South Island endurance racing titles decided in Timaru

South Island endurance racing titles decided in Timaru

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The Alex Riberas and Darren Kelly Aston Martin Vantage GT3 has front end damage on its way to winning the South Island Three-Hour Endurance Championship title at Levels Raceway.

TERRY MARSHALL/Supplied

The Alex Riberas and Darren Kelly Aston Martin Vantage GT3 has front end damage on its way to winning the South Island Three-Hour Endurance Championship title at Levels Raceway.

Martin Dippie and the Alex Riberas and Darren Kelly combination did not win their races at Timaru’s Levels Raceway on Saturday but they are the respective one and three-hour South Island Endurance champions.

Dippie headed into the third (Porsche 991 GT3RS) and final round of the Carter’s Tyres one-hour championship tied on points with father and son pairing of Garry and Ben Derrick (Porsche 991 GT3) and finished fifth, one ahead of the Derrick’s to take the title.

The race was won by Marco Schelp (Porsche 997 Cup S) who lapped nearly all the field. Second was the Ford Mustang of Sam Collins/Nick Ross with Chris Henderson in a Toyota GT86 third.

The Sam Collins/Nick Ross Ford Mustang gets sideways into a corner during the third round of the South Island One-Hour Endurance Championship at Levels Raceway. The pair finished second.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

The Sam Collins/Nick Ross Ford Mustang gets sideways into a corner during the third round of the South Island One-Hour Endurance Championship at Levels Raceway. The pair finished second.

“It’s really cool (to win) as my family are all here,” commented Schelp. “Last time my wife was with me at a race was in 2011 and I crashed. There was a lot of traffic for the whole race but a lot of fun as everyone raced very clean.”

Schelp won rounds two and three but missed the opening round at Invercargill due to travel commitments.

Martin Dippie drives his Porsche 991 GT3 Cup to win the South Island One-Hour Endurance Racing Championship title at Levels Raceway.

TERRY MARSHALL/Supplied

Martin Dippie drives his Porsche 991 GT3 Cup to win the South Island One-Hour Endurance Racing Championship title at Levels Raceway.

As well as winning overall, Dippie also won the Class D (GT Type) title from the Derrick’s with Danny Whiting third.

In Class C (>3501cc), Collins had a five-point win over Bruce Davidson (Chev Corvette C6R).

Class B went to Debbie Chapman (Audi RS3 LMS TCR) after leader Jordan Michels was forced out with engine problems with Robert Gjaja (Lotus Exige turbo/Integra 2.4) third.

Pleasant Point's Tim Dossett races his Honda Civic in the South Island One-Hour Endurance Championship event at Levels Raceway.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Pleasant Point’s Tim Dossett races his Honda Civic in the South Island One-Hour Endurance Championship event at Levels Raceway.

The popular Class A (0-2000cc) had Andrew Gibson/Paul Booth (Honda Civic EF) tied on 185-points with Timaru’s Andrew Kitching/Andrew Bartlett (Honda Civic). While Daniel Cropp (Honda Civic) took out the round win, it was Gibson and Booth that claimed enough points to claim the 2020 Class title.

In the three-hour finale, Riberas and Kelly (Aston Martin Vantage GT3) won the title despite finishing second behind current NZ Endurance champions Neil Foster and Jonny Reid (Audi R8 LMS GT3) who failed to finish in round two.

“The overall result is just awesome,” said Kelly. “Stoked to come away with the title. It’s a tough track to get around with lots of traffic.

The Neil Foster/Jonny Reid Audi R8 GT3 on its way to winning the third round of the South Island Three-Hour Endurance Championship at Levels Raceway is followed by the Audi R8 LMS entry of Scott O'Donnell and Andrew Waite.

TERRY MARSHALL/Supplied

The Neil Foster/Jonny Reid Audi R8 GT3 on its way to winning the third round of the South Island Three-Hour Endurance Championship at Levels Raceway is followed by the Audi R8 LMS entry of Scott O’Donnell and Andrew Waite.

“We were really pushing hard for the (race) win but so pleased to win the title for the team. Everybody in the team has done amazing work to get us here today.”

Riberas and Kelly had already won the first two rounds held in Invercargill and Christchurch and headed to Timaru as favourites.

The round saw several one-off appearances with drivers attempting to qualify for the New Zealand Endurance Championship in two weeks’ time including South Cantabrian and ex-World Rally Championship driver Hayden Paddon who paired up with Jordan Michels (Hyundai N30i TCR) and finished 15th despite fighting electronic gremlins all day.

Christina Orr-West and Brendon Leitch brought the third and older generation Audi R8 LMS Ultra home in fourth and cemented second overall for the series.

Five separate class titles were decided as well with Riberas/Kelly also winning Class E (GT3) from Leitch/Orr and Foster/Reid.

Fifth in the race saw the Leigh/Kelly pairing on the podium for third overall, also wrapping up the Class C (GT) title from Allan Dippie (Porsche 997 Cup S) with Rob Williams/Phil Blythe (Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car) third.

Scott McDermid/Craig McDermid (Toyota 86 Enduro) won the Class C (>3501cc) title from Cameron Davies/Flyn Mitchell (Mazda RX8).

Rowan Shepherd/Lochlainn Fitzgerald-Symes (Audi RS3 LMS TCR) finished seventh in the race giving them the Class B (2001-350cc) title from Barry Moore/Tim Mackersy (VW Golf GTi TCR) and Grant Askew/Cole Askew (Seat Supacopa Leon).

The popular Class A (0-2000cc) title went to Noel Simons/David Berry (Honda Integra) after their title rivals Tim Stanton/Leyton Tremain (Peugeot 106 Rallye) retired early in the race. Simons and Berry also finished a credible eighth overall.

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