It was with great sadness that MotorSport New Zealand learnt of the passing of Ash Cairns earlier this week. Ash made a significant contribution to motorsport in New Zealand over a long period of time, through his involvement in a number of categories. He was instrumental in the establishment of the V8 Ute category, of which he was the chairman, and he supported a number of young drivers, many of whom raced in V8 Utes. He will be sadly missed, and our thoughts go to those close to him that he leaves behind.
As we come into spring, you’re no doubt gearing up for a motorsport-filled summer under our new Premier Racing Calendar. It’s my hope this calendar will help us grow the sport in New Zealand, and give us a base to build on in the future.
Our domestic racing scene continues to get stronger; the North Island Endurance Series is a good example, with a fantastic grid once again gracing the final round. The series was highlighted by strong on-track competition and good friendships off it. Well done to all the winners and the Top 20, who advance to next year’s inaugural national Championship event ; the Top 20 from the South Island series, which starts next month, will join them.
In international news, congratulations are due to Mitch Evans, who landed a podium spot at the latest round of the GP2 Championship in Belgium. It’s been a tough series for Mitch, but he’s fought hard at every round and his third place in the sprint race was well earned.
Scott Dixon continues to excel in the IndyCar Series, and is chasing a fourth championship at the final round in California. I’m sure you’ll all join me in wishing him the best for this weekend.
Another round of the New Zealand Rally Championship is done and dusted, with Ben Hunt closing in on his first national championship after taking his third consecutive win at Rally Coromandel. David Holder was successful in his return to the championship, finishing third. The final round kicks off on 3 October in Wairarapa and, no doubt, it will be another cracker.
Hayden Paddon continues to cut his teeth at the highest level, posting competitive times at Rally Germany despite having little experience with tarmac. It’s been a fantastic year for him so far, and with the next round in Australia, here’s hoping we see him the on the podium once again.
In the meantime, there are plenty of local events to whet your appetite ahead of summer. These are the cornerstone of our sport, and deserve all the support they can get!
Hampton Downs won’t be another Highlands Click here for full story
Hunt strikes gold in Coromandel Click here for full story
Paddon perseveres to claim Top-10 finish Click here for full story
Historic and Classic Commission report Click here for full story
North Island Endurance winners eye nationals Click here for full story
Clapperton snags TKR academy spot Click here for full story