Welcome to the home of the Motul Honda Cup
"If Honda does not race, there is no Honda" – Soichiro Honda
Hondas are at home on the racetrack with their sophisticated suspension and high tech motors that are delivered from the factory.
Performance and reliability is the true essence of the "Powered by Honda" legend and that is what wins races! Many people search for a place to race Hondas in a unified field and Honda Cup continues to provide this opportunity.
The Honda Cup Directors recognised the growing demand and in 2007 established the Honda Cup Race Series to provide a venue for the legions of Honda fans around the country. Some cars are modified, others less so, but the format provides great racing, strong camaraderie and a wider community that is perfect for developing a car and your driving skills.
Now in its sixth season the Motul-backed Series is acknowledged as the premier Import race Series in New Zealand and continues to attract strong grids and provide competitive and enjoyable racing for both new and experienced Honda enthusiasts.
Many of the country's top Honda Race Shops and Tuners have joined the series to support the Racers and "competition-prove" their products and skills. The battle is epic for what is the best thing in import racing. If you have a track day Honda, are building a track Honda or want to go racing in the easiest and most exciting way possible, then this is the series for you.
Join Honda Cup today – and live the dream.
Verryt takes out 2015–2016 Motul Honda Cup Series in darkness
Paul Verryt won the 2015–'16 Motul Honda Cup Series, bouncing back from his title ending crash last year at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park. Heading into the final round of the series, Verryt held an almost unassailable lead over former series champion Shane Parsons.
Qualifying for race one of the weekend was dominated by Mitch Osborne. The Andrew Simms sponsored driver took pole position convincingly by seven tenths of a second over Parsons, Verryt only a tenth back in third.
In fading light the first race of the weekend got underway with Osborne and Parsons going neck-and-neck into turn one.
Osborne got loose in his EG Civic, narrowly missing Parsons through turn one. Parsons made a strong run out of the first corner, diving down the inside of turn two to take the lead.
Parsons led the opening lap followed by Osborne, Verryt, Andrew Johnston and reigning champion Gary Wilson.
Osborne held back momentarily before making a charge for the lead. The pair made brief contact through the infield section before Osborne made a move on Parsons a turn one. Going down the inside, Osborne comfortably made the pass stick and began extending his lead to the pair behind.
Verryt pushed to get around Parsons but was unable to make way, just two tenths separating the two by the finish.
Osbornes race win saw the EG racer finish a second ahead of Verryt and Parsons behind. Andrew Johnston held on for an impressive fourth place finish whilst Tristan Neate came home fifth not far behind.
In brighter conditions, race two saw the top-ten reversed handing Jason Weel pole position for the standing start. However, Weel started poorly and was soon swamped by the quickr drivers behind him.
The start was a messy affair at the back of the pack, as Mark Wilson came to blows with Kevin Hopkins. Hopkins spun out on the approach to turn one, the pair later retired due to damage sustained in the crash.
Greg Spark quickly making his way to the front after starting on the second row of the grid, inheriting the lead on the opening lap.
After starting off the back of the grid for the second race, Osborne made an immaculate start powering his way through the field to sit sixth by turn four. A lap later, and Osborne was in the lead having passed Spark just two laps into the race.
Osborne looked a strong contender for the win, but was soon being hounded by Verryt. The pair jostled for the lead, but Osborne couldn’t keep Verryt at bay as the series leader made way of him midway through the race.
Steve Hughes was fortunate to not have his race cut short, the EG driver running wide on the final corner and onto the grass.
Third place contender Spark put his championship run for third place in jeopardy when he speared off the road at turn four. A lapse in concentration cost him an almost certain podium finish.
Ultimately it was Verryt though who took out the second race of the final, just under one second separating he and Osborne on the line. Parsons crossed the line two seconds later in third followed by Jamie Wiggins and Gary Wilson.
Conjecture over the final race embroiled the pit paddock as the sun began to set on Hampton Downs Motorsport Park. Questions over whether it would be safe to race in the dying light surrounded the drivers, who eventually chose to race. Some, including Osborne and Neate, had packed up their cars.
The ten lap race was cut short of its final distance by two laps as darkness engulfed the circuit. Many drivers raced without headlights.
The handicap race was eventually won by Alastair Chalmers who was followed home by Spark, Verryt, Johnston and Wilson.
With the final race of the 2015–'16 season complete, Verryt was finally able to celebrate his series victory, albeit in the darkness.
“It's a real cool feeling to take out the series,” said Verryt following the series win.
“It’s been a lot of hard work as we had a few mechanical problems. We had the head off three times, but now that’s all sorted and we have a very strong car.
“My goal was to take it out, but with some fast competitors it was going to be hard. But as I’ve always said, reliability, and finishing in the top five will get me there.
Verryt’s series win was especially meaningful, having had his title hopes shattered the same time last year when he rolled over on the final corner at the same circuit.
“Last year after my big crash it really shook me up for a while. But my goal was to just to get back in a race car.
“We had 2 weeks before the first endurance race and we found a car and we fully built it in 13 days. I was a bit nervous but have never thought about the crash again. So to win the championship in a new built race car was a great achievement.”
After testing an TLX NZ Touring Car recently, Verryt said he’s unsure whether he’ll be back to defend his Honda Cup title.
“Will I be back next year? I'm not sure yet. My dream has been to race a V8. And if the opportunity comes along I probably will change.
“But I will not just walk away from the Honda cup. It's a great series. The people, families friends we have meet are just real cool people. The help I have had to get me here has been overwhelming. Thanks to friends and family.”
Whilst Verryt took out the overall win, he also secured the H3 class win. In H4, Andrew Johnston took victory. Despite not being able to challenge for the overall win this season, Gary Wilson took out H2, Shane Hine won H1 and David Harker won N1.
Article and photos by Simon Chapman via Velocity.
