It’s been a long wait but the final results for the Golden Homes North Island Endurance Championship have been confirmed and it’s one of the tightest results in the championship history.
The drama started when Shane Helms was forced to miss the race despite qualifying the car and drafted in Tom Alexander to race the Renault RS01 alongside Greg Murphy. The crew was permitted to race and won, but were not eligible for series points being two ‘A’ grade drivers (the championship only permits one A grade per crew). The Three Hour field had agreed to allow the duo to take part in the interests of competition and good sportsmanship, and the Clerk of the Course for the Hampton Downs finale also agreed.
Ultimately, however, they remained ineligible for series points and the matter ended up with MSNZ for clarification and resolution. The situation was complicated by the tight championship battle. Father and son combo Paul and Ant Pedersen finished second on the road, but believed they should have been awarded the points for the win, given the Renault’s ineligibility. This would be enough to give them the championship win – hence there have been protracted discussions before final positions in the race and championship were confirmed.
Following appeal, however, the original result – which gave the championship win by one single point to Andrew Fawcett and Daniel Gaunt – prevailed. “It’s the closest finish in the championship history and obviously we totally understand all viewpoints from all competitors,” explained NIERDC President David Dovey.
It all means that Fawcett and Gaunt win the Golden Homes Three Hour championship for 2022, with the Pedersen crew second in their first season in their new Mercedes. The Sam Fillmore, Andrew Waite and Danny Stutterd Audi R8 LMS GT3, which won the first round of the 2022 championship, takes the third place spot.
Sam Collins won the Golden Homes One Hour series, a remarkable turnaround from recent unreliability problems for the Collins team. Steve Brooks and Bill Riding were a close second in their Porsche with Marco Schelp rounding out the top three in his BMW.
The popular Golden Homes Two Hour series saw David Whitburn and Graham Ball secure victory in their BMW E92 with Simon Ussher and Jake Stoneman a remarkable second overall in the big Ford Falcon FG V8 Ute. Rookie William Morton and Tom Alexander completed the top three in their Toyota 86.
3 Hour Overall (Top 10)
1/ Andrew Fawcett/Daniel Gaunt McLaren 720 S GT3 181
2/ Paul Pedersen/Ant Pedersen Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 180
3/ Steve Brooks/Bill Riding Porsche 991 Gen2 155
4/ David Cremer/Jason Liefting McLaren 570 S GT4 152
5/ Sam Fillmore/A.Waite/D.Stutterd Audi R8 LMS GT3 115
6/ Lance Hughes/Chris van der Drift Lamborghini Gallaro R-EX GT3 102
7/ Shane Helms/Greg Murphy Renault R.S.01 92
8/ Francois Beziac/Mana Malmezac Porsche 991 MR 90
9/ John Penny/R.Murphy/G.Murphy Aston Martin AMR GT3 79
10/ Glenn Smith/John de Veth McLaren 650 S GT3 20
1 Hour Overall (Top 5)
1/ Sam Collins Marc Gen 2 Mustang 190
2/ Steve Brooks/Bill Riding Porsche 992 181
3/ Marco Schelp BMW Z4 GT3 176
4/ Marco Giltrap Porsche 982 Cayman GT4 169
5/ Geoff Short Porsche 997 Gen2 155
2 Hour Overall Points (Top 5)
1/ David Whitburn/Graham Ball BMW E92 185
2/ Simon Ussher/Jake Stoneman Ford Falcon FG V8 Ute 168
3/ William Morton/Tom Alexander Toyota 86 164
4/ Chris Wall/A.Simon/L.Hammond Honda Civic 155
5/ Philip Ross/Shane Dias Holden Commodore VE V8 Ute 143