The new NaZCAR Pro endurance series (formerly known as Lemons) is a Kiwi-owned racing series targeted at mid-level, mid-performance race cars.
The series is open to any race car, modified or not, as long as it meets the NaZCAR time brackets for each class. Drivers already competing in other national race series, such as the 2K Cup, Honda Cup, BMW Race Series and SsangYong Action Utes will also be eligible for entry.
“Essentially, NaZCAR is for those drivers beyond grassroots racing like Lemons but still below the level of GT racing in the North and South Island Endurance Series,” said series organiser Jacob Simonsen.
“It was when I first started with Lemons over in Australia in 2015, I noticed there was this gap in the market. Coming back to New Zealand, I then saw that endurance racing was incredibly popular, but there was no mid-range option for customers.
“There has been this massive surge in grassroots racing across the country. So, NaZCAR Pro is aimed at providing the playground for everyone in-between.
“The ethos of the series is to have the entry barrier as low as possible while still promoting a safe and competitive race series.
“It is all about bringing more participants into motorsport and with NaZCAR Pro we now have an opportunity to give back to motorsport by offering Kiwi drivers more seat time, something they all crave, and a chance for any up-and-coming drivers to have a go.”
In terms of the on-track action, gone are the wild themes associated with the Lemons series and drivers can expect plenty of tough competition.
Times set in qualifying will determine which of the four-speed groups each car will be entered in and what their breakout times are for the race. Suppose they exceed their nominated breakout time on multiple occasions, that car will then be automatically bumped up a group.
“It is a no-nonsense series run under the Australasian Auto-Sport Alliance (AASA),” Simonsen said. “Points are awarded over three rounds before crowing a national champion at the end of it all.
“It will be exciting to see what shows up. By opening up the eligibility to include a wide range of marques such as BMW, Honda and Toyota, it could be that over time a sort of inter-marque rivalry is born.
“But we still hope the series attracts all walks of drivers, from the weekend warriors to the young kids looking to have a crack at competitive endurance racing but can’t currently afford a drive in a GT car.
“This is not a chequebook series, but one for people who want somewhere competitive, yet still enjoyable, to go endurance racing.”
Driver safety remains paramount with all cars requiring an AASA or MSNZ homologated six-point roll cage, and a minimum of a 5-point harness and an onboard fire extinguisher.
Each team will consist of at least two drivers but are allowed to run another car in a ‘relay’ if they wish to ensure each vehicle goes the distance.
Main Image: NaZCAR