The ASKO Appliances South Island Endurance Series races into its Grand Finale at Powerbuilt Ruapuna this Saturday with a bumper field of over 40 cars
The field will battle it out in the annual Southern 300 endurance race and for the title of 2009 ASKO Appliances South Island Endurance Series Champions.
With 75 championship points on offer, plus 20 bonus points, there are still seven cars with a chance of taking out the overall Endurance Series title. With a win a piece going into the final the Carter/Carter BA Falcon Supercar and Scott O’Donnell’s Porsche RSR are dead even on points.
In a short 3 round series such as this, reliability is foremost and others with a realistic chance of taking the series honors should anything happen to the series leaders include Chapman/Chapman (BMW SuperTourer), Wadsworth/Croft (VY Commodore), Davidson/Garden (Corvette C5), Scarfe/Black (Ford XR8 Ute) and the Porsche 996T 4wd of Cliff/Knighton. Out of the running for the overall series but those that could upset the leaders include three Porsche GT3s for Lindsay O’Donnell, Phil Mauger and the returning Allan Dippe.
The battle in the classes is equally as hotly contested as the overall series, and the Southern Finance Class 1 (3501cc and over) will probably be the class to watch as it will also be winner takes all with Davidson/Garden and Wadsworth/Croft tied on class points and the Scarfe/Black Falcon Ute only a single point behind. Craig McDermid (Corolla/Supra) also has a mathematical chance of taking the class win. Out of series contention but likely to be at the pointy end of the class are McFarlane/McFarlane (Altezza turbo), back after a high speed crash at Levels and Adams/Stewart (NZV8 Commodore) return after a good run at Teretonga.
The Hagley Building products class 2 (2001-3500cc) is the only class of 10 that has already been determined, with the Chapman/Chapman BMW putting in two top finishes to have an unbeatable lead in the class. However 2nd place is far from being decided with Heagney/McDermid (AE86 turbo), Mann/Tinnelly (RX7) & Helms/Bolland (BMW M3) all in the race for the final podium spots.
The last 3hr class is the Burnside Contractors Class 3 (0-2000cc) which is also anyone’s to win. With the fast but fragile BMW 320i of Good/Black needing a finish to win, the Beatson/Ransley Megane could well surprise, or the class could still be taken by the baby of the series the Peugeot 106 of Sinclair/Ham.
The ASKO Appliance One Hour Race Series, which has been run in conjunction with the 3hr Series, is equally as close with eight cars in the hunt for the inaugural championship win.
The classes are also far from decided and the Southern Finance Class 1 (3501cc and over) will see the Williams/Buist RX7 V8 take on the turbo cars including the Subaru’s of Shane Roughan (WRX) and Jeremy Grice (RS Legacy) for the class title.
The classic Porsche 911 SC of Roger Carter is the firm favorite to win the Hagley Building products class 2 (2001-3500cc), but he needs to head off the similar car of Ron and Greg Long plus the Rotary RX7’s of Jason Smith and Rhodes/Rickerby and the Datsun 240z of Wayne Croft who will all be fighting to fill the podium positions.
Burnside Contractors Class 3 (1601-2000cc) sees round one Race winner Dave McLean (Integra) going head to head with Round One fastest lap setter Dougal McGibbon (Starlet S2000) in what is likely to be the race for the championship as well as the class.
The McFarlane Group Class 4 (0-1600cc) is probably the most hotly contested of the 1hr series with 5 Starlets battling for class honors, including Invercargill’s Dawson Brothers who will be looking to snatch the class win from Round one winner Stu Black. This class also features John Cottier who, at 77 years old, is the oldest licenced racing driver in NZ, with 10 years seniority over Kenny Smith!