Counting down New Zealand's best obscure circuit-racing championships
Just about every commentator in the country has penned at least one article about New Zealand being in a ‘golden age’ of motorsport right now. But while the exploits of messrs Paddon, Dixon, Hartley and co are covered to a decent degree, coverage of our domestic classes can be a little thin.
Driven does its level best, covering the BNT NZ Touring Cars, New Zealand Rally Championship, and D1NZ National Drifting Championship to name a few. But the pot still goes deeper. Deeper than what you see in print, deeper than what you hear about on the radio.
So here’s five of the best circuit-racing series in New Zealand that don’t get so much time in this world they call ‘the mainstream media’. If you’re someone who swears by ‘supporting the grassroots’, I’d urge you to give these a look in.
Yes, all the cars are Hondas, and yes they’re all front-wheel drive, and — of course — most are Civics. But, these cars are more than capable of thrashing out some incredibly competitive lap times.
Where some club classes have an earnest aura that almost scoffs at the idea of taking themselves even remotely seriously, those in Honda Cup annually wheel out some of the quickest, best prepared race cars in New Zealand.
And despite a wide variety of body styles and chassis-codes at play, the racing is frequently close and exciting.
Excerpt from an article originally appearing on www.driven.co.nz and photo by Simon Chapman.
Mitch Osborne wins inaugural Velocity Honda 75 Enduro
Mitch Osborne took an emphatic victory in the Velocity Honda 75 at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park last weekend, defeating front row starter Paul Verryt.
The opening qualifying race for the 75 feature saw Shane Parsons on wet tyres get away quickly to lead the field. However, Parsons' lead was short lived as he began to suffer on wet tyres in drying conditions. Osborne and Verryt caught Parsons, Osborne's win in the qualifying race securing a pole position start for the feature.
Osborne showed immediate pace early in the 75 minute race, leading the field through turn one to hold an early advantage. Second place Paul Verryt held back in second place but not far enough to let Osborne out of his sights. Third place starter Shane Parsons lost three positions on the lead up to the opening corner.
Osborne and Verryt began to slowly separate themselves from the three way battle for third between Greg Spark, Gary Wilson, and Andrew Johnston. The trio spent the most part of the race battling, but the pairing of Wilson and Justin Herbert suffered recurring mechanical troubles eventually ending their race late in the piece.
After destroying his front splitter in practice on Saturday, youngest competitor in the field Oliver Heycoop struck troubles early in the race. A bad sportsmanship flag was compounded by the loss of fourth gear in the opening minutes of the race.
With a competition caution set to be thrown after the halfway mark, questions over when teams would pit surrounded the pit lane.
Johnston was one of the earliest to pit from his sixth place position. He later resumed his battle with the Greg Spark car, driven by William Yu.
Verryt pitted around the halfway mark, but Osborne remained on track waiting until the latest moment before the competition caution.
Osborne’s inlap was one of the fastest of the race, and his team backed him up with a fast tidy pitstop. Even with the pace on track and in the lane, Osborne returned to the track with Verryt alongside him as they went through turn one.
The pair ran side-by-side through turn two and three, before Osborne took the position to regain the lead.
The competition caution was thrown late in the race, leaving the race with ten minutes of sprint racing action.
Despite bunching up the field, Verryt couldn’t challenge Osborne for the lead as the EG racer romped home to victory. “I’m ecstatic, I could probably do another ten or twenty laps, it was awesome. Really happy with how today went,” said Osborne. “Obviously I’ve got to thank my father, the Osborne motorsport team, and Andrew Simms for getting the car down here every weekend. It's just been amazing.”
After a brief hiatus from racing, Osborne rebuilt his EG Civic, repowering the pocket-rocket with a Honda K-series engine.
“We wanted to do it nicely and properly so we just took our time and we didn’t rush. We couldn’t quite do Taupo so we went to Manfeild, and it showed lots of potential but there were some teething issues. “We’re really looking forward to seeing what it can do.”
Velocity Honda 75 - An Endurance race for all,
as long as you are a Honda
You may have heard the rumour, now here's the fact: April 2nd and 3rd, Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo.
Yes that’s right – if you have a MSNZ homologated caged Honda in ANY spec and a MSNZ C Grade National race licence you are eligible for this event!
Be part of what will be the biggest Honda race event ever held in New Zealand, in the increasingly popular endurance format.
But be quick – there is a track limit of 42 cars and my gut feeling is that this will be a VERY popular event and will fill quickly. Entry will open next week on www.motorsportentry.com, so if you haven’t registered on there do so now so you can get your entry in pronto.
This event is run by HRC, with the new and exciting Velocity News as media partners. Be part of the biggest Honda race ever in New Zealand and show the haters what Hondas are all about Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park – April 2 and 3. Brought to you by HRC Events
Here’s how it works:
- 75 minutes around this FIA Grade 2 circuit
- Four classes – 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 and 2.4 and over. Prize money – 1st in class $250, second in class $150 and third in class $100. Overall winner gets an extra $250 and the top female competitor will also get $250. Total prize fund - $2,500 (Prize money will decrease proportionately below 37 cars taking the start)
- Full preview and review on VelocityNews.co.nz, along with a profile of the winning car
- Free photo dropbox for each class winning car
- Live timing on Race Monitor app
- Qualifying Saturday and sprint race for top 20 grid slots
- Free BBQ on Saturday after track action
- Race Sunday
- Eight free event tickets to each competitor
- Caged Hondas running in other categories on Saturday can pay the difference in entry fee and start from the back on Sunday (those remaining grid slots will be based on a marble draw)
- Entry $375 including guaranteed pit garage for Sunday (two cars per garage)
- Everyone with a caged, homologated Honda is welcome, SS2000 Hondas, Endurance Series Hondas, Classic Japanese Hondas, MIT Hondas, Superlap Hondas, HondaCup Hondas, GT Hondas – in fact any fully caged circuit racing Honda
- One or two drivers
- One set of tyres only for qualifying, shoot out race and the 75 minute race combined
- Minimum of one pitstop for every car, check the car, refuel it, change drivers, or get out and go once around the car and get back in if you are solo – but no tyre change allowed
- Any MSNZ homologated and fully caged Honda is eligible, no matter what modifications you have done to it – all Frankensteins welcome!
