While Porsche dominates the entry list of the South Island Endurance Series Class 2 & 3 1-Hour at Ruapuna, several other contenders ensure they will need to work for their spoils when the season shifts into gear this weekend.
A total of 20 cars are competing in Class 2, with 16 of those produced by the renowned German manufacturer. Keeping them company, however, are the newly-acquired Marc II Mustang of Jordan Michels, the Marc GT of Nick Chester, the Audi R8 GT3 of Adam Julian and Grant Silvester’s Ford Mustang.
Luke Manson leads the way in the Class 2 & 3 1-Hour standings following his success in the Golden Homes North Island Endurance Series, where he won the opener at Hampton Downs and finished third at Taupo in the #84 Porsche GT3 Cup 992. Also in 992s are Matt Whittaker, Martin Dippie, and the pairing of Steve Brooks and Bill Riding.
Chester enters the round in the Marc GT for its first outing in the South Island. He is second in the New Zealand Endurance Championship standings, finishing second in Auckland and third in Taupo.
The FHK Racing Porsche 991.2MRs of Mana Malmezac, who won the Taupo 1-Hour, and Francois Beziac are back in action, with the duo joining forces later in the day to also compete in the 3-Hour with Jono Lester. Jarrod Owens is also competing in the 1-Hour in a 991.2MR.
Paul Southam, Seb Manson and Scotty Flanagan take to the track in their respective 991.2s, while Ayrton Hodson is kept busy immediately following the Class 4 & 5 1-Hour when he enters a 991.1. Marty Neil is also racing in a 991.1.
Rounding out the Porsche contingent are Marco Schelp and Allan Dippie in Porsche GT3 Cup S’s and the GT3 Cup 997 of Nick Wright.
Class 3 offers some more diversity and features the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT4 of Joel Giddy and McLaren 570S GT4 of Lindsay O’Donnell.
There’s also an American influence on the grid, with Bruce Davidson appearing in a Chevrolet Corvette and Roger Nees taking to the track in a Dodge Challenger.
Steve Scoles, a regular in the New Zealand scene, returns to the track in the #58 Ginetta G56. James Paterson will pilot the #24 Audi R8 Turbo, while the pairing of Andrew Mcfarlane and Michael Bushnell round out the field in their Porsche GT3 Cup 996, which runs a GM LS-series V8 engine.
The South Island Endurance Series Class 2 & 3 1-Hour qualify at 9.25 am on Saturday. Racing begins at 11.40 am and will be live-streamed by The Pits Media.
South Island Endurance Series Class 2 & 3 1-Hour Entry List
|Driver 1||Driver 2||Car|
|Andrew McFarlane||Michael Bushnell||Porsche GT3 Cup 996|
|Marco Schelp||–||Porsche GT3 Cup S|
|Jarrod Owens||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 991.2MR|
|Jordan Michels||–||Marc II Mustang|
|James Paterson||–||Audi R8 Turbo|
|Paul Southam||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 991.2|
|Ayrton Hodson||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 991.1|
|Glen Brazier||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 992|
|Bruce Davidson||–||Chevrolet Corvette|
|Nick Wright||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 997|
|Steve Scoles||–||Ginetta G56|
|Adam Julian||–||Audi R8 GT3|
|Steve Brooks||Bill Riding||Porsche GT3 Cup 992|
|Lindsay O’Donnell||–||McLaren 570S GT4|
|Nick Chester||–||Marc GT|
|Marty Neil||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 991.1|
|Luke Manson||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 992|
|Seb Manson||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 991.2|
|Grant Silvester||–||Ford Mustang|
|Matt Whittaker||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 992|
|Roger Nees||–||Dodge Challenger|
|Scotty Flanagan||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 991.2|
|Francois Beziac||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 991.2MR|
|Mana Malmezac||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 991.2MR|
|Allan Dippie||–||Porsche GT3 Cup S|
|Martin Dippie||–||Porsche GT3 Cup 992|
Header Image: Luke Manson leads the way in the New Zealand Endurance Championship having claimed the North Island Endurance Series 1-Hour title. Image: Neville Bailey.