Newly crowned MOTUL Honda Cup overall champion Chris Hughes says he’ll be back next season to defend his title.
Hughes secured the 2021 crown after a solid weekend at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo which included a win in the first race on Saturday and two solid results in Sunday’s reverse top ten and handicap races.
“There’s not much to do on the car as we’ve done a lot over the past year or so to make it as quick as we can,” he said. “Now all there is to do is drive it and go even quicker as we learn more about it, so I’ll definitely be back next season for another shot at the title and I am expecting it to be just as tough.”
N1 class champion and long-time Honda Cup racer Shane Hine is another who plans to be back for another crack at the N1 title next season. He expects a much tougher challenge as the popularity of the entry-level Honda Cup racing category continues to grow.
“It’s been a great season and as usual I’ve got to make mention of all the people who have made it possible for me,” he said. “I’ll be back next year but it will be harder. Class wins have been hard enough to come by this year but N1 is a great class and that’s why we are seeing more cars coming into the series. That’ll only make it tougher, but also more fun.”
In a busy weekend of racing, Saturday’s first race was critical in setting the tone for the weekend. Hughes found a way past early leader Andrew Johnston before half way and raced home to take the win. Championship leader Greg Spark came home fourth, but Hughes had the initiative and never looked back.
Brent Thompson bolted on some new tyres for the reverse top ten race on Sunday morning and raced away impressively to a dominant win, clocking some very fast laps in the process. Hughes followed him home and again beat Spark, which more or less sealed him the title.
Kevin Hopkins won the handicap race after a fine drive on Sunday afternoon. The EG Civic driver had to find a way past Gary Morrell to take the lead, not an easy task at a track the local veteran racer knows like the back of his hand. Once past, however, he got his head down and did more than enough to stay ahead of the faster cars behind and secure his third MOTUL Honda Cup race win.
Images: Matt Smith