Glenn Smith and Damon Leitch have taken the three-hour South Island Endurance Series race win in Teretonga.
The Scott O’Donnell and Alan Dippie entry was the only car within striking distance of the Smith Leitch entry but still finished the race a lap down on the leaders.
Barry Moore and Tim Mackersy finished third place after late-race drama.
The series has been affected by Covid-19 lockdowns with some teams and drivers stuck in the regions in lockdown.
A number of entries that were expected to be at the front of the pack have been caught by restrictions including Hamilton Motorsport and their GT-R, as well as Timaru victors Anthony Leighs and Tom Alexander.
The Signature Homes Team which had planned to debut their Nissan GT-R NISMO this season was forced to withdraw from the series with driver Gene Rollinson stuck in Auckland.
The highly anticipated Brabham BT62 is stuck in Auckland as wells as a pair of GT-Rs and a McLaren 720S GT3, there are also three Audis that were unable to make the event.
A late-race safety car came out with just over 10 minutes left in the race, when the 31 of Paul Rickerby and Graeme Rhodes lost its right front tyre, sending it into the turn one tyre barrier, the car had been in fourth overall at the time.
While under that safety car the 888 entry of Steve Brooks and Jack Milligan stopped on the track while sitting in third overall, with the team unsure what caused the issue. The race restarted with just one lap left.
Near the end of the race, Leitch was able to set a new lap record with a 54.814 second lap around the track.
“It was a cool way to end the last part of that race,” Leitch said.
“It feels good to kind of bounce back, we had good speed all weekend and it was a really nice race.
“The car really suits Teretonga. It was just a lot of fun, it doesn’t even feel like we’ve been out there for three hours.
“Glen did an awesome job to open the race and carry the lead for the first 70 minutes.”
Smith was impressed with the drive Leitch put together during the race.
“Really wrapped with the result, I’m really lucky to have Damon drive with me he’s an immense talent,” Smith said.
“Look at the lap times he was banging out all day long.
A number of cars through the race had issues, with the Andrew and Will Kitching entry one that made a number of stops trying to find and fix the issues with the 76.
The 88 of Bill Riding and Scott Flanagan was another entry that had ongoing problems with their gearbox forcing a number of extra pit stops before retiring from the race.
Main image: South Island Endurance Series Facebook