Top drivers relishing chance to race in Highlands 6 Hour Enduro
“This will be New Zealand’s equivalent of the Bathurst 12 Hour”
New Zealand’s top endurance drivers are hailing the forthcoming Highlands 6 Hour Enduro as one of the toughest motorsport challenges ever in the country and our own version of the Bathurst 12 Hour.
The race – for state-of-the-art GT racing machinery – will take place on November 5th to mark 10 years of the challenging Cromwell circuit and it’s caught the attention of Aotearoa’s top GT racers.
“This is going to be a proper race, make no mistake about that,” said multiple New Zealand Endurance racing champion and former international single seater racer Jonny Reid.
“In a race of this length there are many factors involved in success but with this one it’s going to be even more challenging. Tyre degradation, fuel conservation, driver fatigue, driver comfort, consistency, nutrition, hydration, and even in-car temperatures are going to play a role and that’s exactly like the toughest endurance races in the world and exactly how it should be.
“Highlands also presents some unique driving challenges, and it requires accuracy from any driver, so all those factors are going to be even more important.
“We’ve had a solid endurance racing community for some years now. All the teams who have been part of that have invested in the latest technology racing cars and they’re all going to want to be part of this race. Hats off to Tony Quinn and his team for really going that extra mile and bringing us a race that will appeal to every serious endurance racer out there.
“This will be New Zealand’s equivalent of the Bathurst 12 Hour and I for one can’t wait.”
Another multiple endurance winner and current series leader in the Asian Lamborghini Trofeo Championship Chris van Der Drift is another hoping to be part of the massive weekend.
“When you think about it, six hours is a long time to be racing any car let alone one of these GT monsters,” he said. “Drivers are going to be in the car for long periods and car and driver preparation will be pivotal.
“Endurance racing at this level is exciting and strategy will be key as Jonny says. You may well find it’s the drivers and team who best deliver a well thought out strategy rather than the fastest car that wins. If you can stay on the lead lap, you’ll have a shot of victory.
“Around Highlands and in these cars, I’m picking it will be super competitive.”
An invitation field of up to 32 GT3, GT4 and Open Class cars will compete. Each car is permitted to have either two or three drivers but must be a combination of professional and amateur racing drivers. It will be the biggest and longest endurance event for GT type cars ever held at the circuit or in New Zealand.
The event will also employ a Balance of Performance mechanism based on that used globally for GT3 racing but will be adjusted to take account of the wider range of high performance racing cars that will compete.
Kiwi motorsport legend Greg Murphy and the groups Motorsport Manager, he is one of the event organising team and says the BOP formula will level the playing field for teams.
“Using the GT3 model as a starting point, we are making adjustments to include some cars that are slightly faster than the GT3 cars. We will also for the first time have the BoP system in place for the GT4 class and the Porsche Carrera Cup Cars. We have taken into account horsepower, weight, and fuel loads to try and ensure that no one car or type of car will start the race with an advantage. This will of course make the race even more competitive
A ‘Le Mans’ type start to the big Sunday race, a Top Ten Shootout for qualifying, grid walks and non-stop on and off-track entertainment throughout the weekend are set to make the weekend an instant classic.
Key Facts - Highlands 6 Hour Enduro
Celebrating: The 10th anniversary of Highlands Motorsport Park
Dates: November 3rd, 4th and 5th 2023 – 6 Hour Endurance Race - Sunday 5th
Support categories and events: NAPA Central Muscle Cars, Aussie Race Cars, One Hour Endurance
Tickets: Available from https://www.highlands.co.nz/events/highlands-6-hour-enduro
Kids: 16 and under free