This month, I’m pleased to note the success of our some of our well-known talents at one of the most prestigious endurance races on the international motorsport calendar – the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
Mitch Evans, Brendon Hartley and Richie Stanaway all appeared on the podium of their respective classes, with the event doubling as the second round of the World Endurance Championship. It’s a fantastic achievement when you consider the level of competition they were up against and I congratulate them all.
It’s worth noting that all three are graduates of the Elite Motorsport Academy, established by MotorSport New Zealand precisely to help develop up-and-coming drivers like these realise their full potential both at home and overseas.
I’m looking forward to our upcoming AGM, where we’ll be announcing the successful applicants for this year’s academy. The Annual MotorSport Awards ceremony will be held on the night of Saturday 23 May and we will publish details of winners later this month.
Another graduate, Hayden Paddon, put on a great show for fans at the latest round of the New Zealand Rally Championship – the Otago International Classic Rally. Driving a 40-year-old BDA, Paddon became the first competitor in more than 25 years to win an NZRC event outright in a 2WD.
It was a fantastic drive and will go down in the history books as one of the best. Hopefully the result is just the boost he needs to get his WRC campaign back on track. We wish him and John Kennard all the best for Rally Portugal.
There is also good news this month for racing fans who don’t like getting dirty. The North Island Endurance Series starts on 30 May in Taupo and it should be a cracker! The grids are almost at capacity and I’m told some serious machinery will be on display.
I look forward to seeing some of you at next weekend’s AGM and, as always, there’s plenty to discuss.
Near-capacity grids for North Island Endurance Series Click here for full story
Paddon excels on home soil Click here for full story
Stars warm up for Rally Canterbury Click here for full story
Kiwis make the podium in Spa Click here for full story
Evans demonstrates his pace Click here for full story