It was an Audi 1-2-3 finish at the penultimate round of the 2019 Carter’s Tyres South Island Endurance Championship Three Hour Series at the Timaru International Raceway on Saturday. First home was the Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Neil Foster/Jonny Reid who adopted a one-stop winning strategy for the third round. The win also gives them the overall points lead with one round remaining.
“We hoped we would get through on one fuel stop, and it worked for us. Everything went to plan,” commented Neil Foster.
Second home and two laps down were Dale Chapman/Marc Doran/Andrew Waite (Audi R8 LMS Evo) who stopped twice as well as losing time in their first pit stop.
“The biggest problem for us was that we had a slow pitstop and the car wouldn’t engage the starter motor, so we lost a lap because of that,” said Waite.
Third home was the Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3 of Ben Byers/Christina Orr who got by the Porsche GT3R of George McFalane/Jack Milligan in the dying minutes of the race.
“It was quite a mixed day, including pitting early because of a bent rim,” said Orr-West. “I could see that the Porsche was struggling, and I managed to get my nose in front and hold it to the end so thrilled with third place. “
It was the Simon Gilbertson/John McIntyre Chev Camaro GT3 that took and established an early lead in the first 30 minutes until the first and only safety car period. This was brought about by the Hyundai i30N TCR of Rhys Gould/Gene Rollinson involved in a racing incident which snapped the left front side suspension tie-rod resulting in their first DNF of the Series.
Once the safety car period finished, McIntyre set about re-establishing his lead and by the first hour mark had lapped the entire field. However, this was all to become undone after the team suffered suspension damage during their first pit stop. This dropped them down the order and they unfortunately retired with more front suspension problems later in the race.
For most of the second half of the race the top order stayed the same with Jonny Reid leading until the end. While he diced for sometime with Andrew Waite in the last hour, the leading Audi had a two lap buffer. Third was the McFarlane/Milligan Porsche until it was passed by the Orr-West/Byers Audi with just minutes remaining.
Making its first appearance this season was the Matt and Dwayne Carter Mercedes SLS. The team were competitive all day and took a credible fifth place.
With one round remaining the Foster/Reid pairing hold a narrow one-point lead over Chapman/Doran/Waite with Orr-West/Byers a further 31-points behind.
Five separate Classes are in contention within the Three Hour Series. First home in Class A (0-2000cc) was Arron Black/Stuart Black (BMW E46 WTC) ahead of Mark Taylor/Vaughan Moloney (Honda Integra DC2). The Black pairing hold a 31-point lead over Taylor/Moloney.
Class B (2001-3500cc) was won by Barry Moore/Tim Mackersy (Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR) who finished eighth overall, one place ahead of second in their Class, Michael Driver/Philip Hood (VW GTI TCR). With the Gould/Rollinson retirement, Moore and Mackersy lead the class 21-points ahead of Jared Pyke/Ben McConochie (Mazda RX8).
Ben Coffin/Sam Bushell (Mazda RX7) won Class C (+3501cc) from Todd Bawden/Rhys Bawden (BMW 235 Cup Car). Despite being classified with a DNF in the race, the Perry Scarfe/Grant Silvester (Ford Falcon BA) pairing hold a seven-point advantage over Victor Cattermole/Matthew Holland (Mercedes 190E.
Paul Rickerby/Graeme Rhodes (Ford V8 Supertourer) finished sixth overall and first in Class D (GT type), their second win of the series. They were followed in by the Scott O’Donnell/Allan Dippie/Martin Dippie Porsche 991 GT3 R). Rickerby and Rhodes have done enough to win the Class, now with a 96-point lead.
The Three Hour Series finale takes place at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch 2 November with a maximum of 75-points on the line for both a race and Class win. All titles will be decided at the fourth round in a championship where finishing and gaining points is imperative.
Position, Driver/s, Class, Car
1 Neil Foster/Jonny Reid E Audi R8
2 Dale Chapman/Marc Doran/Andrew Waite E Audi R8 LMS
3 Ben Byers/Christina Orr-West E GT3 Audi R8 LMS Ultra
4 George McFarlane/Jack Milligan E Porsche GT3R
5 Dwayne Carter/Matt Carter D Mercedes SLS
6 Paul Rickerby/Graeme Rhodes D Ford V8 Supertourer
7 Scott O’Donnell/Allan Dippie D Porsche 991 GT3 R
8 Barry Moore/Tim Mackersy B Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR
9 Michael Driver/Philip Hood B VW GTI TCR
10 Ben Coffin/Sam Bushell C Mazda RX7
11 Todd Bawden/Rhys Bawden C BMW 235 Cup Car
12 Wayne Leach/Paul Burborough C BMW 235 Cup Car
13 Arron Black/Stuart Black A BMW E46 WTC
14 Jarrod Parmenter/Andrew Brunton B Mazda Rx8
15 Jared Pyke/Ben McConochie B Mazda RX8
16 Mark Taylor/Vaughan Moloney A Honda Integra DC2
17 Rodney Parkes/Michael Parkes A Honda S2000
18 Grant Askew/Cole Askew B Seat Supercopa Lean
19 Grant Moore/Matt Moore/Phil Schumacher A Toyota Altezza
20 Brendan Murphy/Brook Cooley B Seat Supercopa Leon
21 Victor Cattermole/Matthew Holland C Mercedes 190e
DNF Simon Gilbertson/John McIntyre E Chevrolet Camaro GT3
DNF Rhys Gould/Gene Rollinson B Hyundai i30N TCR
DNF Perry Scarfe/Grant Silvester C Ford Falcon BA
DNF Tim Stanton/Leyton Tremain A Peugeot 106 Rallye
DNF Terence Phillips/Darryl Phillips A Honda Civic
DNF Ron Mackersy/Warren Good B SEAT CUPRA TCR