NEWS
Thursday, Jul 11 06:58pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Keeping up with the Kiwis, your guide to the action: July 12–15

Whether it’s sports cars, single seaters or touring cars, there’s a bit of spice for everyone with some high profile New Zealanders competing all around the world.

 

All times below are listed as New Zealand Standard Time (NZST).

 

Dixon

Scott Dixon

What: Honda Indy Toronto

Where: Exhibition Place, United States

When: R 7:35AM MON

How to follow: SKY Sports or Live Timing

 

It’s now or never for Scott Dixon in the NTT Indycar Series.

 

Mr. Five-Time sits fourth in the standings and a little under 100 points back of championship leader Josef Newgarden.

 

American media are obviously pitting Team Penske pilot Newgarden and Andretti Autosport ace Alexander Rossi against each other for the title. However, as we saw last year, the momentum can so quickly swing.

 

Without doubt, Newgarden, Rossi and Simon Pagenaud have been the pick of the bunch. Dixon’s three finishes outside the top 10 have been costly this season, but we’ve seen his determination to remain competitive.

 

At the last round held around Road America he fought from last to fifth in an epic come-back drive that could define his season.

 

Typically Dixon comes on strong in the latter half of the season, but with only seven races to go it doesn’t leave him much time.

 

Dixon heads to the streets of Toronto in Canada as the defending champion. A three-time race winner at Honda’s home race will no doubt make him one of the favourites.

 

Mitch

Mitch Evans

What: New York E-Prix

Where: Brooklyn Street Circuit, United States

When: R1 SUN 8:00AM | R2 MON 8:00AM

How to follow: DUKE TV Live Stream

 

The 2018-’19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship has undoubtedly been the best season to date for Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans.

 

With just two races remaining the most consistent driver of the season sits third overall behind experienced duo Jean-Éric Vergne and Lucas Di Grassi.

 

A win in Rome really set his season alight and while winning the title seems unlikely at such a deficit to Vergne, it’s not out of the question.

 

Currently Evans sits on 87 points, Di Grassi on 98 and Vergne on a substantial 130. For either Evans or Di Grassi to win the title they’d need something spectacular to go wrong for Vergne and everything to go right for them.

 

With 58 points available and 43 points in arrears, Evans will be doing what he can to get as close as possible.

 

“Returning to the podium in Switzerland proved that we have the speed to compete at the very front in Formula E,” Evans said.

 

“This has given us a lot of confidence going into the last two races in New York. I qualified on the front row there last year and I really like the track in Brooklyn.

 

“There is a big gap to Jean-Eric (Vergne) in the points but I prefer to be the hunter than the hunted. If we get a big points haul on Saturday it will be all to play for on Sunday.

 

“I really have nothing to lose. I’ve finished every race this year and I am ready to fight for this championship. It is not over by a long way.”

 

Older brother Simon Evans is also racing in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY. 

 

Marcus

Marcus Armstrong & Liam Lawson

What: FIA Formula 3 Championship

Where: Silverstone Circuit, United Kingdom

When: R1 SAT 8:25PM | R2 SUN 7:35PM

How to follow: Spark Sport or Live Timing

 

There will no doubt have been some choice words in the PREMA Racing garage after Marcus Armstrong and Robert Shwartzman threw away a possible one-two for the team.

 

The pair collided in Race 2 of the championship at the Red Bull Ring, which ultimately left Armstrong with a puncture and in the gravel while Shwartzman was penalised and pegged back to third.

 

Still, the Russian is the man to beat as the season hits halfway this weekend at Silverstone Circuit. With 90 points in hand fellow teammate Jehan Daruvala is the closest rival in second on 92 points.

 

Former PREMA driver Jüri Vips lies third on 63 points while Armstrong has 54 points to his name - though it could’ve been a whole lot better coming out of Austria.

 

After a spectacular start to the year in the Toyota Racing Series young 17-year-old Liam Lawson has somewhat fallen to the wayside.

 

The MP Motorsport driver hasn’t quite got his car in tune, but a podium can’t be far away after a breakthrough top five finish at Circuit Paul Ricard.

 

Jaxon

Jaxon Evans

What: Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup

Where: Silverstone Circuit, United Kingdom

When: R SUN 10:15PM

How to follow: Spark Sport 

 

It’s another Grand Prix and another weekend for Jaxon Evans in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

 

It’s hard to believe Evans has already had eight race weekends worth of racing in the car across Supercup and Carrera Cup Germany.

