Rowan Shepherd has confirmed he will contest this year’s Carters Tyres South Island Endurance Series with Track Tec Racing, continuing a healthy relationship with the squad which expanded into endurance racing last year.
An International TCR endurance driver, Shepherd spoke to Velocity News earlier in the year where he admitted he was debating whether he would take the risk of flying to Europe to run with Danish outfit Holmgaard Motorsport in the new Volkswagen Golf GTI at the remaining Creventic 24 Hour round in Barcelona.
However, with his international plans now stalled amid the global pandemic Shepherd has recentred his focus on the domestic endurance scene with the 28-year-old set to get behind the wheel of a 2019 Audi RS3 LMS TCR cars in this year’s Three Hour championship.
It is the same car Shepherd ran with the squad in last year’s season finale at Ruapuna where he finished fourth in class after impressive drive having nursed suspension damage most of the race.
“It’s been unfortunate timing to not be able to compete in the Creventic 24H Series but am also very fortunate to have a strong relationship with Track Tec Racing here in NZ,” said Shepherd.
“My interest is still in the TCR category and would be great to team up with another driver to take on the rest of the endurance field.
“I have really enjoyed the previous year’s competing in SIERDC and excited to be back for the championship once again.”
Track Tec Racing will be running at least two TCRs in the South Island series and the NZ Endurance Championship grand finale at Highlands, though the team are not shying away from a potential third entry.
It means there will be a healthy mix of TCRs on the grid come the start of the three-round championship next month with Rhys Gould and Jaden Ransley confirming their one-car Hyundai TCR assault while Hayden Paddon has also touted with the interest on running his team’s sole car in the series.
Husband and wife team Debbie and Dennis Chapman are also slated to return to the series in the sister Track Tec-prepared TCR.
“[It is] Really exciting to have Rowan back racing with Track Tec Racing,” said team principal Carmen Doran.
“His experience and approach as a driver is a real asset in TCR endurance racing.
“Rowan did a great job at the NZ Endurance Round in 2019 partnering with Dennis (Chapman) and we’re looking forward to seeing him and the other TCRs out in SIERDC”
A co-driver for Shepherd has yet to be confirmed with an announcement set to be made in due course.
This year’s South Island Endurance Series will be staged over three rounds kicking off from Teretonga Park on September 12 before races at Ruapuna and Levels Raceway on October 3 and 17 respectively.
2020 SIERDC Calendar
|Mike Pero Motorsport Park