Domestic endurance titles guarantee future until at least 2025
In what is believed to be one of the longest term agreements ever signed by MotorSport New Zealand, the future of the New Zealand Endurance Championship has been cemented for the next 10 years.
In a combined agreement the South Island Endurance Racing Drivers Club (SIERDC), the North Island Endurance Racing Drivers Club (NIERDC) and MotorSport New Zealand (MSNZ) have inked a deal that will see the NIERDC and SIERDC Clubs become the caretakers of the New Zealand Endurance Championship until 2025.
“The Series is all about the drivers” said NIERDC President Kel McBeath.
“We aim to keep the politics low & the fun high and this has resulted in bumper fields of happy teams, drivers and organisers”
The format for the New Zealand Endurance Championship (NZEC) event will be to invite the top 20 cars from the NI Series plus the top 20 cars from the SI Series to a one off, winner takes all NZEC event.
(From left) MotorSport New Zealand CEO Brian Budd, NIERDC President Kel McBeath, SIERDC Secratary Chris Dunn, and NIERDC Vice President David Dovey. Photo / Geoff Ridder
“There was a bit of discussion about a single event format” said SIERDC Secretary Chris Dunn.
“However this year’s NI Series pretty much came down to a winner takes all final anyway, and the SI Series has been the same in the past, and we feel one trip to the opposite Island every 2 years makes it affordable for our smaller budget teams.”
“Qualifying via either Island Series also eliminates the potential for a ‘trophy hunter’ to come along & scoop up a NZ title, as you must have performed well in either Series to qualify for an invite to the prestigious NZEC event.”
The Series introduced the format in March 2016 when NIERDC hosted the inaugural Championship event at Hampton Downs and the success of this event prompted the clubs to seek a long term commitment from MSNZ.
Next year the NZEC will be hosted by SIERDC, with the event set for March 18 2017 at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch. “Both Series have great fields, long term sponsors and this just gives competitors the stability required to commit to the series,” said McBeath.