Team Warbirds #1 147 laps

3. Team Warbirds #2 130 laps

Class B

1. Team Ghost Dog M111 149 laps

2. Team Dub Dub 140 laps

3. Team Go Gecko Go 136 laps

1-Hour

1.. Team Warbirds Racing 39 laps

2. Team Ghost Dog M111 Racing 37 laps

3. Team Green Z Racing 38 laps

4. Team Ghost Dog Racing 38 laps

5. Team Cabletie Racing 37 laps

6. Team Too Much Duff Racing 37 laps

7. Team Torks Racing 36 laps

8. Team Super Duff Racing 36 laps

9. Team Warbirds #2 Racing 36 laps

10. Team Go Gecko Go Racing 36 laps

Class A

1.. Team Warbirds Racing

2. Team Green Z Racing

3. Team Ghost Dog Racing

Class B

1.. Ghost Dog M111 Racing 37 laps

2. Cabletie Racing 37laps

3. Too Much Duff Racing 37 laps

Firecracker40

1.. Dub Dub Racing 40 laps

2. Super Duff Racing 40 laps

3. Team NZ Spouting Racing 40 laps

4. Ghost Dog Racing M111 39 laps

5. Team Green Z Racing 39 laps

6. Team Who Fit Racing 37 laps

7. Team Torks Racing 37laps

8. Team Just Copen 37 laps

9. Team 14YO Racing 35 laps

10. Team Planet Express 35 laps

Class A

1.. Team Green Z Machine Racing 39 laps

2. Team Whofit Racing 37 laps

3. Team EV Racing 31 laps

Class B

1..Team Dub Dub Racing 40 laps

2. Team Super Duff Racing 40 laps

3. Team NZ Spouting Racing 40 laps

For more information on the inaugural 2023 NaZCAR 'Mega' Endurance race meeting at Hampton Downs on Saturday November 18 head to the NaZCAR website,www.nazcar.nz or the organization’ official Facebook page’www.faccebook.com/.nazcar24. 

© Scoop Media

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