2011 Series Newsletter Number 11 - September 9 2011

Summer series shapes up - New drivers who will be running in the summer continue to sign up. Michael Bate - who has a K20 powered EK - has installed a new engine following a dramatic failure in 2010 and will be running in the Motul Honda Cup Summer Series. Also now confirmed are Martin Dunn, Alan Stewart, Richard Gee, Tim Pollard, Trevor Strong, Noel Anderson, Gary Maddock, Mark Walters, Rik Wakelin and father and son team Garry and Logan Morrell. Nathan Strachan, Brent Hay, Warren Tunley, Gary Wilson, Yun Liu, Gavin Boyne, Mike Brownlie, Colin Abah, Hilary Ashworth, Steve Taylor, David Grigor, Rob Sutherland, Grant Shirley, David Harker, Peter Dudson are also competing.With registrations coming in every day and many not registering until after the Winter Series completes, the field is really packing out.

Honda cars attracting interest - One line of enquiry we have received concerns cars available to race. Two we have heard about have been paired up with interested drivers and one of those looks like a definite deal - with the very experienced driver firmly focussing on Motul Honda Cup.

Upgrades beckon for Walters and Gee - Winter Series leader Mark Walters will run in the 1.8 class next season, though he will do the final round of the this championship with his rapid 1.6 under the bonnet. With an army of fast 1.8 powered DC2s and at least one EG (Rik Wakelin) opting for the B18C, the new class already looks awesome! Gee will be going down the K series route for his EK after Round 2.

New points system - When the Summer Series kicks off at Taupo, there will be a revised points system that will also reward pole positions and fastest laps for overall and class championships. The reason behind this is that it encourages drivers to keep pushing hard and is a negative incentive for any sandbagging - which has been seen regularly in other series and spoils good quality contests. We will aim to post the points system on the forum during the next week, so everyone gets a better idea of what they are racing for.

NZ Performance Car - The current magazine has a three page feature on Motul Honda Cup. And if like us you prefer to look at the cars, there are plenty of pictures too! We're hoping for lots more coverage in the magazine as the series expands and develops. Nice one Pedey!

Sponsorship - Don't forget, we have completed the sponsorship template that drivers can tailor for their own needs and use to approach local companies for sponsorship. The information includes a series marketing plan, what a car sponsor could hope to get out of involvement with a driver, some tips on how to look after and retain a sponsor and an area for a driver profile. Email - racedir@hondacup.co.nz - please note, the documentation is only available to registered Motul Honda Cup drivers.

Season 2 - Planning never stops and we are already looking at Season 2 and what we might do to make it even better. We have had plenty of ideas and suggestions and we are very keen to deliver on some of those, so we'll be chatting with drivers at taupo and getting a steer on what might work and what won't. Ruapuna would be nice though! ;-)

All general info at www.hondacup.co.nz and up and coming dates are as follows:


Unofficial testing/practice - September 17th - Taupo sprint
Round 5 - Taupo long track - September 18th


Unofficial testing/practice - September 17th - Taupo sprint

Round 1- Taupo long track, September 18th - one day

Round 2- Pukekohe, October 29th - one day

Round 3- Taupo, January 14th and 15th - two day

Round 4- Hampton Downs, February 17/18/19 - three day

Round 5- Hampton Downs, March 3/4 - two day

Round 6- Manfeild, April 27/28/29 - three day

Series contacts

Race Director
Alan Stewart

Series Co-ordinator
Scotty Smith

Series Secretary
Bronwyn Donald

Marketing and Promotions
Richard Gee

Technical Officer
Wayne Chapman

Down to Four

As the Winter Series reaches its exciting climax at Taupo on September 18th, the Motul Honda Cup has no less than four drivers who can still take the title.

Mark Walters has been leading the championship since the second round and has impressed with his consistency and pace. With few or no mistakes, he has been competitive at every track and has done the most important thing required to win a championship - he has finished all the races.

Shaun Van Beers definitely has the speed, but has not been as consistent as Walters. He has bagged a few race wins and has always been on the pace, but a challenging day at Hampton Downs left him playing catch up a little. He bounced back strongly at Pukekohe and was right there again at Manfeild, so arguably he is the man with form.

Richard Gee (pictured) won the first round at the Taupo short track - where the series will conclude - a disappointment for all of the drivers in some ways as most would have been looking forward to the challenges of the long layout. What has cost Gee significantly was making the decision to not run in the third torrential race at Hampton Downs but the 34 car has good pace and should go well at Taupo once again.

The ever-consistent Gary Wilson is also in with a mathematical chance of taking the title and he can be relied upon, as he has done frequently in his recent racing career, to quietly amass a huge points haul for a weekend, even though he has not always been on the absolute front running pace. Gary races the handicap races and wet conditions incredibly well, and cannot be discounted.