- No restriction on the quantity of additional pitstops you may need, but you still cannot change tyres on second or subsequent stops
- Drive through penalty for each Unsportsmanlike Behaviour flag you receive
- No contact event – penalties will be applied at the discretion of the Race Director and Clerk of the Course
- Car weights, brakes, tyre brand, fuel choice – free
- Pit stops including pit lane refuelling must be done in accordance with MSNZ rules – click HERE for the Code of Conduct on Fuel
- Tyres free – but you can only use the same set for qualifying, the shoot out race and for the 75 minute race. So you are going to have to be conservative – which is what endurance racing is all about. And we have tested the endurance of a new set of tyres very recently on the track, and they did two test sessions Friday, qualifying and three races over the weekend which was ultimately about ten minutes more than this event…If the race is declared wet or becomes wet, the same rule applies, only one set. You can bring a spare, but it can only be used in the event of a puncture or damage rendering the tyre unsafe. If you are caught cheating – you’re gone
- Anyone starting the race from the back of the grid on the Sunday having missed qualifying and the shoot out race and must start on used tyres
Verryt Wins Round Four as Haitana Rolls Out of Contention
Paul Verryt won a dramatic fourth round of the Motul Honda Cup series at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park from Shane Parsons. Following the demise of Shane Haitana in race one, Greg Spark put on a string of solid results to put himself into third on the points table.
Qualifying for the opening race at Taupo took place on a drying circuit, many venturing out on wet tyres, despite a dry line appearing before the session. Many fell victim to the dry conditions on wet tyres, some deciding to pit early in the session.
Unsurprisingly, Verryt continued his hot run of qualifying form to take pole position with Tauranga local Gary Wilson taking second.
From third on the grid, Shane Parsons made his way past Wilson; Spark following suit. Parsons and Spark briefly made contact at turn two as the pair ran side-by-side, but it was Parsons who prevailed to take second.
Fifth place started Shane Haitana moved past Wilson on lap two, but a nasty crash just a lap later ended his weekend.
As he approached the fast right hand turn nine the brakes on his EF Civic failed. As Haitana explains, the gravel tipped the Civic he was driving into a roll.
"I was coming up to turn nine and went to put my foot on the brakes and my foot went right to the floor," said haitana following the incident.
"Since I couldn't make the corner, I went straight ahead into the gravel trap which caused the car to roll over a couple of times."
The race was red flagged to retrieve Haitana’s stricken car. Whilst Haitana was okay the damage to his car was too great, putting him out for the rest of the weekend.
Verryt extended his lead over Parsons as the race restarted, by the completion of the race Verryt’s lead was a little over two seconds. After one of the best battles in the race, Andrew Johnston prevailed over Greg Spark for third, debutant Alastair Chalmers finishing fifth.
Despite oil spilling from his car - sending smoke bellowing from his right front wheel - Tristan Neate came home in sixth place well ahead of Garry Morrell in seventh.
The second race of the weekend proved to be one of the most action packed. A reverse-top-ten put John Torrance in pole position, but Greg Spark was soon leading the way with Paul Verryt hot on his heels.
Ninth place starter Shane Parsons slowly worked his way through the field passing the likes of Chalmers, Johnston and Harker early on.
By the fifth lap Verryt passed Spark for the lead, Parsons not far behind in third. Parsons was quick to follow the lead of Verryt by passing Spark for second. Parsons continued his charge as he latched onto the rear of Verryt’s cars. With only a handful of laps remaining Parsons launched past Verryt at the far end of the circuit to take the lead of the race. At the line just three tenths separated the pair, their battle for the lead eventually extending a lead of over 15 seconds to Spark in third.
The final handicap race of the weekend saw Torrance take victory after starting near the head of the field. The faster drivers on the grid had made good time on the leaders but were unfortunate not to catch the front runners.
Verryt’s performance over the weekend netted him the overall round win, Parsons coming home second. Greg Spark took third for the weekend just one point ahead of Johnston in fourth. In the overall standings Verryt leads Parsons, with Haitana’s demise Spark moved to third.
The Motul NZ Honda Cup series moves to Manfeild for the fifth round joining the Independant Racing Classes.
Article and photos by Velocity.
VERRYT TAKES RACE ONE, HAITANA WINS THE ROUND
Shane Haitana took out the opening round of the Motul Honda Cup at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.
After starting the opening race from pole position Verryt immediately came under pressure from series returnee Shane Parsons at turn two. Verryt kept Parsons at bay for the opening laps however, last season second place getter extending the lead.
Third place starter Andrew Johnston fell to sixth in the opening laps of the race, Gary Wilson and Shane Haitana moving through to third and fourth respectively closely followed by Shaun Morris.
With Verryt edging ahead, Parsons was left to fend off reigning champion Gary Wilson and the hard charging pack of Haitana, Morris and Johnston.
Morris was quick to challenge Haitana for fourth but was unable to make a pass as he dived down the inside at turn two on lap three.
In what was a tight battle for the final places on the podium, the only minor scuffle came when Andrew Johnston and Morris collided at turn two.
Morris and Haitana eventually moved past Wilson for third place, Wilson finishing a credible fifth.
Ultimately it was Verryt who held his lead to take the opening win of the 2015/16 Motul Honda Cup series. Parsons came home second place with Shane Haitana third.
Having finishing ninth in the opening race, Jamie Wiggins was set to start from second place in the second race of the weekend, but after Mitch Osborne retired from the weekend Wiggins was handed pole position.
