Jonny Reid and Neil Foster win dramatic South Island enduro

Jonny Reid and Neil Foster have won a dramatic second round of the Carter’s Tyres South Island Endurance Series.

Christchurch circuit Mike Pero Motorsport Park hosted a healthy field for the three-hour feature in hot conditions.

After recording the top times in qualifying, International Motorsport led the field into turn one with their two Audi R8 LMS GT3 racers.

Gene Rollinson – paired with Andrew Fawcett – led Neil Foster through turn one and two, but Damon Leitch in the Tony Quinn Aston Martin Vantage GT3 was quick to demote Foster to third.

Rollinson and Leitch led the way and established a gap between themselves and the trailing pack. Roughly five seconds was the margin between the pair throughout the opening few laps, while Foster was some 30 seconds in arrears.

The Glenn Smith/John de Veth run McLaren 650S GT3 nearly ended up in the gravel at turn one after they sustained a puncture a few laps into the race. They crawled back to the pit lane, but lost a handful of laps in the process.

ITM MIKE Racing driver Christina Orr-West was surprisingly off the pace in the early running. A pit stop 25 minutes into the race saw them drop three laps.

Orr-West and co-driver Brendon Leitch retired from the race before the first hour could be completed. Their car was brought into the pit lane having suffered with an engine issue.

They weren’t the only Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 team parked early. The Carter’s Tyres car driven by Dwayne Carter and Shane Hodgson failed to make the start following an overheating issue.

Just 35 minutes into the race and Rollinson lapped the sister Interantional Motorsport car of Foster. The first hour ran without incident, but the race was soon turned on its head.

The first round of pit stops began just over an hour into the race. Race leader Rollinson got out and Andrew Fawcett jumped in. Likewise, Foster got out an Jonny Reid got in. There were more pit stops too, including Damon Leitch swapping for Tony Quinn.

Reid un-lapped himself with an hour and 15 minutes complete. Shortly afterwards the first safety car was called for a stranded Toyota 86.

The race restarted with Fawcett leading Quinn. Behind them Jaxon Evans fought to get back a lap while the man in third place overall was just behind him also looking to get a lap back.

Reid blasted by Evans and only two laps later cleared Quinn for second. Moments later Fawcett opened the door and let Reid by. Then drama hit as Quinn tried to go through the open door too and clipped the back of Fawcett’s car.

Fawcett spun and with now where to go Quinn had to follow him off. He quickly lit up his tyres in the grass and spun his car around. Both managed to get going, but hemorrhaged a healthy amount of time.

The chaos continued as Jonny Reid got handed a drive-through penalty for an unexplained incident.

Shortly afterwards later Quinn quick Fawcett and spun him. The former race leading Audi sat stranded in the middle of the road with damage to the rear of his car.

The safety car was brought out and Quinn was duly given a drive-through penalty.

As the race went green again Quinn pitted, he got out, and Leitch got in. Leitch served the penalty and a lap after that Reid pitted to serve his penalty too.

Once the penalties and pit stops played out it was Reid/Foster leading Leitch/Quinn and surprise performers Jack Milligan and George McFarlane who sat third.

Chaos ensued once again when the Coffin/Bushell V8-powered RX-7 blew up, the McDermid/Head Toyota 86 stopped, the Sutton/Holland Mazda RX-7 spun, and the Schelp/Hamilton Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S slowed into the pit lane with a broken axle all on the same lap.

Once again the safety car was called out to recover the RX-7 and the Toyota 86.

The race went back to green with a little under 45 minutes to go. Reid led by a healthy margin over Leitch. But that quickly narrowed to just 10 seconds after passing the lapped traffic.

While Leitch slowly narrowed the gap to Reid, Evans was quickly catching McFarlane for third. With 40 minutes to go Evans cleared McFarlane and duly tool third place away.

The final stanza of the race saw Reid lead Leitch at a stable margin of seven seconds. Reid hit traffic, which narrowed the margin to just over four seconds.

Reid continued to slowly lose time to Leitch, and with 20 minutes to go there was just under two seconds between them.

His biggest loss came when the Cooper/Cooper Mustang GT4 baulked Reid through the turn four, five, six and seven section. That brought Leitch to within under a second of the lead and in sight of passing.

The race couldn’t finish without one more dose of drama.

