Race drivers from around the South Island outnumber competitors from around the rest of New Zealand and Australia at the big Highlands 101 race meeting at Highlands Motorsport Park.
Drivers from across Australia and as far afield as Auckland are travelling to Highlands for the venue’s biggest motor racing event of the year running 13-15 November
“But as you’d expect,” says Highlands’ general manager Mike Sentch, “it’s South Island competitors who make up the bulk of the entries for the three main race categories, despite the large number of Australian GT Championship contestants travelling across the Tasman for this big weekend of racing.
“Twenty-seven entries are listed with hometowns across the South Island, with those from Christchurch being the most numerous.”
The weekend’s feature race, the Highlands 101 endurance race with its Le Mans-style running start, will see five South Islanders on the starting grid – Gore’s Inky Tulloch pairing up with Nelson’s John McIntyre in a Camaro GT3, Wanaka-Dunedin pairing Allan Dippie and Scott O’Donnell in a Porsche GT3 and Christchurch’s Rick Armstrong is also in a Porsche with Auckland co-driver Andrew Bagnell.
Competitors in the 1+01 race, a one-hour-plus-one-lap mini enduro, include the pairing of Danny Whiting and Andy Knight and one of just two female entrants at the event, Sue McLaughlin, all from Christchurch and all driving Porsches. Timaru pairing Steve Parker and Matt Jackson pilot a Honda S2000 while Alexandra’s Bruce Davidson will compete in his Nissan Skyline R32.
“This year we have opened the Euromarque category up so any saloon or GT type car with a European heritage is eligible to enter,” says Sentch. “The Euromarque field is still dominated by German marques with competitors from Mosgiel, Bannockburn, Rakaia, Temuka, Tarras and Roxburgh joining a big number from Christchurch where the original German-oriented Rennsport category was developed by the Canterbury Car Club.”
The Highlands 101 race weekend also features the final two races of the 2015 Australian GT Championship where fans can enjoy watching Kiwi V8 Supercar stars Shane van Gisbergen, Fabian Coulthard and Craig Baird in action in an array of stunning GT-spec race cars. The event’s family-friendly entertainment includes freestyle motocross demonstrations, a new lap record attempt from superbike racer Sloan Frost, stunt motorcycle rider Nic Kroeze, and activities for children such as the Spiderweb climbing frame, vertical bungy and a bouncy castle. The free Highlands bus runs all day to take spectators around the track to the different viewing areas, including the Jurassic Safari Park and adventure playground in the Highlands’ forest.
To purchase tickets online, visit TicketDirect www.ticketdirect.co.nz and search for ‘Highlands 101 for discounted pre-event tickets, or visit the Highlands office to purchase directly.
More information about the Highlands 101 and the many activities and adventures running daily at Highlands Motorsport Park is available from www.highlands.co.nz or find Highlands on Facebook or Twitter.