After failing to qualify due to mechanical issues, David Miller fought his way from last to finish eighth in the opening race. Starting from second Miller quickly took the lead from pole sitter Wiggins, however Shane Haitana dispatched Wiggins then Miller for the lead in the opening stages of the race.
Mechanical issues continued to plague Miller though as a driveshaft failure ended his solid second place position.
"Mitch pulled out of racing on Sunday, which meant I had a clear line of sight in front of me to turn one," said Miller.
"I was quite nervous as I knew I had to get a good start to get in front of Jamie before turn one. as the flag dropped I managed to get an awesome start and get well in front of Jamie. I managed to put a pretty good lead on everyone for about 3 laps.
"Then my clutch master cylinder started playing up, which meant I had to manually pull the clutch pedal out every gear change with my foot, which drastically slowed me down. But then the unthinkable happened and I managed to smash my inner cv joint so I lost drive completely. I was gutted, I thought I had a pretty good chance of winning that race."
After Miller's mechanical failure, Wiggins retook second place where he would eventually finish despite a spirited challenge from third placed Andrew Johnston. After mechanical failures plagued him last season, Haitana bounced back to take a convincing win in race two. Verryt and Wilson completed the top five.
The final race of the weekend again saw the traditional handicap start. With new rules only allowing for one set of front tyres over the weekend, many who had been challenging at the head of the field had already worn out their front set.
Greg Spark made the most of his grid position and tyre conservation as he quickly asserted himself as the dominant force in the pack.
Ploughing through the field moved through the slower cars at the head of the field to take the lead with laps to spare. Spark eventually finished with a three second lead as Wilson finished second with Parsons completing the podium in third.
Shane Haitana finished fourth to secure the overall race weekend win, whilst Scott Silver managed to hold his position towards the front of the field to take fifth.
The series now moves to Taupo Motorsport Park for the SsangYong Super Racing Weekend over October 17/18.
Hampton Downs Construction Update
Within a month of purchasing Hampton Downs, Tony Quinn was full steam ahead with getting construction underway.
The track extension has been cleared of undergrowth and levelled, ready for the pre-load to be removed in October/November. The initial geotechnical work indicates that approx 1 metre of preload will need to be removed before building the circuit. This will be done with large diggers and large trucks! It is estimated that the circuit will be completed in April/May of next year. The forecast is for a hot, dry, summer, so we should get a good run at the construction of the circuit and its ancillary buildings, barriers and tyre walls. This circuit will be a stand alone circuit, which can operate on its own, or it can be incorporated in the full 3.8km circuit.
The road into the new circuit has been formed, metalled and awaits its final sealing.
Leading from just before the tunnel entrance, the newly formed road to the new circuit goes around Turn 1 and parallel to the back straight.
The land behind Turn 1 will accommodate 100, member’s garages with full security. This will allow storage for member’s cars, plus direct access to either circuit.
Up on top, behind the apartments the extensive car parks are undergoing a transformation of concrete islands and asphalt parking bays. No more car-parking attendants and loose metal to negotiate!
The corporate suites and admin/control area between to pits is progressing at a great rate.
There will be driveway through the building to the pit lane, which will act as an exit for cars racing on the circuit. There is an area for competitors to sign in for race meetings and an extensive line-up of corporate hospitality suites above the pit garages. All this work will be completed just in time for the Porsche Festival in mid-January.
HONDA CUP SECURES MOTUL BACKING AGAIN AS IT LOOKS FORWARD TO BIGGEST SEASON
Honda Cup, now entering its seventh season and still the most popular Japanese one-make series, has secured backing again from long time series sponsor Motul.
Series director Alan Stewart is delighted to secure Motul backing once again for the series. “The racers love the Motul product, it works incredibly well in our high revving, small capacity engines. Our drivers don’t have the luxury of big budgets for engine maintenance as some other race drivers do. We have always thought ourselves very lucky to have the support from a brand our racers are so enthusiastic about, as that is not always the case with other sports sponsorships. We’ll be flying the Motul flag on and off the track as we look forward to another mega season of close racing and full fields.”
The Motul Honda Cup is set to enjoy its highest profile season to date, having been included on two dates for the new Premier Motorsport Series, which includes a combined V8 field running as New Zealand Touring Cars and the international Toyota Race Series, which also enjoys Motul support.
The Hondas will appear at the opening round of the Premier Calendar at Taupo and will be back at the circuit for the Denny Hulme Trophy meeting for TRS cars at the same circuit in February. They will also have rounds at Pukekohe, Manfeild and Hampton Downs and this season have a non-championship one hour endurance race in addition to their six championship rounds.
Last season veteran racer and Honda Cup stalwart Gary Wilson secured the title and will defend it again this coming season, though he is likely to be challenged strongly by Paul Verryt and young guns Shaun Morris and David Miller.
Chris Walkley from Motul New Zealand is equally happy with the renewed sponsorship saying “We are very happy to be involved with Honda Cup again this year. Both brands (Honda and Motul) have a strong ethos for quality and have an equally strong passion for motorsports. The partnership further reinforces Motul’s commitment to Honda given the brand also has partnerships with HRC and Mugen in Japan”
Round 1 Race Programme
The race programme for Round 1 is available to download.
Important Information from HRC promoter
Have a look at the below image from the manual and please make a note of the content.
What this means is that such behaviour may well escape during the weekend, but we will utilise the guidance of the manual if there is abuse of officials, a race stoppage or session stoppage without acceptance of responsibility, or repeated infringements, or indeed ANYTHING that we do not believe to be appropriate behaviour or conduct at a busy race meeting.
The offender will simply be advised after the round that they will no longer be welcome at HRC Events race meetings.
You have been warned.