A puncture with only a handful of laps to go forced Leitch into the pit lane for a fast tyre change, ending their hopes of a win.

Ultimately it was Reir and Foster who came home winners well ahead of Quinn and Leitch, while Evans and co-driver Ben Byers scored a surprise podium.

Round 2 North Island Endurance Series Pukekohe

It was mixed fortunes for IMS at the last round of the North Island Endurance Series.

Brock had a race to forget with an altercation with the wall ended his race very early, after showing solid pace through the weekend

It was better fortunes for Simon and James and they moved their car up to 6th place overall and 3rd in class.

Car Porsche 997 Car Toyota 86
Driver #1 James Kirkpatrick Driver #1 Brock Gilchrist
Driver #2 Simon Sceats Qualifying Result 23rd
Qualifying Result 12th Qualifying in Class 5th
Over All Race Result 6th Over All Race Result DNF
Class Race Result 3rd Class Race Result DNF

Round 1 North Island Endurance Championship Hampton Downs

 

Car Audi R8 Ultra Car Porsche 997 Car Toyota 86
Driver #1 Neil Foster Driver #1 James Kirkpatrick Driver #1 Brock Gilchrist
Driver #2 Jonny Reid Driver #2 Simon Sceats Qualifying Result 11th
Qualifying Result 4th Qualifying Result 9th Over All Race Result 13th
Over All Race Result 5th Over All Race Result 8th Class Race Result 3rd
Class Race Result 2nd Class Race Result 5th

 

Challenging Weather Conditions for New Zealand Endurance Champs at Pukekohe

Testing weather conditions for New Zealand Endurance Championship saw have a spin off the track while in contention for the lead, the spin would prove costly as it ended his race early.

The GTR had a stunning run of pace early running as high as 4th over all at early in the race and comfortably leading their class, until lap 60 where the gearbox failed, costing them the race.

The Audi driven by Neil, and Jonny battled there way throughout the race to bring the car back up to 5th by the end of the race.

Car Audi R8 LMS Car Audi R8 Ultra Car Nissan GTR
Driver #1 Andrew Fawcet Driver #1 Neil Foster Driver #1 Stephen Farmer
Driver #2 Gene Rolleston Driver #2 Jonny Reid Driver #2 Dean Farmer
Qualifying Result 1st Qualifying Result 3rd Driver #3
Race Result DNF Race Result 5th Qualifying Result 8th
Race Result DNF

IMS WIN ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP

International Motorsport drivers Neild Foster and Jonny Reid have clinched a very close overall championship vitory in the 3 hour North Island Endurance Championship. The points race came down to the last few laps with the IMS Audi R8 and Ferrari 458 finishing 3rd and 1st respectively putting the cars equal on points for the championship. It was decided that the result would remain a tied championship victory for the International Motorsport Audi team!

The International Motorsport custom built Nissan GTR finished a dominating run to clinch the Class 1 victory in the 3 hour race! A very impressive season saw the GTR finish 6th overall and 1st in class in the North Island Championship.

Matt Whittaker has commanded an impressive performance to win the North Island 1 Hour Championship. Clinching 2 victories and a 2nd place throughout the championship.

IMS WIN NTH ISLAND ENDURANCE SERIES RND 2

International Motorsport drivers Neil Foster and Jonny Reid have clinched the 3 Hour endurance win in the last minutes of the race at Hampton Downs. It was a close battle all race long between the Audi and the Ferrari, starting in very wet conditions and drying as the race went on. With under 10 minutes remaining Jonny Reid passed the Ferrari for the lead and maintained a 2 second gap to the chasing Ferrari until the end of the race.
The Nissan GTR driven by International Motorsport drivers Stephen Farmer, Dean Farmer and Tim Martin won Class 1 in the 3 hour event.
Matt Whittaker in the Porsche 991 had a dominating drive to win the 1 hour race in extremely wet conditions. Starting from pole, Matt lead the race gaining a healthy lead before the pitsop. The race finally finishing under safety car with Matt leading the pack.

Second place in the New Zealand Endurance Championship.

International Motorsport runner-up in Waikato

Audi Sport customer racing team International Motorsport achieved a podium finish in the New Zealand Endurance Championship at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in Waikato. In the one-hour race, Neil Foster piloted an Audi R8 LMS ultra from third position on the grid and finished runner-up in the overall race results.