Michels announces endurance racing plan

The Team Williams Racing/Evolution Motorsport Ford Focus Coyote V8 at a recent test day at Teretonga Park, near Invercargill. Photo: Jessica Smith

A SOUTHLAND racecar driver Jordan Michels has announced his plans for the first part of the upcoming motor racing season.

Michels will contest the Carter’s Tyre Service South Island Endurance 1 Hour Series in a 2015 Ford Focus supplied by MARC Cars in Australia.

The Focus is powered by a 5-litre Coyote V8 powerplant, ironically the same type of engine which powered the S5000 single-seater racecar Michels had hoped to race in Australia last year before the global Covid-19 pandemic curtailed his season.

The car arrived in New Zealand recently while the south was at Alert Level 3 and the Evolution Motorsport team has been preparing it since.

“The car came from MARC Cars very well prepared and I am stoked with their service, Michels said.

In 2019, Michels won Class B of the 1 Hour Series in his Honda Civic Fk7 TCR as well as winning his class in the New Zealand 1 Hour Endurance Championship.

Last year, he won the first two rounds of the South Island Series before a problem in the finale cost him a chance of retaining the title but he went on to take the 2020 New Zealand Endurance title in his class.

He then used the Honda to finish runner-up in the inaugural TCR New Zealand Championship at Highlands Motorsport Park during Anzac weekend this year in a star-studded field, finishing second behind internationally successful Kiwi Chris van der Drift.

As Michels has done throughout his career, a plan to go forward was made after his success and he decided to tackle the Endurance Series.

“It offers good value and great profile and there are plenty of good-calibre drivers in the series. The Honda had run at the front of the Endurance field but it was a little down on horsepower. My very generous backer, Peter Williams and his family, wanted something faster. The Ford should be competitive and it will be something different in the field.”

The Team Williams Racing Ford Focus prepared by Evolution Motorsport will debut at the opening round of the series at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell on October 2, followed by rounds at Timaru International Motor Raceway (October 16), Teretonga Park, Invercargill (October 24) and Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch on November 6.

Michels hoped to qualify for the New Zealand final at Hampton Downs after the South Island Series was complete.

“I am so grateful for all the support I receive,” Michels said.

“Peter Williams and his family are amazing and we have a lot of our existing, loyal sponsors back again this year plus some new ones as well. I think Peter and his family get just as much excitement from our successes as we do ourselves.”

Michels’ campaign in the Carter’s Tyre Service South Island Endurance Series is supported by Team Williams Racing, Evolution Motorsport, Macaulay Ford, Hydraulink Fluid Connectors Ltd, Watson Farm Solutions, Motul New Zealand, Prosport Auto, Sign Solutions, NJ Crisp Ltd, Western Electrical and Bonisch Consultants.