Audi have again dominated the Carter’s Tyres South Island Endurance Series Three Hour race with the Dale Chapman/Marc Doran/Andrew Waite R8 LMS car claiming race victory at Highlands Motorsport Park on Saturday. Spectators and fans were treated to three hours of close racing for the lead, a race that saw a number of safety car interventions and retirements.
Making a one-off appearance in the series and second home was the North Island Endurance Series title winning McLaren 650S GT3 of Glenn Smith and John DeVeth. Third overall was the pole-sitter Audi R8 of Neil Foster and Jonny Reid.
“Finishing is the first key to winning this race,” commented Andrew Waite. “It’s a long race, three hours, so it was important to stick to our own race. I took on the third stint in the car and the plan was to be on the lead lap, so I could give it a crack, which I did. “
It was a race that saw numerous lead changes between the top contenders, with no one car able to settle in at the front. First it was the Foster/Reid Audi that fought for the lead with the Tony Quinn/Damon Leitch Aston Martin GT3. The Simon Gilbertson/John McIntyre Chev Camaro GT3 was right in contention until their final pitstop that saw the team giving the front suspension some attention. They also had to contend with gearbox issues, only having three gears left at the finish.
But it was an 18-minute safety car period just before the one-hour mark that would turn the race in favour of the eventual winning Chapman/Doran/Waite Audi.
At that stage their Audi was languishing in fourth place, but this safety car period allowed them to pit for fuel, change drivers and bunched the field close together for the restart. Thereafter it saw them always in contention for the lead until the end of the race. First with the Quinn’s Aston and then in the last 40 minutes with the Foster/Reid Audi.
Unfortunately for the Aston, as in the first round at Teretonga, the car once again had to retire with less than 30 minutes to go.
With ex A1GP driver Jonny Reid back in the Audi, the last 40-minutes had the potential for a thrilling duel with Andrew Waite only for Reid to pull into the pits with a puncture.
“It was quite eventful race for us,” said Reid. “I was chasing Andrew (Waite) and at the bridge there was a bit of carbon that may have come off his car which I ran over and punctured. We were in the hunt for a race win, but it just wasn’t our day.”
With the lead changes happening up front, the Smith/DeVeth McLaren was quietly making head-way through the field, finding themselves in third spot with thirty-minutes remaining.
“Really what happened is we kept out of trouble while some of the others had some drama,” said Glenn Smith. “We were able to stay on the lead lap and pit during two separate safety car periods. We love this track and wanted to come down to Highlands.”
With Reid’s puncture they moved up to second with Waite taking the checkered flag. Fourth home was the Porsche GT3R of George McFarlane/Jack Milligan with Gilbertson/McIntyre fifth.
Five different classes were in contention as well as overall honours. Arron Black/Stuart Black (BMW E46 WTC) were first home in Class A (0-2000cc) and 12th overall. Rhys Gould and Gene Rollinson’s Hyundai i30N TCR won Class B (2001-3500cc) for the second consecutive time and placed a credible seventh overall.
Class C (3501cc+) was won by the diesel powered BMW150D of Glen Chappel/Mike Eady that came home in 10th. Paul Rickerby/Graeme Rhodes (Ford V8 SuperTourer) placed eighth overall and won Class D (Purpose built including SuperTourers & GT4). The Chapman/Doran/Waite Audi also won Class E (GT3 ‘Type’) and now take an overall lead in the series from Foster/Reid.
Drivers and teams now prepare for the penultimate round at Timaru International Raceway in Timaru on Saturday 19 October 2019.
Position, Drivers, Class, Car
1 Dale Chapman Marc Doran Andrew Waite E Audi R8 LMS
2 Glenn Smith John DeVeth E McLaren 650S GT3
3 Neil Foster Jonny Reid E Audi R8
4 George McFarlane Jack Milligan E Porsche GT3R
5 Simon Gilbertson John McIntyre E Chevrolet Camaro GT3
6 Ben Byers Christina Orr-West E GT3 Audi R8 LMS Ultra
7 Rhys Gould Gene Rollinson B Hyundai i30N TCR
8 Paul Rickerby Graeme Rhodes D Ford V8 Supertourer
9 Dwayne Carter Matt Carter D Mercedes SLS
10 Glen Chappel Mike Eady C Bmw 150D
11 Wayne Leach Paul Burborough C BMW 235 Cup Car
12 Arron Black Stuart Black A BMW E46 WTC
13 Jarrod Parmenter Andrew Brunton B Mazda Rx8
14 Ron Mackersy Warren Good B SEAT CUPRA TCR
15 Jared Pyke Ben Mcconochie B Mazda RX8
16 Todd Bawden Rhys Bawden C BMW 235 Cup Car
17 Connor Adams Todd Foster A Toyota 86
18 Terence Phillips Darryl Phillips A Honda Civic
19 Mark Taylor Vaughan Moloney A Honda Integra DC2
20 Grant Moore Matt Moore Phil Schumacher A Toyota Altezza
21 Barry Moore Tim Mackersy B Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR
22 Victor Cattermole Matthew Holland C Mercedes 190e
23 Kevin Underwood TBA C Ford Falcon
24 Perry Scarfe Grant Silvester C FORD BA
DNF Grant Askew Cole Askew B Seat Supercopa Lean
DNF Greg Brinck Stephen Harrison D Aston Martin Vantage GT4
DNF Michael Driver Philip hood B VW GTI TCR
DNF Paul Kelly Craig Baird D Porsche 997 Cup
DNF Rodney Parkes Michael Parkes A Honda S2000
DNF Sam Collins Paul Radisich Nick Ross C Ford Mustang
DNF Scott O’Donnell Allan Dippie D Porsche 991 GT3 R
DNF Shane Helms Rob Bolland D Ginetta G55 GT4
DNF Tim Stanton Leyton Tremain A Peugeot 106 Rallye
DNF Tony Quinn Damon Leitch E Aston Martin GT3