Endurance titles on the line at Pukekohe this weekend

The final round of the 2015 Mahindra North Island Endurance series takes place at Pukekohe this Saturday, with outright series victory still up for grabs and for the top twenty in the series, a chance to move forward to a national endurance final at Hampton Downs next March.

Grids of 40 plus cars for both the McCullough One Hour race and the Squawking Magpie Three Hour race will compete on the newly re-licenced old circuit, using the full straight to account for recent wet conditions.

Narrow series leaders John McIntyre and Inky Tulloch will start as favourites for the three hour race, their Reiter Camaro likely to be even more potent than at Hampton Downs when the car was regularly running on only seven cylinders and suffering from fading brakes. Championship rivals John De Veth and Glenn Smith had the pace in the latter stages of the Hampton race in their Holden V8 SuperTourer prototype, and have enjoyed good reliability, but the prospect of beating the Camaro at full strength and with Puke’s daunting back straight at the mercy of its mighty V8 is a tough one.

The gorgeous Audi R8 LMS Ultra is back out in the hands of Andrew Bagnall and Rick Armstrong and will be a player, as will Jono Lester and Graeme Smyth in their Trass Family Motorsport Ferrari 430 GT3. Further GT interest will come from Deon Cooper and Alexandra Whiteley in Cooper’s GT spec Ford GT. Lance Hughes and Andre Heimgartner will also be a threat in their TLX specification Holden Commodore and there are a fine selection of Porsches, SEATs, BMWs, Hondas and other exotica to keep the fans and competing teams interested in what has been a massive motorsport hit with huge entries in all events.

There’s a great selection of great machinery in the one hour race as well, including a second Audi R8, three Ferraris, seven Porsches and a host of other marques. Gene Rollinson could also run the stunning Mosler MT900R in this race.

In addition to round and series honours, racers will also have one eye on qualification for the national final of the endurance series which will pitch the best 20 teams from the North Island series against the best 20 from the South Island series in a national ‘unification’ event at Hampton Downs next March.

Tickets are $20 on the gate, with Under 12s going free. There is also a maximum charge for a car of $40, so the more people come along to watch, the cheaper it all gets!



Squawking Magpie THREE HOUR SERIES – Top Twenty
Car Driver Class Points

222 Inky Tulloch GT 182
222 John McIntyre GT 182
23 John De Veth GT 175
23 Glenn Smith GT 175
123 Bernard Verryt 1 136
123 Aaron Harris 1 136
81 Darryl Barrett 1 124
81 Hamish Frew 1 124
75 Hayden Johnston 3 109
75 Damon Jackson 3 109
9 Craig Innes 2 108
9 Jamie McNee 2 108
84 Lance Hughes GT 108
84 A. Heimgartner GT 108
80 David Dovey 1 102
80 Matt Dovey 1 102
22 Rick Armstrong 87
99 Mike Eady 3 86
99 Mark Corbett 3 86
13 Rhys Warren GT 84

McCullough ONE HOUR SERIES – Top Twenty

Car Driver Points

180 Ian Hayes 190
21 Sam Fillmore 161
77 W. Mortimer 124
45 Tim O’Connor 121
351 Bruce Kett 118
351 Shane Johnston 118
11 Kel McBeath 95
142 Graeme Fraser 90
21 Andrew Porter 87
26 Simon McLennan 87
9 Craig Innes 85
22 Neil Foster 80
51 Deon Cooper 80
3 Allan Rickerby 79
302 Rick Cooper 79
10 Grant Aitken 78
28 Richard Oxton 74
16 Peter Begovich 72
30 Garry Morrell 72
75 Dean Perkins 69

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits talkmotorsport.co.nz. He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!


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