What a month of motorsport! Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley, Mitch Evans, Richie Stanaway and Hayden Paddon on their outstanding efforts.
I’m sure you’ll know that Earl became the first Kiwi to win the Le Mans 24 Hour in almost 50 years. Brendon, who finished second in the prestigious race, joined him on the LMP1 podium.
Mitch also did well, fighting his way to second in the LMP2 class with his teammates after suffering from early setbacks. Richie was unlucky not to secure his own podium spot; he posted the fastest qualifying lap in the GTE Pro class, but a crash involving one of his teammates meant they finished sixth.
It was an amazing race and having three of our four starters appear on the podium is an incredible result for New Zealand motorsport. I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot more from these young men as their careers progress.
Let’s not forget Hayden! He and John Kennard put on a show at Rally Italia Sardegna, finishing second overall after leading for much of the rally. It’s Hayden’s first WRC podium, but I’m willing to bet it won’t be his last.
All five of them came through our Elite MotorSport Academy programme. They’re a credit to this country and should be as proud of themselves as we are!
Their continued success will play a big role in attracting new competitors and fans to the sport, ensuring a healthy future.
Domestically, things are looking good as well. The first round of the North Island Endurance series attracted strong grids and, as usual, there was plenty of action on track. John De Veth and Glenn Smith took out the three-hour race, while Ian Hayr came home first in the one-hour – well done guys!
Heading into the business end of the NZ Rally Championship, it looks like it’s shaping up to be a two-horse race between Ben Hunt and Phil Campbell. I’m sure the other drivers won’t just lie down and give it to them, though, and I’m looking forward to the next round in Gisborne.
Before I let you go, I’d like to congratulate one of our two-wheeled brothers, Bruce Anstey, who won the Isle of Man for the tenth time. Making this one even more special is the fact that it’s his first in the premier superbike class. Congratulations Bruce!
Remembering Robin Curtis Click here for full story
Hunting his first championship Click here for full story
Paddon adds another chapter to the history books Click here for full story
Bamber tames Le Mans Click here for full story
Premier racing calendar unites Kiwi Motorsport Click here for full story