The Mike Pero Motorsport Park was host to the 2017 New Zealand Endurance Championship One and Three hour finales’ on Saturday in Christchurch with Smeg Racing’s Simon Evans and Gene Rollinson winning the Three Hour and Jarrod Owens the One Hour crown.
The day brought together the top drivers, cars and teams from both the 2016 South Island and North Island Endurance Series that take place separately over the winter and spring months.
Evans and Rollinson were debuting their new Audi R8 LMS and dominated the Three Hour race from start to finish. The pairing completed 129 laps, two more laps than nearest rivals John McIntyre and Mark Gibson in the SaReNi Camaro GT3. Third was the Trass Family Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 of Sam Fillmore and Danny Stutterd.
The McIntyre/Gibson Camaro kept in touch with the SMEG Racing Audi for much of the race while behind them the battle for third took place between the Fillmore/Stutterd Ferrari, the International Motorsport Audi R8 of Jonny Reid/Neil Foster, and Carters Tyres AMG drivers Dwayne and Matt Carter.
While Evans/Rollinson won the GT3 Class, the Barrett/Frew (V8 Mazda RX-7) took victory in Class 1, Barry Moore/Tim Mackersy (Volkswagen Golf) won Class 2 and Gavin Yortt/David Grigor (Honda Civic Type R FD2) won Class 3.
While Chris Henderson (V8-powered Toyota Corolla Levin) set a blistering pace in the One Hour morning’s qualifying session it was Jarrod Owens (Porsche 911) who won the race with Henderson retiring early with mechanical failure.
Second home was the Allied 24/7 Fuel-backed Dippie/O’Donnell Porsche 991. While third was held for much of the race by the Porsche 911 pairing of Jonny Small/Chris Small, their luck run out which saw them retire close to the 60-minute mark. This handed third to Steve Parker (Porsche) giving the marque a 1-2-3 finish.
New Zealand Endurance Championship final
1. Evans/Rollinson 129-laps
2. McIntyre/Gibson + 1-lap
3. Muscat/Stutterd + 1-lap
4. Foster/Reid + 2-laps
5. Carter/Carter + 4-laps
6. O’Donnell/Dippie + 8-laps
7. O’Donnell/Mauger + 11-laps
8. Barrett/Frew + 14-laps
9. Black/Black + 17-laps
10. Hood/Harris + 18-laps
1. Jarrod Owens (Porsche 911) 41 laps
2. Scott O’Donnell/Allan Dippie (Porsche 911) +34.238
3. Steve Parker (Porsche 911) +58.126
4. Bruce Davidson (Chevrolet Corvette) 1 lap
5. Russell McKenzie (Porsche) 2 laps
6. Rick Cooper (Ford Mustang) 2 laps
7. Daniel Cropp (Honda Civic) 3 laps
8. Den Coffin (Mazda RX-7) 3 laps
9. Stuart Black (WTCC BMW) 3 laps
10. Kel McBeath (Panoz GT) 4 laps