 

It’s only Round 4 of Supercup after Spain, Monaco and Austria. After only a few days break since competing at the Norisring young Evans moves to Silverstone Circuit for the British Grand Prix.

 

So far he’s been consistent with finished of eight, seventh and another seventh. He lies ninth in the standings on 22 points, leader Michael Ammermüller has 54 to his name.

 

Practice pace has been up and down for Evans. At times he’s been ultra competitive but come qualifying the Porsche Junior hasn’t quite been able to convert.

 

What is encouraging is that Evans was one of the quickest in a mid-season test at Silverstone. All going well he’ll hopefully get his first top five of the year.

 

Cassidy

Nick Cassidy

What: SUPER FORMULA

Where: Fuji Speedway, Japan

When: R SUN 4:35PM

How to follow: Live Stream or Live Timing

 

Naoki Yamamoto remains the man to beat in SUPER FORMULA after three rounds at Suzuka, Autopolis and Sportsland SUGO.

 

With 27 points to his name, Yamamoto leads New Zealand’s own Nick Cassidy by 11 points. It’s back-to-back second place finishes at the start of the season and a win most recently at SUGO that see Yamamoto on top. Cassidy has one win to his credit, an eighth and a fourth place finish.

 

The season effectively hits halfway this weekend with Round 4 at the famed Fuji Speedway. Last year Cassidy claimed a classy first win for KONDO Racing. He’ll no doubt be looking to do that again and chase down the ever so strong Yamamoto.

 

Will a happy hunting ground play into Cassidy’s favour? Perhaps, but the incredibly competitive nature of SUPER FORMULA means almost anyone can win.

 

TCR

Andre Heimgartner & Chris Pither

What: TCR Australia

Where: The Bend Motorspot Park, Australia

When: R1 SAT 4:15PM | R2 SUN  3:15PM | R3 SUN 4:20PM

How to follow: Shannons Nationals Live Stream

 

The Kiwi contingent in the carsales TCR Australia Series have a fair bit of catching up to do if they want to get into championship contention.

 

At the moment it’s hot shot Will Brown who leads the way on 244 points in his Hyundai i30 N with Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce pilot Dylan O’Keeffe a distant second on 192 points.

 

Chris Pither is the leading Kiwi but mired down in seventh on just 122 points for Garry Rogers Motorsport while fellow countryman Andre Heimgartner holds 10th for Kelly Racing.

 

Pither has been consistent but he’s not quite been able to unleash the speed in his Renault Megane RS. Similarly, Heimgartner hasn’t had the results he’d perhaps have liked, but the speed is certainly there in his Subaru WRX STi.

 

This weekend’s three-race program at The Bend Motorsport Park near Adelaide marks Round 3 of the seven-round championship.

 

Keep an eye on series debutants Jordan Cox in a Honda Civic Type R and former Supercars Championship veteran Russell Ingall in an Audi RS 3 LMS.

 

GT

Dom Story, Craig Baird & Shane van Gisbergen

What: Australian GT Championship

Where: The Bend Motorsport Park, Australia

When: R SAT 5:20PM

How to follow: Shannons Nationals Live Stream

 

There’s a good chance there’ll be a Kiwi on the podium in the second round of the CAMS Australian GT Championship this weekend.

 

That’s because nearly half of the outright contenders of the grid have a Kiwi in them. Just seven FIA GT3 homologated cars will compete at The Bend Motorsport Park, a 10-car grid bolstered by a pair of GT4 cars and a sole Trophy entry.

 

Dominic Storey rejoins Peter Hackett at Eggleston Motorsport while Craig Baird also rejoins Scott Taylor, both behind the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG GT3.

 

Red Bull Holden Racing Team regular Shane van Gisbergen will return to GT3 competition in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 alongside Liam Talbot for Trofeo Motorsport.

 

It won’t be an easy win if one of the three Kiwi contenders does do it. There’s some stiff competition with Geoff Emery and Garth Tander joining forces in an Audi R8 LMS EVO, Max Twigg and Tony D’Alberto in a Mercedes-AMG, as well as Yassir Shahin and Jamie Whincup in a Mercedes-AMG too.

 

It’ll be one big three-hour race come Saturday afternoon, closing out at 8:30pm NZST.

 

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