Round 2 Super Series Race Weekend
October 17/18th at Taupo Motorsport Park, head over to HD Ticketing for Spectator Tickets
Classes running on the Super Series Weekend:
- Motul Honda Cup
- New Zealand Touring Cars
- UDC V8 Utes
- ENZED Central Muscle Cars
- Tradezone GT1/2
- Tradezone NZGT
- Kumho Tyres Pre-65
- Motul Honda Cup
- NZ Porsche Series
- Sangyong Utes
It's a big weekend for New Zealand motorsport, with the new-look Premier Motorsport Calendar heading to the scenic Taupo Motorsport Park for a real Spring Classic. It's Sangyong's big weekend and the utes will entertain the fans with a full field and door-to-door racing.
Also a 'top liner' on the Sangyong Super Racing Weekend will be the New Zealand Touring cars and it will be the first chance for fans in the region to see the TL, TLX and V8ST specification V8 racing machinery do battle together out on the track. They all raced together at Pukekohe earlier in the year, and they will race together throughout their season.
The speed around the track of the Motul Honda Cup field is what is going to surprise a lot of people, with the front runners nudging on the magical 1 minute 40 lap time. Keep a look out for their exciting race formats - a rolling start and a reverse top ten as well as the handicap.
The UDC V8 Utes hit the track for the penultimate round of their 2015 calendar year season, with young gun Sam 'Bazza' Barry heading a tightly packed bunch at the sharp end of the series leaders table. He knows the Taupo circuit well and his Bel Group Ford will be tough to beat around the track, always a Ford favourite in the UDC V8 Ute ranks. Close racing is guaranteed and the word on the street is that there will be two new drivers in the series joining the regulars.
The ever-popular ENZED Central Muscle Cars kick off their 2015-2016 season and for fans of the series this promises to be a thunderous weekend.
The Tradezone GTRNZ series brings its two spectacular grids to the Sangyong Racing Weekend and they are guaranteed crowd pleasers. Two or possibly even three of the stunning GT1 Crawford Daytona prototypes will take on the best of the extreme TransAm, Rotary and Supercar type machines, with the best of the GT2 boys in with a shout if we get inclement weather conditions.
The New Zealand Porsche series also begins its season with a weekend on the Premier Motorsport Calendar to start a season which will also feature back-to-back weekends at the Porsche Festival at Hampton Downs in January.
The Kuhmo Tyres Pre-65 series is stepping up its game for the 2015-2016 season with the first of a selection of appearances at high profile events. Big grids and great cars means this one will be a guaranteed hit with the fans.
All in all it's going to be a great way to begin the new-look season. If you want to enter, then you'll need to click 'Enter' on our home page and if you want to buy tickets, this button's also there and it will be worth checking a bit nearer the time to make sure you get yours.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
Honda Cup Prize giving winners announced
A big thank you to all who attended the Honda Cup Prize Giving
For those who could not make it the award winners have been posted.
Timeline for AGM HRDCNZ Honda Cup Prize Giving Saturday 30th May 2015
The Honda Cup Prize Giving will be held on Saturday 30th May, upstairs at Taupo Racetrack.
- 5.00pm: Social get-together
- 5.30pm: AGM. Honda Racing Drivers Club NZ
- 6.30pm: Buffet Dinner - Cost $10 per head
- 7.30pm: Prize Giving
This event will be BYO - tea and coffee provided
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the number attending.
The timings will have to be slightly flexible as there is prize giving for the 3 hour Enduro and we are not sure if this will have any impact.
Come to Taupo for the day and support your fellow Honda Cup competitors who are racing the Enduro.
Soup and Buns will be available to sustain you until dinner.
Another season finished
Plenty of highs and a few lows - but that's racing folks.
Congratulations to Gary Wilson for his win in the series in the Surtees Trailers Honda Civic EG. And well done to his crew, led by former Motul Honda Cup champ Justin Herbert. We are delighted to announce Gary will be back next season to defend his title.
A great turn out for the last round was a nice way to end the action. 22 cars. Wonderful. Next season is now in our sites and if you are interested in taking part in the Motul Honda Cup, drop us a line and we'll tell you how you can.
Our thanks go to all of our sponsors, loyal supporters and drivers. Motul, Honda New Zealand, Hankook, Gear X, Hondata, Rota wheels,Racer Products, Panasonic, NZKW, Wattbike and our other partners. A big thanks to all of our drivers' sponsors too. Collectively, we couldn't go racing without you.
And talking about going racing, it also wouldn't be possible without the volunteers who put on our race meetings, officiate them and marshal at them. It is always neat for any driver to get the applause of the marshals on the cool down lap and we hope those great guys and girls enjoyed the Honda racing this season as much as we did. All of us very much appreciate the effort you put in on our behalf even if sometimes we are not that good at showing it.
A special thanks also to Series Coordinator Sam White for his perpetual enthusiasm, ready smile and helpfulness. Not easy when dealing with a bunch of racing drivers who are never wrong...With a baby imminent, family matters will rightly take priority for Sam next season but we hope very much he'll be able to make a few rounds and remain a part of the community. Who knows, we may even persuade him to race one day! We have to do something to make his hair look messy!
A final shout out for Simon and Matt at Velocity. Great pics, great write ups – nuff said.
Next year we have a six round championship and we'll be racing at some cool events which we'll reveal soon. If you are interested in taking part in the Motul Honda Cup, drop us a line and we'll tell you how you can.
Next on the Honda racing radar in NZ is the North Island Endurance Series and there will be plenty for Honda fans to enjoy - apart, of course, from Hondas!.
The Honda Racing Drivers Club AGM will be at Taupo on May 30 at the circuit and will coincide with the first round of the enduro series.
Thanks again all. Bring on September.
Hello fellow Honda enthusiasts
For those of you currently racing the summer season is over or close to coming to a close.
2015 has probably been another challenging year and for those of you deciding whether to race or not next season, there are probably a few questions still in your mind. What series to race in, what class etc.
Looking forward it appears that 2016 will be a watershed for both individuals and existing classes in NZ Motorsport and we are keen to see Honda as an even more important player in the marketplace than it currently is.
We believe our focus of common interest would appear to now be of much more importance than the wishes and desires of both individual competitors and event organisers.
