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Major team supports winter enduro plans


New Zealand’s biggest race team, International Motorsport, says it would support a proposed new winter endurance racing series.

Team boss Lyall Williamson says that the series, proposed to run over two rounds, at Taupo Motorsport Park and the Powerbuilt Raceway at Ruapuna, would be a good way of introducing new competitors in the run-up to next summer’s race season.

He says his team likes the concept but that there seems to be some confusion over the dates and that the rules and regulations would have to be sorted out quickly.

The proposed dates are Friday and Saturday July 6 and 7 at Taupo, and July 27 and 28 at Ruapuna.

Eligible cars would be NZ V8s including Development Series cars, Porsche GT3 Cup, Production Racing, Mini Challenge and perhaps Bridgestone Porsche.

The races would be three hours long and held on Saturdays.

“This would enable some new people in Porsches and Minis to do some miles, so it makes a lot of sense if they run on the same tyres and specs as the New Zealand championships,” says Williamson.

He says most of the Minis and NZ V8s would have enough mileage left in them to do some extra race miles before being rebuilt in the lead-up to the summer season.

In the days of the Yellow Pages 500 the NZ V8 specification cars were found to be marginal over the distance, but Williamson says his team has tested one of its NZ V8s and found that with floating rear ends the distance shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

He says that if the series is given national status – for example as a national winter or endurance racing championship – it would appeal to drivers currently competing in the summer championships, and give sponsors added exposure.

Kerry Cooper, general manager of the Motorsport Company which promotes the summer series, has said if there are 20 or more NZ V8s entered, a separate race for them would be considered.

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