Timaru brothers Chris and Johnny Small are back in the South Island Endurance Series after a season away, and they are equipped with new machinery.
The Smalls conquered the 2019 One Hour series but didn’t defend their title last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Selling their championship-winning Porsche 997 Cup Car, the brothers upgraded to a second-generation 991 Cup Car last December.
The car has successfully done two test sessions and is ready for the start of this year’s series next month at Teretonga.
“It’s ready to go,” Chris Small told Velocity News.
“All we really need to do now is to put the car on the trailer and we’re set.”
Small said features on the 991, such as paddle shift and wider tyres, make it easier to drive than the 997.
However, the quicker speed adds another element for the pair.
“You’re going a lot faster [in the 991] and there are lots of extra things to get used to with that.”
The brothers brought their new car for the intention of challenging for another championship.
With the entries for the one-hour series exceeding circuit capacities, there are two one-hour races each weekend.
One race will be for cars under 3500cc, and the other race will be for cars above 3501cc and Porsche Cup cars.
Small is excited to see how the car will fare against the other Porsche Cup cars and the high horsepower V8 machines.
He says he and Johnny will need to drive at qualifying pace for the entire race to give them the best possible shot at victory amid a competitive field.
“It’s a one-hour sprint race.
“Yeah, you have the pitstop between the ten and 50-minute mark. But, generally, everyone waits for a safety car before pitting.
“It is going to be about doing qualifying laps the whole way.”
This year’s New Zealand Endurance Championship finale, which sees the best from the South and North Island battle for national supremacy, is in November at Hampton Downs.
Small hopes he and his brother will be on the grid at Hamptons, though their focus is on the task at hand first.
“We’ll see how [the South Island series] goes first. If all goes well then I’d imagine we will be [at Hamptons].”
Main Image: South Island Endurance Series