The face of the sport is changing and we think there will be many changes over the next season or so, and as the biggest Honda category in the country, we want ALL Honda owners to have their say in what Honda racing might look like in the future.
The Motul Honda Cup summer series has one more round to run and the class organisers felt it may be a opportunity for all those Honda Competitors involved and/or interested in circuit racing to get together and discuss the future of how the brand races in New Zealand. As we all know, there are a few classes that you can compete in with a Honda, but we believe there is a bigger picture of where Hondas and the Honda Cup fit in to the national motorsport scene. We all love our Hondas, and we all share our views on where we want to race them.
To try and get ALL Honda owners together for a weekend when racing Hondas can be the major topic of discussion, Motul Honda Cup is opening up its last round to any racer with a caged Honda race car.
The series finale takes place at Hampton Downs on May 2 and 3 with qualifying and one race on Saturday and two races on Sunday. Honda Cup's format is a rolling start off qualifying times, a reverse top ten grid and then a handicapped grid. There are several classes in Honda Cup and even if your car does not comply fully to one of those categories - N1 Production H1 1.6, H2 1.8, H3 2.0 then there is an HU Unlimited class in which you can race. In other words, something to suit everyone and a range of race formats that gives everyone in the field their shot at winning a race over the weekend.
The only cost will be the event entry fee which is paid direct to the event organiser and there will be no requirement to run series logos as it is a 'sample' round and an opportunity to get like-minded Honda racers together. You also, of course, get to join in our legendary Saturday afternoon BBQ and air your views!
Come along, bring your Honda back out, or bring it for the first time, meet lots of new like-minded people, have a weekend of fun and have your say in what you believe the future of Honda racing in NZ should be. Not this coming weekend but the 2nd and 3rd of May, at Hampton Downs.
Entry is up at www.motorsportentry.com - our final round is part of the 2K Cup Masters mega racing weekend!
Morris Takes Penultimate Round Win At Taupo
A cold and wet Taupo Motorsport Park greeted the Motul Honda Cup field for the penultimate round of series before heading to Hampton Downs for the final.
A somewhat depleted field headed out for qualifying early on Saturday morning, Andrew Johnston becoming the first to fall victim in the treacherous conditions - Johnston spinning on his warm up lap at just the second corner.
With just a few minutes remaining in qualifying, KABA security driver Shaun Morris topped the short ten minute session with a 1:47.909 going nearly two seconds quicker than nearest rival Mitch Osborne. Morris continuing his impressive record of taking a pole position at every round in the season thus far.
A short burst of rain before the start of the first race set the field up for what would be the first fully wet race of the season.
As the field headed into turn one Mark Wilson was the first to strike trouble, locking up and going straight ahead into the gravel trap.
Having started from pole position Morris immediately came under pressure from Greg Spark, the Waikato Honda driver diving down the inside of Morris at turn one. However as the pair went side-by-side into turn two, Morris held the inside line forcing Spark wide allowing Morris to hold position.
After dropped to third, second place starter Mitch Osborne pounced quickly on Spark passing him at turn four. Osborne and Spark continued to battle over second place throughout the opening laps, allowing Morris to extend his lead.
“I got a good start went to the outside of Shaun who slightly baulked the start. Then I dived over to the inside of Shaun, turned in early, and briefly took the lead but was on the slippery outside of turn two. Mitch also came through to take second place with better grip on the inside,” said Spark.
“My windscreen was severely fogged from the 2nd lap and the spray from Mitch meant I had terrible forward visibility at times virtually nil. I knew the only way past him was to force an error. He knew I had significant straight line speed advantage and if I was close exiting the sweeper before the drag strip I'd get past him into the chase, so I kept pressing as hard as I could.
“On the last lap I came through the spray to see him with two wheels on the grass on the outside of the sweeper, and took second. Exciting run in the wet - I love the rain.”
Paul Verryt quickly moved his way from tenth into fifth, seeding himself as the best mover in the race. A close battle with Gary Wilson in the closing stages saw Verryt make a pass for fourth place on the penultimate lap.
“We were side by side for about four laps. Gary had no back end grip so his back end was all over the place,” said Verryt.
“I tried to pass him on turn five and six but Gary had lost control that bad I had no room to make the move. Gary lost control on the corner of the start of the back straight, I had a good run out of the corner and got past him - but great racing between both of us side by side with no contact for three laps.”
With Morris now out in front by an astonishing fifteen seconds, Osborne and Spark continued to squabble over second place.
With an unassailable fifteen second lead Morris took his second win of the season over Greg Spark and Mitch Osborne. Paul Verryt, Gary Wilson, Jason Gibbs, Andrew Johnston, Richard Gee, David Harker and Mark Wilson rounded out the top ten.
“Qualifying went really well. I really only had one real good crack at a flying lap later on in the session and despite getting a bit out of shape at the end of the straight we managed to put together a pretty good lap,” said Morris.
“The start was good, I knew Greg was there and to be honest I didn't think he would have a crack at the start but tops to him as he almost pulled it off. But after turn two I was comfortably ahead and I managed to continually build the gap and pull away from the field.
“The car is really good to drive especially in the rain. If it rains I believe we can definitely challenge for the round win at Hampton Downs, however if it is dry we should be there or thereabouts.”
The second race saw Mark Wilson start from pole position for the reverse-top-ten with David Harker starting alongside.
Starting from sixth and seventh respectively, Gary Wilson and Mitch Osborne made the best starts immediately moving to the front of the field – Osborne taking the lead into turn two whilst Wilson slotted into third place. By the second corner pole sitter Mark Wilson had already slipped back to ninth as the faster cars filled through.
At the head of the field Osborne had already extended his lead over Wilson to three seconds. Race one winner Shaun Morris quickly moved into fourth position – then proceeding to move past Andrew Johnston for third.
