The 2020 Golden Homes North Island Endurance Championship will receive a significant shakeup after the announcement that the popular one-hour race will be opened to both Pro and Amateur drivers; a move one-hour ex-champion Cameron McCormack hopes will increase the interest of competitors.
Having been put on hold amid the coronavirus-induced suspension of New Zealand motorsport, NIERDC have unveiled a two-round championship which will commence at Pukekohe Park on 18/19 of September.
Series organisers have duly responded to the pandemic’s negative impact on the economy and have now opened the one-hour class for so-called Elite drivers to enter, whereas previous entries were solely reserved for Amateur drivers only.
Alongside the eligibility changes, other rule changes has also seen the One Hour races expanded to accommodate a wider range of cars including 2014 and older car GT3 models as well as TransAm/TA2 space frame vehicles.
A former champion of the series, McCormack admits the rule changes are a welcome change, and while his Porsche 996 lies a fair way off the pace of many of the more modern machines, the changes should hopefully see an increase in grid sizes.
“Earlier this year I no intention of racing in the series due to work commitments but with the series dates changing over the last few months there is a chance I could make the grid,” McCormack said.
“The goal is always to win the class but the 996 GT3 I run is a long way off the quickest guys out there but I get it back with the consistency of the Pirelli slicks I use and the reliability of running a factory-built race car.
“I honestly had no idea that pro drivers were not allowed in the one hour previously and hope that letting them in will increase the grid size and not deter other people from entering.
“The TA2 and Trans Am cars will be interesting to see as there are a few unknowns with how fast and reliable they will be.”
Meanwhile 2 of the ex Thailand modified TA2 based race cars have had shakedown runs at Hampton Downs last week and will undoubtedly be a fan favourite in the series courtesy of their 6.2 litre V8 engines and ground shaking noise.
The opening round of the 2020 Golden Homes North Island Endurance championship is slated for September 18-19 from Pukekohe Park before the final round at Hampton Downs in October.
A revised date for the Grand Final of the New Zealand Endurance Championship round to be held at Highlands Motorsport Park has now been scheduled for November 7.