Friday, Oct 13 09:02pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Keeping up with the Kiwis, your guide to the action: October 13–16

It's another big weekend for circuit racing fans around the world, especially if you're a sportscar racing fan. There's GT racing in China, Japan and Europe. Close to home, however, our Kiwi boys are slaying tyres and slaying time at Sydney Motorsport Park at the annual World Time Attack Challenge.

All times listed below are New Zealand Standard Time and adjusted


Chris van der Drift & Will Bamber

What: China GT Championship final

Where: Zhejiang Circuit, China

When: R1 Sat 5:00 PM, R2 Sun 6:00 PM

How to follow: Facebook livestream

Watch the replay: Facebook

It’s a big weekend for Chris van der Drift and teammate Li Chao, who will both be vying for outright honours in the China GT Championship.

The pair come into the final round at Zhejiang Circuit just 10-points behind Xu Jia. Recently Chao and van der Drift have had solid success in the championship.

They come into the final two races off the back of a win and two podium finishes in races eight and nine. Aiding their effort was the demise of Wang Liang and Martin Rump who suffered poor results in the last three races, including a DNF.  

If van der Drift and Chao get a win on Saturday and Xu Jua finishes second then the points will be all square heading into the final.

Similarly, Will Bamber is still in contention for the top spot in the GTC field, but he’ll need a fair bit of luck to go his way. Leader Huang Xi Show sit atop the order on 159-points, but Bamber is 23.5-points in arrears. He’ll need the front runner to have a bad day on Saturday and hope for some luck to get a win to even things up come Sunday afternoon.


Andre Heimgartner

What: BLANCPAIN GT Series Asia final

Where: Zhejiang Circuit, China

When: R1 Sat 7:00 PM, R2 Sun 3:50 PM

How to follow: BLANCPAIN livestream, live timing

Just two days after two stellar performances at Bathurst's Mount Panorama, Craft-Bamboo Racing have asked André Heimgartner to join their team this weekend.


The Kiwi recorded a victory in the final Porsche Carrera Cup Australia race ahead of the Great Race, and later took a top-10 in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 with Brad Jones Racing's Tim Slade against all odds. Despite a late spin by an exhausted Slade as well as a late pit stop to pull Slade out of the car, the pair managed ninth.


The Kiwi will race with British racer Devon Modell in the #88 Porsche 911 GT3 R in what will be the final round of the 2017 Blancpain GT Series Asia calendar.


The final two races of the were moved forward one week to October 14 and 15 after the ruling Communist Party of China scheduled it's National Congress on the same weekend as the initial October 21/22 date the series was supposed to race on.


He'll race at China's Zhejiang Circuit, the same facility he drove at when he contested the penultimate round of the FRD LMP3 China Series.   


“What a week it has been – first to get the call-up to Brad Jones Racing for the big race at the weekend, and then to be able to follow that up today with the announcement that I will be heading over to China this week for Craft Bamboo Racing is pretty exciting,” Heimgartner said.


“This will be my third racing event in Asia this year after competing in Sepang for the Carrera Cup in July before heading to Shanghai in August when I got the call-up to race for FRD LMP3 Series with S & D Motorsport.

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World Time Attack Challenge Kiwis

What: World Time Attack Challenge

Where: Sydney Motorsport Park, Australia

When: All day Saturday click here for schedule

How to follow: WTAC livestream, live timing

Another year of the infamous World Time Attack Challenge brings yet another year of crazy wings and wild lap times.

Sydney Motorsport Park once again hosts the annual mid-October fixture where some of the world’s fastest time attack cars and drifters converge on the area’s best motorsport facility.

With it being so close to home, it’s the perfect event for Kiwis to jump the ditch for a squizz on the Sydney circuit. There are over 10 Kiwis competing across the time attack challenge and HoneyWell Garrett International Drift Challenge.

‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett, Shane van Gisbergen, Darren Kelly, Dylan Woolhouse, Adam Davies, Dave Steedman, Cole Armstrong, Carl Thompson and Drew Donovan will take on the drift challenge.

Meanwhile, just Andy Duffin will feature in the Open Class of the World Time Attack Challenge. Kiwi team 666 Racing will take on the Open Class, but with Australian Garth Walden at the wheel.

Saturday promises to be a big day with time set to tumble first thing in the morning.


Brendon Hartley & Earl Bamber

What: FIA World Endurance Championship, round seven
Where: Fuji Speedway, Japan
When: R Sun 2:00 PM 

How to follow: WEC livestream (paid), live timing
Watch the replay: WEC Youtube 

Featuring a 1.5 kilometre long straight, the track rightly deserves its last name of “Speedway”. Depending on their aerodynamic configuration, Toyota’s and/or Porsche’s Le Mans prototypes may crack the 300 kph barrier.


The tight and twisting remainder of the lap makes set-up work challenging and requires tricky compromises. The weather in the area of Fuji-san’s perfectly shaped, 3,776 metres high volcano can be a mild late summer climate or unpredictable autumn weather.


Should championship leaders Earl Bamber (NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) bring home their Porsche 919 Hybrid ahead of the best placed Toyota drivers, they will become the new drivers’ world champions.


They have scored 159 championship points and are followed by Kazuki Nakajima (JP) and Sébastien Buemi (CH) having 108 points each.


The trio of the second Porsche 919 Hybrid, reigning world champion Neel Jani (CH), André Lotterer (DE) and Nick Tandy (GB), currently rank fourth with a score of 83 points.


If Porsche manages this season’s fourth one-two victory, the company would win the manufacturers’ world championship for the third time in a row. However, it is not Porsche but Toyota who is the odds-on favourite on home soil. After six of nine WEC rounds, Porsche has 242 points, Toyota 168.5 points.

Words: Porsche


Tom Blomqvist

What: DTM Championship, final

Where: Hockenheim, Germany

When: R1 Sun 1:50 AM, R2 Mon 2:10 AM

How to follow: DTM livestream

Watch the replay: Youtube highlights

This year has arguably been the worst ever for expat-Kiwi Tom Blomqvist, who languishes at the bottom of the DTM Championship standings.

It’s been a tough year plagued by mechanical issues and several race wins that slipped through his fingers. It’s never a good feeling to have wins taken from your grasp, but to sit at the bottom of the table with only four top-10s to his name and zero top-fives.

A difficult season concludes this weekend in Germany. With a Formula E drive potentially on the horizon, one might wonder whether this might be the last we see of Blomqvist in the DTM.

“It has been a tough season for me,” he said.

“As such, it would obviously be nice to finish with a success. We’ll have to wait and see whether that is the case.

“The opposition will be very strong again, but we now know our car better than we did at the season opener at the same venue. Let’s see what we can do. It will definitely be interesting.”

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