Big V8 to face off against Europe's best at Hampton Downs
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A new challenger emerges for enduros
Round two of the ENEOS North Island Endurance Series will feature a new challenger in the One Hour series, with John Midgley set to make his endurance racing return.
The BNT NZ Touring Cars and ENZED Central Muscle Cars competitor will join a packed grid at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park and has his sights on a strong finish.
“I think a top-five is a realistic and hopeful result,” Midgley said.
“I’d like to think we could be in the top-five, but we’re still just a standard V8 SuperTourer. There’s no big engine or suspension or aero on it, so we’re realistic about what the car can do.”
Last year he drove his United Car Care/Rock and Rubble backed Ford Falcon FG V8 SuperTourer in torrential rain. However, this year he’s hoping the race will run its course without the interruptions that plagued his endurance debut.
He’ll will be joined by his father Ian Midgley who is a muscle car racer himself. Ian will support his son’s efforts and will also be aided by AV8 Motorsport’s Wayne Anderson.
Midgley is a familiar face in the Summer series having won several races in the Central Muscle Cars. The Aucklander even went to Bathurst’s Mount Panorama last year to compete in the Touring Car Masters with some of his fellow Central Muscle Car mates.
For Midgley, competing in the North Island Endurance Series gives him the chance to get back in the hot seat during Winter.
“It’s something we can do in the off-season that’s reasonably easy. It’s a single day meeting for us and we can just show up, qualify, do an hour’s worth of racing and go home.
“It’s all wrapped up in a day and for us that’s a refreshing change from a summer where you’ve got quite a few rounds that are at least three days and are pretty time consuming for us.
“It’s nice to mix it up and do a different style of racing as well.”
Midgley is hoping to be able to keep pace with the Porsche 911 997 GT3 Cup cars. One name to keep an eye on will be Chris Henderson in his V8-powered Toyota Corolla Levin.
Henderson was quick at round one of the series at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo. The wet weather made it tricky for the South Island racer to contend with series leader Matt Whittaker.
A pre-event test at Hampton Downs in the dry gave Midgley the chance to get his eye in before the next round where he said he’s already found some pace in the car.
Round two of the ENEOS North Island Endurance Series takes place at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on 24 June. Action begin at 10:00 am on Saturday morning with the first qualifying session, before the One Hour race kicks off at 11:15 pm.