SMEG Racing has confirmed its New Zealand championship winning car and crew will be aiming to pick up where they left off in Christchurch when the cars line up for the first of the three hour races in this year's ENEOS North Island Endurance Championship at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo, this coming weekend.
The SMEG Racing Audi R8 LMS, run in conjunction with NZ company Racer Products, was the class act on its debut at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna in March when the car secured a debut victory in the New Zealand endurance racing final. Now drivers Simon Evans - the reigning New Zealand Touring Cars champion - and Gene Rollinson are aiming to continue that scintillating form as the country's top endurance racers line up for the start of the 2017 ENOS North Island Endurance Series.
"The SMEG Racing Audi is a great racing machine," explained Evans, "But we also have a great crew and we will be looking to do even better with our pit stops and race strategy.
"Last time out at Taupo in 2016 with the SMEG Racing SuperTourer we were able to utilise both of those to compete well against GT cars with ABS, traction control, centre lock wheels and more downforce where our car had none of those.
"It's the attention to detail like strategy and pit stops that we do really well at SMEG Racing and both Gene and I are keen to make the most of the professional, skilled and experienced crew we have behind us. In short, we are really looking forward to the first round of this year's North Island championship series."
More than 30 cars are set to line up for the three hour race on Saturday, with qualifying in the morning and the race in the afternoon. There is a full day's testing on Friday to allow cars and crews to make final adjustments to their cars, which include GTs, V8s, modified Supercars and a host of Kiwi-engineered specialist endurance racing machines.