After five years of trying, Dunedin’s Chris Henderson can finally say he is the Carter’s Tyres South Island One Hour Endurance Series champion after winning all three rounds of the 2017 series. Having previously won the Invercargill and Christchurch rounds, Henderson set the quickest lap in qualifying and then went on to win the final race at the Timaru International Raceway on Saturday.
“It’s taken five years but at last we have got the title,” commented Henderson. “The last 20 minutes I felt every vibration and heard every noise. It was a long hour but fortunately we had all our issues in practice on Friday, was able to get quickest lap in qualifying and was fortunate enough to control the race from the front.”
Henderson’s V8 powered Toyota Corolla AE86 has proven to be very quick over a number of years but reliability has been its Achilles heal.
“I’ve got to thank my team for all the hard work they have kept putting in. It has been five years of trying and we have finally got there.”
In winning Henderson set a new race distance, beating the previous record of Hugh Gardner’s by three seconds.
Behind Henderson were seven Porsche with second home Allan Dippie/Scott O’Donnell (Porsche GT3 Cup S) followed by Johnny and Chris Small (Porsche 997 GT3 Cup).
“Thrilled to get second but unfortunately a poor result at the last round (Ruapuna) because of a puncture dropped us down the overall points ladder,” said Alan Dippie.
“We’ve had a great car for all three rounds,” commented Johnny Small. “We’re absolutely stoked with third; it’s been a great car through the whole series.”
The Small brothers had been campaigning a Skyline in previous seasons but made the switch to Porsche pursuing better reliability, securing the ex-Jaxon Evans 997 GT3 Cup car out of Australia.
Henderson did not have the race entirely his way. For the first quarter he was hounded by the ex V8 Carter’s Tyres Supercar driven by Shane Hodgson. Hodgson had already broken the lap record (1:02.4) before a diff issue forced him into retirement leaving Henderson to maintain his lead until the finish. Behind him, the remaining Porsche drivers swapped positions before the Dippie/ODonnell took charge of second place and the Smalls’ in third.
Fourth home was the Porsche GT3 Cup S of Jarrod Owens followed by Steve Parker (Porsche 997 Cup S) who finished second overall in the Series and Ben Byers (Porsche 997 GT3).
Four Classes were competing within the category for title honours. Overall, after three completed rounds in Class A (0-2000cc), Art Markus (Toyota Starlet KP60) won from Stuart and Aaron Black (BMW E46 WTC) after Anthony Leighs (BMW 320si), the Class leader heading into the round, retired out of the Timaru race.
In Class B (2001-3500cc) Andrew Wright (BMW E36 M3) won from Adam Glass (BMWE36). Henderson also won Class C (3501<cc) from Bruce Davidson (Chev C6R Corvette) and in Class D (GT) Steve Parker secured the win from the Small brothers.
Carter’s Tyres South Island One Hour Endurance Series overall results
One-hour results (top 10, provisional)
1. Chris Henderson (Toyota Corolla) 1:00:40.288
2. Allan Dippie/Scott O'Donnell (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) +16.080
3. Johnny Small/Chris Small (Porsche 997 GT3) +18.685
4. Jarrod Owens (Porsche 997 GT3) +22.502
5. Steve Parker (Porsche 997 Cup) +1 lap
6. Ben Byers (Porsche 997 GT3) +1 lap
7. Tony Quinn/Kynan Yu (Porsche 997 GT3) +2 laps
8. Grant Aitken (Porsche Cayman GT4) +2 laps
9. Bruce Davidson (Chevrolet Corvette C6) +2 laps
10. Hamish Frew/Darryl Barrett (Mazda RX-7) +2 laps
1/ Chris Henderson
2/ Steve Parker
3/ Johnny Small/Chris Small
5/ Jared Owens
1/ Art Markus
2/ Stuart and Aaron Black
1/ Andrew Wright
2/ Adam Glass
3/ Ben Barlow
1/ Chris Henderson
2/ Bruce Davidson
3/ Russell Burgess
1/ Steve Parker
2/ JohnnySmall/Chris Small
3/ Allan Dippie/Scott O’Donnell
For more information on the South Island Endurance Series, race entries, or to be added to the South Island Endurance Racing Drivers Club’s e-mailing list, please contact Chris Dunn via e-mail at email@example.com ph 021-107-9293. Club information can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sierdc,
For more information contact Benjamin Carrell on 0272 444 651 or via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org