The first round of the recently announced NZ National Endurance Racing Championship, sponsored by Golden Homes, will be held on Saturday, the 4th of March, on the long circuit at Pukekohe, which includes the chicane in the back straight. Both races will be streamed live on Fast-Files and aired on TV3’s CRC motorsport program the following week
The 3-hour race has classes for under 2-litre cars [class 5], under 3.5-litre cars [class 4], and over 3.5-litre cars. Whilst Class 2 is for GTB cars such as the Porsche 991/ 992, Marc Cars, etc. Class 1 cars are for FIA homologated GT3 cars, plus invited cars such as the Carters Brabham BT62 and the R01 Renault of Shane Helms. The rules are simple, all Class 1 3-hour cars must weigh a minimum of 1250 kilograms at the end of both qualifying and the race, without the driver. The maximum fuel capacity of the car including fuel lines, swirl pots etc is 120 litres. The minimum driving time is 70 minutes.
Whilst the crowded schedule on Saturday does not allow the new two 1-hour NZ Championship format races–under 3.5-litre cars and the second 1-hour race for over 3.5 -litre cars– both races will be combined into one 1-hour race with two podiums and a maximum grid size of 40 cars.
“It’s not ideal,” said NIERDC’s Chairman, Mark Petch, and publisher of Velocity News; “however, in order to stick to our 2-day race format, i.e. practice on Friday and race on Saturday, we have to accept that the owners of the Pukekohe circuit, the Franklin Horse racing Club, train horse’s until 10 am on Saturday morning, which leaves us insufficient time to run our 3 -hour race plus our new two 1-hour race day format.”
Practice will be on Friday the 3rd of March, whilst qualifying will be on Saturday morning, with the combined 1-hour and 3-hour race on Saturday afternoon.
Speedworks Managing Director said, “this will be the very last Endurance race to be run at the Pukekohe circuit before it is closed permanently; whilst NIERDC’s 3 and 1-hour races are Saturday’s big draw card, we are expecting record entries in all classes and categories over the 3-day weekend, with Sunday promising a series of quick-fire races including the fastest V8 tin-tops in the country.”