After suffering with a misfire issue in Saturday’s opening race, Richard Gee returned with hopes of a better result. However the second race all came undone on lap six when the engine mount in his EG Civic failed causing Gee to lose all steering and breaking on the fast back straight where cars reach over 200kph.
"The car just shuddered as soon as I touched the brakes and then there was no steering, no drive and very little in the way of brakes," said Gee.
"It ended up pointing straight up the startline straight and stopped at Turn 1. I must admit to being quite surprised when I opened the bonnet to find the engine had virtually left the engine bay. Best bit was Colin Abah and Brent Hay jumping in to help along with AJ. Without them there is no way I could have made the final race."
Having missed the opening day of racing on Saturday, ST Automotive driver Shane Parsons started from the rear of the field for race two. The former full time Honda Cup competitor returned for Taupo, however not racing for points.
Starting from fifteenth, Parsons carved his way through the field to take the lead ultimately taking the race win by a one and a half second over Gary Wilson. Mitch Osborne rounded out the top three just half a second behind Wilson. Johnston, Morris, Verryt, Tunley, Miller, Spark and Harker completed the top ten.
After a so far nightmarish weekend Mark Wilson again started from the lead of the field for the final race of the weekend.
Jason Gibbs relatively uneventful weekend which had seen him net a sixth and twelfth place finish came to a grinding halt in the final race of the weekend - gearbox gremlins forcing Gibbs to limp around to the finish.
“Everything was going well. The car was feeling strong then half way down the back straight I changed into fourth gear and it just revved right up. Nothing was there so I just kept racing using third and fifth gear,” said Gibbs.
At the front of the field Mark Wilson continued to lead by fifteen seconds over Paul Verryt, Wilson turning a tough weekend around with the final race win.
Shane Parsons’s third place cemented an ST Automotive built engines top three, Whilst Waikato Honda driver Greg Spark and KABA Security driver Shaun Morris finished in fourth and fifth respectively.
The Motul Honda Cup series now heads back to where it started at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park for the final round of the series where Gary Wilson will try to hold out category rookie Paul Verryt for series honours.
Article by Velocity.
Limited grid places left in NIERDC
Have you sent your membership form in to secure a place?
Motul Honda Cup round 6
Taupo long track Saturday April 18 and Sunday April 19
After a very competitive round on the short track, it’s back to the Taupo long track for the penultimate round of the season. If you’re in with a shot at a title, then you can’t afford to miss it but if you are just coming along for the fun, then there is no better place than on the Motul Honda Cup grid!
We will have our usual practice session, and there will be three races – 8 laps, 8 laps and 10 laps. Plenty of track time in other words, and testing on Friday as usual.
These can be found at the usual place – www.motorsportentry.com.
These can also be found in the motorsportentry web pages in the same area as the entry form.
GARY WILSON WINS ENTHRALLING FOURTH ROUND
Round four of the Motul Honda Cup series would start without series leader Ryan Macartney as mechanical issues from Pukekohe were unable to be resolved before the fourth round.
"It was the same problem I had at Puke for race two and three" said the disconsolate Macartney at Taupo...
"I'm in the process of elimination trying to find the fault, I'm thinking its electrical. I couldn't fix it earlier because I was waiting for gearbox parts so we couldn't run the engine to diagnose the issue."
Qualifying for the first race of the weekend saw the top five drivers separated by just four tenths of a second, with Paul Verryt and Tim Pollard even closer split by just three thousandths of a second. Warren Tunley and Gary Wilson lined up in third and fourth on the second row with Oliver Heycoop and Shane Haitana in fourth and fifth respectively.
Shane Haitana's woes at Taupo Motorsport Park continued even before the race had started when he was forced to pit on the warm up lap. "With two corners to go before the start the distributor broke destroying everything on the inside of it," he explained.
Starting from pole position Paul Verryt made the most of his inside starting position to take the lead into turn one. At the completion of lap one Verryt lead the way from Tim Pollard, Gary Wilson, Warren Tunley, Mitch Osborne, Andrew Johnston, Oliver Heycoop, David Miller, Tony Walker, Jamie Wiggins and Shaun Morris.
A great start by Mitch Osborne saw him jump from eighth on the grid to fifth by the fourth turn, pushing Oliver Heycoop back to sixth. However on lap three Osborne struck trouble when third gear failed, and this ultimately dropped him back to ninth place at the flag.
A fast start by Waikato Honda driver Andrew Johnston saw him make quick work of Oliver Heycoop on the exit of turn seven on the opening lap then moving past Osborne moments later, Johnston revelling in a new spec gearbox.
With Osbornes gearbox failing, Heycoop made a pass for fifth position down the inside under brakes into the chicane. David Miller followed suit, passing Osborne into turn one.
At the front of the field Verryt held a comfortable lead over Pollard, Verryt eventually taking the win by nearly two seconds with Wilson a further eight tenths behind Pollard.
Andrew Johnston finished an impressive fourth after starting seventh with Warren Tunley in fifth after dropping two places to Wilson and Johnston. Oliver Heycoop, David Miller, Jamie Wiggins, Mitch Osborne and Shaun Morris rounded out the top ten.
The second race of the weekend saw a record fourth straight reverse-top-ten pole position for KABA Civic driver Shaun Morris.
Morris' lead didn't last long as Osborne again made a flying start to take the lead into turn one, Morris dropping back to fourth by the first corner as Jamie Wiggins and David Miller made their way past.
"I stuffed up the start a bit. As the faster cars came through I was left in no man's land so I didn't really have anyone to race with" said Morris.
It didn't take long for drama to unfold as Shane Haitana clipped the rear of David Harker sending him into a spin and into the inside tyre sending him back across the track and into the path of Jason Gibbs.
"Haitana came up the inside and spun David Harker. I picked the line to go around him but what I didn't account for was the fact that he was going to hit the tyres and bounce right back out into the track" explained Gibbs.
