THE opening round of the South Island Endurance Race Series takes place at Teretonga Park, near Invercargill, this weekend but with Alert Level 2 restrictions in place and in accordance with Motorsport NZ rules, there will be no spectators at the event.
Southland Sports Car Club (SSCC) race committee chairman Bevan Gerrard said, club, the South Island Endurance Racing Drivers Club (SIERDC) and Motorsport NZ are all keen to do the right thing to see the country back to [Alert] Level 1 as soon as possible.
“We have the most supportive and passionate motorsport spectators in the country and we value their support and look forward to having them back at the circuit as soon as we are able to do so.”
However, there would be several ways fans could still follow the action with updates on both the SIERDC and SSCC’s Facebook pages.
Two races would take place on Saturday, with the Three Hour Race to be headed by Neil Foster and Jonny Reid in their Audi R8 LMS. The duo had won at Teretonga Park for the past two years, as well as taking out the series both years.
The duo’s chief rivals this year would be Simon Gilbertson and former three-time NZV8 champion John McIntyre in their Chevrolet Camaro GT3, Southlander Brendon Leitch along with Christina Orr-West, of Whakatane, in an Audi, previous Three Hour race winners, Scott O’Donnell, of Invercargill, and Allan Dippie, along with Martin Dippie and last year’s third placegetters Anthony Leighs and Paul Kelly, of Christchurch, in their Porsche Cup Car, plus one of the more intriguing entries in the event, Spaniard Alex Riberas and former D1NZ National Drift champion Darren Kelly, of Waikato, in an Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Riberas, a factory Aston Martin driver, was stranded in New Zealand during the Covid-19 lockdown and met up with Kelly.
Their Heart Of Racing Aston Martin was raising money for the Starship Foundation.
The One Hour Race would feature a large entry with last year’s third placegetter Danny Whiting leading the entries in his Porsche 991 II GT3, with some stern competition on the grid including Marco Schelp, of Christchurch, in a Porsche Cup S car, David McAlpine, of Auckland, and Kynan Yu, of Cromwell, in a McLaren GT4, Bruce Davidson, of Alexandra, in a Corvette C6R, plus Sam Collins and Nick Ross, of Cambridge, in a Ford Mustang.
Jordan Michels, of Invercargill, would line up in his Honda Fk7 TCR car, while Scott Milne, of Invercargill, would take part in his BMW Mini Cooper S.
- Lindsay Beer is the Southland Sports Car Club publicity officer