With his TCR Australia ambitions stalled amid the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Jaden Ransley has confirmed he has agreed to a deal that will see him contest this year’s South Island Endurance Series with Rhys Gould in a Hyundai I30 N TCR.
The Toyota 86 regular was set to land a drive in the Australian series but a lack of a Trans-Tasman travel bubble has seen him turn his intention on his native country to fill his racing calendar.
Gould and Ransley will complete the three-round series in the Three Hour event, the first long-distance endurance race of Ransley’s career.
The 18-year-old will be fortunate enough to be under the mentorship of Gould who last year claimed second in class in the SIERDC championship paired with Gene Rollinson.
The nimble two-litre Hyundai TCR was the cat amongst the pigeons in last year’s series and proved to be a thorn in the side of many of the more formidable GT3 machines.
The deal works well with Ransley as the added TCR seat time allows him to prepare for a fully-fledged international campaign while sat grounded at home.
“Rhys and I will be competing in the Three Hour race,” Ransley told Velocity News.
“It’s my first time doing the Three Hour endurance race so I’m looking forward to learning the ropes of endurance racing.
“I raced with Rhys in the TCR Australia E-Series this year, we got chatting from that which eventually has turned into us stitching a deal together to run in the Three Hour race.
“Ideally, we would like to be the top TCR in the series so we will be working hard to achieve that.”
Gould burst onto the endurance racing scene last year with a flourish, snaring victory with Rollinson on debut at Teretonga Park.
The duo then went on to contest the New Zealand Endurance Championships finale at Hampton Downs in an awe-inspiring Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX, though their race was stifled with punctures.
Gould’s name has since been touted for a potential TCR New Zealand drive though no official confirmation has been made.
While the step into Endurance racing was not on Ransley’s radar before to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the budding teen is excited for the challenge that lays ahead.
“The aim is for sure to be racing in the TCR Australia championship but unfortunately with the borders being closed it’s made it incredibly hard to get over there and to be sure that we will race.
“So in the meantime it’s going to be awesome to learn the TCR car during the Endurance Series and I can’t thank Rhys enough for the opportunity.”
With the Ransley and Gould line-up confirmed, this year’s championship could be the most exciting in the TCR class to date with Kiwi rally star Hayden Paddon hinting to Velocity News last month at a possible co-drive role in his Hyundai I30 N.
While Canterbury-based racer Rowan Shepherd is set to confirm his SIERDC ambitions over the coming weeks, with another stint in the Track Tec Racing-prepared Audi RS TCR Shepherd’s aim.
The opening round of the 2020 South Island Endurance Series will be at Teretonga Park on September 12.
2020 South Island Endurance Series calendar
|1||Teretonga Park||Sept 12|
|2||Mike Pero Motorsport Park||Oct 3|
|3||Levels Raceway||Oct 17|