For the first time, the Golden Homes North Island Endurance Series and Carters Tyres South Island Endurance Series will both be broadcast live on Sky Sport. Both one-hour and three-hour races from each round will be covered.
The new deal follows the successful live broadcasting of the New Zealand Endurance championship finale in 2020, where the leading entries from each respective series took on each other at Highlands Motorsport Park.
The deal is part of a new partnership the categories have with the Heart of Racing, who also supported the 2020 Highlands finale broadcast. Former Supercars commentator Greg Rust, racer Andrew Waite, and Sky Sports regular Steven McIvor will front the broadcast.
“After working with Sky to broadcast the national finals last year, it was an obvious choice to pursue the entire 2021 season broadcast. Our team will focus our efforts on covering the endurance season on Sky while integrating the long-running history of New Zealand motorsport into the programme,” said The Heart of Racing programme manager Teagan Klein.
“We are very grateful to operate within this community and this is a way for us to express our thanks.”
“The Heart of Racing’s broadcast creates a buzz throughout our widespread community in New Zealand. Everyone is happy about it, from us as series organisers to the competitors and fans,” said SIERDC President Scott O’Donnell.
“The team at The Heart of Racing is doing a great thing by broadcasting this year’s endurance series,” added NIERDC President David Dovey.
“Not only does it generate excitement around the sport, but it is all done in support of The Starship Foundation. It is a good team whose mission is easy to support.”
The news adds to Sky Sport’s increased focus on motorsport. In the recent past it’s acquired the FIA Formula E series and New Zealand’s Valvoline D1NZ National Drifting Championship, on top of its established line-up inclusive of Supercars, IndyCar, and Nascar.
The North Island Endurance Series kicks off at Pukekohe Raceway on May 8–9, before travelling to Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on May 28–29, and Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo on June 11–12. The series then finishes June 26–27.
The South Island Endurance Series, meanwhile, starts slightly later on with its opening round scheduled for September 4 at Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch. The series then travels to Teretonga Park on September 18 and Highlands Motorsport Park on October 2, before finishing at Levels Raceway on October 16.
The venue for the grand final event has yet to be confirmed.