Hawke's Bay drivers overcame the elements to claim first-round honours in the first round of the North Island Endurance series in Taupo at the weekend.

John McIntyre and co-driver Simon Gilbertson drove for three hours in awful conditions to claim the first-round points in the Class GT of the three-round competition staged at the Bruce McClaren motorsport park.

McIntyre took the wheel after one hour to hold off the Auckland duo of Simon Evans and Gene Rollinson.

In the competitive Class 3 for cars in the 1600cc to 2-litre range, another Bay driver, Gavin Yortt, and his co-driver David Grigor got the chequered flag to muster valuable points in round one.


More than 50 cars lined up at the weekend.

"Clever pit strategy by our crew from Lodge Autos in Hastings gave us an edge over our competition due to the race spending time under safety car due to fog," says Yortt, the owner of the award-winning Squawking Magpies.

After several seasons of finishing in the top two or three, last season was not a very eventful one for the Bay pair who failed to finish in two races due to gearbox failure.

"Having this [gearbox], the car is now looking very reliable and we are aiming for a stellar season and a top finish."

The series moves to Hampton Downs at the end of this month before wrapping up in Manfield next month.