The Signature Homes Team have withdrawn from round one of this year’s South Island Endurance Series due to Auckland’s high Covid-19 alert level.
As Auckland remains in alert level 3 until at least October 5, most of the team’s staff cannot travel to Cromwell for next weekend’s season-opener.
This season, the team are debuting their Nissan GT-R NISMO, updated to the latest specification for the Bathurst 12 Hour last February.
Gene Rollinson and Rhys Gould are confirmed to steer the team’s entry for the four-round endurance series.
Rhys lives in Christchurch, meaning he could race at Highlands next week.
However, Rollinson is stuck in Auckland and cannot leave the province until it drops to alert level 2.
Rollinson says it is “gut-wrenching” to miss the first round but is hopeful he and the team can be on the grid for the second race at Timaru on October 16.
Gould is also disappointed not to be racing the GT-R with Rollinson.
But he says his main target is to win the New Zealand Endurance Championship in November at Hampton Downs.
The team aren’t the only ones affected by Auckland’s split from the rest of the country.
Other teams and drivers based in the region are in the same boat and will miss the Highlands round.
The same is said for Sky TV, who are supposed to broadcast each race live. However, round one will likely not be televised because of the situation.