Sunday, Oct 20 05:55pm
Velocity News

Audi trio lockout SIES podium at Levels Raceway

All three generations of the Audi R8 featured on the Three Hour podium at the latest Carter’s Tyres South Island Endurance Series event at Levels Raceway.


Neil Foster and Jonny Reid bounced back to take their second win of the season for International Motorsport in the second-generation Audi R8 LMS GT3.


They dominated the day with pole position and then an excellently executed one-stop strategy seeing them win the 168-lap race one lap clear of the field.


“We hoped we would get through on one fuel stop, and it worked for us, everything went to plan,” Foster said after the win.


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The Chapman/Doran/Waite Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO


Dale Chapman, Marc Doran and Andrew Waite secured second place on the podium with New Zealand’s only Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO, which is the latest offering from Audi Sport. After a breakthrough win at Highlands Motorsport Park, the Track Tec Racing team had to make one more pit stop than their International Motorsport rivals with a three-driver line-up.


“The biggest problem for us was that we had a slow pit stop and the car wouldn’t engage the starter motor, so we lost a lap because of that,” Waite said.


Meanwhile, Ben Byers and Christina Orr-West completed the podium with a comeback drive in their Audi R8 LMS GT3 Ultra. They pipped George McFarlane and former Toyota 86 Championship winner Jack Milligan to third in the closing stages of the race.


“It was quite a mixed day, including pitting early because of a bent rim,” Orr-West said. 


“I could see that the Porsche was struggling, and I managed to get my nose in front and hold it to the end so thrilled with third place.”


It looked like the muscle of Simon Gilbertson and John McIntyre were going to upset the apple cart, but their Reiter Engineering SaReNi Camaro GT3 suffered suspension damage. The mechanical dramas sidelined them for the rest of the race.  


With two class wins to date, Gene Rollinson and Rhys Gould were looking to go three up in the series. However, their strong run to date was undone when Gould nearly rolled the Hyundai i30 N TCR following a clash with another car. The impact resulted in a broken front suspension tie rod and with it their first DNF to date.


Making its first appearance this season was the Matt and Dwayne Carter driven Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. The team were competitive all day and took a credible fifth place behind McFarlane and Milligan.


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Foster/Reid ahead of Chapman/Doran/Waite and Gilbertson/McIntyre


With one round remaining the Foster/Reid pairing hold a narrow one-point lead over Chapman/Doran/Waite with Orr-West/Byers a further 31-points behind.


Five separate Classes are in contention within the Three Hour Series. First home in Class A (0-2000cc) was Arron Black/Stuart Black (BMW E46 WTCC) ahead of Mark Taylor/Vaughan Moloney (Honda Integra Type R DC2). The Black pairing hold a 31-point lead over Taylor/Moloney.


Class B (2001-3500cc) was won by Barry Moore/Tim Mackersy (Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR) who finished eighth overall, one place ahead of second in their Class, Michael Driver/Philip Hood (Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR). With the Gould/Rollinson retirement, Moore and Mackersy lead the class 21-points ahead of Jared Pyke/Ben McConochie (Mazda RX8).


Ben Coffin/Sam Bushell (Mazda RX-7) won Class C (+3501cc) from Todd Bawden/Rhys Bawden (BMW 235 Cup Car). Despite being classified with a DNF in the race, the Perry Scarfe/Grant Silvester (Ford Falcon BA) pairing hold a seven-point advantage over Victor Cattermole/Matthew Holland (Mercedes 190E).


Paul Rickerby/Graeme Rhodes (Ford Falcon V8 SuperTourer) finished sixth overall and first in Class D (GT type), their second win of the series. They were followed in by the Scott O'Donnell/Allan Dippie/Martin Dippie (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup). Rickerby and Rhodes have done enough to win the Class, now with a 96-point lead.


The Three Hour Series finale takes place at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch on 2 November with a maximum of 75-points on the line for both a race and Class win.


CLICK HERE for Three Hour results


CLICK HERE for Three Hour results by class