Corliss Race Engineering (CRE) has confirmed it will partner with Ford New Zealand in a New Zealand-first alliance to run a two-car Golden Homes North Island Endurance Championship entry later this year, with the team looking to firmly establish themselves within the domestic motorsport scene and pave out a successful future.
The Hampton Downs-based squad will field two V8 powered Mustangs in the truncated two-round championship with the driver line-up to be confirmed over the coming weeks.
Over the last three years, CRE has raced internationally with the majority of their success coming in the form of the TA2 Asia championship where the team were heavily invested in finetuning the development of Ford Motorsport in the Asia-Pacific region.
The drawcard of CRE’s 2020 calendar was their intentions to run in a support class during the Vinfast Vietnamese Grand Prix on the recently constructed Hanoi Street Circuit only for the event to be postponed indefinitely following the global Covid-19 outbreak.
But with the team now grounded back home in New Zealand, CRE has centred its intentions solely around the forthcoming North Island Endurance Series where the outfit is slated to run in the One Hour race in the open class.
“For us at CRE we will be thrilled to score podium performances at every race,” CRE team principal Jono Corliss told Velocity News.
“But we are not reinventing the wheel, our proven performance and reliability in Asia will allow us to prove why we can achieve that target. In Asia we are running five-hour weekends with back-to-back one-hour races so there is no reason to expect we cannot have the same performance here.”
But it is not only a one-off North Island Endurance campaign that has enticed the interest of CRE and Ford, with the team adamant they will be on the New Zealand summer series grid in one shape or form.
Corliss suggested that his team is eyeing an entry in local platforms with a decision to be set in stone following the release of respective calendars and regulations from series promoters.
The Ford New Zealand partnership will follow into their NZ future with a classic Blue Oval livery set to feature on the team’s cars, one reminiscent of the Ford Performance Racing paint scheme synonymous with those seen across the manufacturer’s impressive Supercars regime.
The opening round of the 2020 North Island Endurance series is pencilled in for September 19 from Hampton Downs Motorsport Park with the second and final round scheduled to be held from Pukekohe on November 24.
CRE is set to firm up its driver line-up and car models for the series over the coming days