Once again, our international representatives are making sport headlines worldwide.
Brendon Hartley continues to shine in the World Endurance Championship alongside his Porsche teammates Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard. Most recently, they won the 6-Hours of Nürburgring in Germany, which is another memorable career highlight for Brendon following his podium appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this year.
Mitch Evans produced a remarkable performance at the latest round of the GP2 Championship in Monza. Mitch backed up a third-place finish with an outright win during the latest round, proving he has the pace to match it with the world’s best up-and-coming single-seat drivers. At just 21, Mitch has had a remarkable career and I wish him all the best for the rest of the year and look forward to hearing what his plans are for 2016.
Congratulations are also due to Scott Dixon, who clinched his fourth Indy Car Championship with a remarkable race at the series’ final round in Sonoma. Scott has had a remarkable career and has earned himself a chapter in both America and New Zealand’s motorsport folklore. Well done Scott, we look forward to watching you win a fifth!
Closer to home, Hayden Paddon acquitted himself well across the ditch at Rally Australia finishing 5th in the latest round of the WRC. Hayden is a great ambassador for the sport both at home and abroad, I hope we get the pleasure of watching him perform at this level for many years to come.
While Hayden was busy kicking up dust, Shane van Gisbergen got his V8 Supercars season back on track with a podium finish at the Sandown 500. Shane came home in third and will be hoping this is a sign of things to come with just five rounds remaining – including the ITM 500 in Auckland in November.
Their successes serve to promote New Zealand motorsport and the country in a positive light to a wide audience and, hopefully, act as inspiration to our up and coming talent to pursue their own motorsport dreams. I am also firmly of the view that our own Elite Motorsport Academy has played a major role in our motorsport success.
Looking ahead at the national race calendar, the final round of the NZRC, the Daybreaker Rally Wairarapa, is set to be a scorcher with a number of titles on the line.
Currently placed sixth in the championship, Dunedin’s Emma Gilmour has been selected to attend an FIA Women in Motorsport cross-country rally training programme in Qatar in November. She was one of 18 women selected from a pool of 85 applicants and I’ve no doubt she’ll make the most of this unique opportunity, with a drive in the 2016 Sealine Cross Country Rally.
The South Island Endurance Series got underway at Teretonga Park in wet weather. It was an exciting way to open the series, which has been a mainstay of endurance racing in this country for a number of years. No doubt, it will be another great series, with a number of exciting machines taking to the grid.
Once again, the Waimate 50 will entertain classic cars fans across the country over labour weekend. Organisation is well underway and fingers crossed the sun will be shining.
Events such as this play an important role in promoting and celebrating our rich motorsport history. I encourage you to get along to this fantastic event and soak up the atmosphere.
The Hunt is on! Click here for full story
Paddon bags top-5 finish in Australia Click here for full story
The HCC – Preserving the History in Changing Times Click here for full story
Evans makes statement at Monza Click here for full story
Warming up for the Waimate 50 Click here for full story
Smith claims Riverlands Street Sprint crown Click here for full story