"I put my foot to the floor to try and straighten myself out and get off the track because the last thing I wanted to do was put my foot on the brakes and have someone hit me."
With Gibbs and Harker well off the track the race continued - Wiggins passing Osborne early on to lead the race from Miller, Osborne, Wilson and Heycoop.
Wilson then made quick work of Osborne and Miller to move into second place. With four laps to go Wilson then made a move on Wiggins at the fast turn eight left hander to take the lead of the race.
"Jamie's hard to pass because he was going wide and ducking back across" said Wilson.
"I could get up beside him but he'd have more acceleration. That was the hard part."
Wiggins continued to lose position as Oliver Heycoop dived down the inside at turn one to take second place.
"[Jamie] pulled away on the straight but I dived down the inside at turn one. I didn't think I could catch Gary, I was trying to but my tyres had gone off." Said Heycoop.
Heycoop would be unable to make any ground on Wilson as he opened up a one and a half second lead, the final race order seeing the oldest competitor win from the youngest competitor. Jamie Wiggins eventually finished just over two and a half seconds behind leader Wilson.
"I was keeping an eye on him in my mirrors" said Wilson
"I knew with a couple of laps to go all I had to do was to not make a mistake. If you make a mistake you can lose a hundred metres."
David Miller held on for a solid fourth place from Andrew Johnston. Paul Verryt, Tim Pollard, Warren Tunley, Mitch Osborne and Mark Wilson rounded out the top ten.
The final race of the weekend saw Jason Gibbs start from pole position for the handicapper. Due to the mechanical failure and DNF on race one and two, Gibbs was immediately given a substantial lead.
The race remained relatively uneventful until Paul Verryt spun at the fast left hander before the sweeper - Verryt's fuel tank falling out from under the car, causing the DC2 to spin on its own fuel.
Late in the race passes in the midfield saw Oliver Heycoop move past Richard Gee for fifteenth. Heycoop then moved past William Yu and Gary Morell to finish in twelfth place.
As the rest of the field filled through it was clear to see Gibbs would be untouchable with the mechanical gremlins now resolved. Gibbs taking an eight second win over Brent Hay who had been running older tyres throughout the weekend.
Notable performances in the final race included Jamie Wiggins coming from the back of the grid to take third place. David Harker finished in a solid fifth position after his demise in the second race and was followed home by Greg Spark in fifth for one of his best results of the season.
David Miller continued a run top ten finishes claiming sixth position. After a dismal weekend which saw Shaun Morris battle with engine temperature issues, the Auckland based driver finished in seventh having started from the mid pack. Round winner Gary Wilson finished in eighth ahead of Mark Wilson and Linda Grey rounding out the top ten.
Richard Gee continues to lead the N1 standings after topping the class at the latest round and now sits twenty three points ahead of William Yu. Mitch Osborne continues to dominate H1 ahead of a distant Jason Gibbs and Shane Hine. Gary Wilson remains on top of H2 with Shaun Morris in second. Despite a DNF in the final race Paul Verryt moves into the lead of H3, whilst Andrew Johnston leads Martin Dunn who also failed to race in H4.
Gary Wilson now leads the series which returns to Taupo Motorsport Park at the end of February. With Macartney failing to appear at the latest round Paul Verryt now moves into second place thirty five points behinds leader Wilson who sits on three hundred and seventy points.
Article and photo by Velocity.
The 2015 Totalspan Soap Box Derby is only 12 days away...are you ready?
The 3rd annual 2015 Totalspan Soap Box Derby will be held from 9.00am on Anniversary Weekend, Monday 19 January, 2015.
More than 3,000 people attended last year to watch this crazy event!
Raced down the now infamous "Queens Park Raceway" this race track provides participants and spectators with unforgettable thrills and spills.
It's not too late to enter or build a cart.
Entry fees are minimal so really there's no reason not to join in this event that attracts the most fun and entertainment Wanganui has seen for years.
So jump on the below website for further information, build your cart and promote your business! Need further information?
Contact the race organisers:
- Mick Paul - 0274420378
- Jason Granville - 021669515
- Stuart Hylton - 0274465352
Register on our website: soapboxwanganui.co.nz
In 2004 long-time Kiwi Honda enthusiast and racer Al Stewart returned from a working holiday in California. While working there for Race Team Special Projects he was lucky enough to gain a drive in one of the team Integras in two Honda Challenge rounds. The idea was implanted in his mind and on his return Al set about setting up a similar Honda Challenge series in New Zealand. To ensure the series got off the ground smoothly Al decided to run the series in conjunction with the existing SS2000 – Under 2 litre Saloon Series.
This made perfect sense. The SS2000 class was a national eight round series that was already enjoying success and had been running for many years. A set of Honda Challenge rules were drafted by Al and presented at the annual SS2000 AGM. The class was taken on board by SS2000 and 2005 saw the first season of Honda Challenge in New Zealand proudly sponsored by beer giant Carlsberg. Both SS2000 and Honda Challenge have continued to enjoy success with large grids and exciting racing.
The numbers of Hondas racing in New Zealand has continued to grow each year with Hondas now being the dominant marque in the series. The marquee has a massive following in New Zealand and has one of the biggest auto forums in the southern hemisphere, NZ Hondas.
But as they say…there is more! Al said he is constantly being asked by new racers how and where they should get started. He will often be heard talking about his early years at clubmans meetings at Manfeild in the 70's and how these were some of the best times he ever had in motorsport. This is also the view of many of the racers of that era.
The result has been the advent of a Clubman style competition for Hondas to bring back some of the fun and affordable entry level racing that is sometimes lacking into today's hectic range of summer series. A mini series to allow new Honda competitors to get out on the track and mix it with some of the more experienced drivers in a low key fun race meet is indeed the perfect step up the ladder for a growing band of talented young drivers and engineers modifying or building cars for the growing NZ track day scene. Our winter rules are simple, the racing is all held over one day and the rounds spread apart to assist the cash flow!