Camaro takes first win as Porsche dominates
The second round of the Mahindra North Island Endurance Series has seen John McIntyre and Inky Tulloch win the three hour feature race at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in their SaReNi Camaro. Ian Hayr took the win in earlier one hour race, whilst Andrew Porter and Sam Fillmore won the six hour race.
The first race of the day saw an enthralling four way dogfight; Richard Oxton, Neil Foster, Ian Hayr, and the pairing of Fillmore and Porter battling for the lead throughout the hour race.
Starting from second place behind the Audi R8 of Foster, Hayr quickly moved into first position and held a comfortable lead before relinquished the lead to pit under green. A safety car soon after further demoted him down the field as the leaders pitted to take advantage of the early safety.
With the field bunched up Porter led the field soon after the restart from Oxton and Foster. The battle of the lead then began to heat up with Hayr slicing through the slower cars. A late push by Porter and Foster looked to set up a thrilling finish, but a late caution caused by a stranded Levin brought an end to the race – Hayr taking victory from Porter and Foster.
Starting from pole position John McIntyre immediately signalled his intent early on, jumping out to a ten second lead in the early stages of the race. Throughout the race, neither McIntyre nor Tulloch faced much of a challenge from their fellow competitors. Their nearest rivals Smeg Racing forced to retire halfway through the race with mechanical woes.
Late in the race the pairing of John DeVeth and Glenn Smith appeared to be closing on the leading Camaro, however the SuperTourer prototype was forced to pit late in the piece for fuel dropping them to third.
Despite brake troubles late in the race Tulloch and McIntyre held on to take their first win in the series ahead of nearest rivals Bagnall and Armstrong in the Audi R8; DeVeth and Smith coming home in third.
“At the start we had a big gap but then we got a safety car early and we couldn’t come in and add fuel, but that’s endurance racing and it all worked out in the end,” said McIntyre following the win.
“We were virtually running on steel on the front brakes. We’d lost all out brake material so the performance was right down. For the Reiter Camaro that’s its first Australasian win. There’s only five in the world, to get a win for the car we’re really proud and really happy for Reiter.”
A further three hours completed the six hour race which saw Sam Fillmore and Andrew Porter win in an uneventful final race. The top three completed by Jones and Barrie in second with Carpenter, Eden and Owen in third.
The Mahindra North Island Endurance Series now heads to Pukekohe for the final round of the series culminates with a one, three and six hour race.