With the round doubling as the first round of the Summer Series, all drivers face an interesting challenge. Focus on the Winter result, focus on a good start for the Summer series, or try and do both. One thing is for certain though - any off or collision is likely to cost any driver dearly when it comes to points - so finishing and finishing well will be the name of the game.

How the double-header will work

In simple terms,if you think of Taupo as one round with two sets of points then you will be just about right. All drivers will get points for the winter series and all drivers will get points for the summer series, irrespective of whether they have registered for both.

In addition, certain drivers have nominated themselves for 1.8 points for the summer series, and 1.6 points for the winter series.As you can always run in a larger capacity class, this is fine, so long as the cars wanting both 1.6 and 1.8 points are running 1.6 motors. Any car turning up at Taupo with a 1.8 motor instead of a 1.6 for example, will not score any points for the 1.6 class. Instead, they will receive points for the 1.8 litre Summer Series, and also for the 2 litre Winter Series, as that is effectively the class they have moved up to for Winter points.

It all sounds a bit confusing and we are also planning a new points system for the Summer Rounds, see sidebar. At the end of the day, the key thing to remember is to focus on the racing and let the points take care of themselves.

The series organisers are also hoping that the and drivers new to the series for the Summer Championship will fully respect those going for Winter Series titles- there is a long time to the series finale in April and the last thing anyone wants is damage.So be careful out there remember races are rarely, if ever, won on the first corner!

Summer Series brings out some Honda favourites

It's great to see some drivers who have been out of the Honda picture for a while coming back to the series. Michael Bate with his rapid EK20 is down to race the series and will be at Taupo, and Rob Sutherland (pictured) with his mighty K20A powered DC2 is also down to run.

Another K20A powered DC2 - the ex Phil Noblett car of Grant Shirley, is also entered for the summer series and it will be great to see Grant back after a sizeable shunt last April in SS2000 that left the back of the car a little bit the worse for wear.

David Grigor and his superb Golden Homes DC5 will be back for Taupo as will Steve Taylor and his FD2.

"There is no question that the series has brought in the country's top Honda racers," said series director Alan Stewart. "There are one or two more people we'd love to see running with us on a regular basis. Guys like Steven Price for example, who is exceptionally fast in his 1.6 EG. It would be great to see him matched up in a race against the likes of Gary Wilson or Warren Tunley who have already proven to be very fast in their 1.6s and amongst the favourites for title honours in the class in the 2011-2012 Motul Honda Cup. Even so, it's all shaping up to be a great season."

Livery revealed for Car 32

Rik Wakelin's pretty Championship White EG is going to look very, very different when it receives its striking new livery, designed by NZ hondas member Matt Reiri.

Five great designs were submitted, with a brief to make the car look fast, eye-catching and to incorporate the New Zealand Hondas.com logo and colours. Matt told us he was just messing about with the two designs he submitted, but his second one (pictured) blew everyone away and will be the one adorning Car 32 when Rik takes to the track hopefully for Round 2. Rik will also run his car with a 1.8 motor - the ex Car 34 engine now fixed and fitted with some throttle bodies! - and will look the part as he aims for class in the new 1.8 class.

Feeder V8 series on bill for V8ST rounds

V8 SuperTourers have announced that they will run a feeder series for older V8 cars on the bill at Hampton Downs. With the teams committed to the spectacular new V8s owning most of the rolling stock of last year's BNT V8 series cars, and with plenty of cars available on Trade Me - this should be an awesome curtain opener for top guns like McIntyre and Murphy.

The V8Challenge Cup is designed to provide cost effective racing for those seeking the opportunity to race in a V8 touring car category as part of the new V8SuperTourer series in 2012. The 2012 V8Challenge Cup covers the five North Island V8SuperTourer events, including all three rounds at the Hampton Downs Motorsport Park and one round each at Manfeild in Fielding and the Taupo Motorsport Park in Taupo.

Garry Pedersen, V8Challenge Cup series coordinator, explained the rationale behind the new support class. “The inaugural V8Challenge Cup is designed for New Zealand V8 touring cars that can comply to Schedule TL requirements up to and including the 2010/11 regulations. We will also consider entries with former V8 touring car-spec cars that may have been re-engined on a performance-equalisation basis,” he told us. “Our aim is to provide an affordable V8 touring car feeder series for the premier V8SuperTourer category."

Top ten after Round 3

1 Mark Walters Civic H1 358
2 Shaun Van Beers Integra H2 355
3 Richard Gee Civic H1 328
4 Gary Wilson Civic H1 317
5 Jason Weel Civic H1 220
6 Ben Sunckell Civic H1 218
7 Peter Dudson Integra H2 216
8 Logan Morrell Civic HU 205
9 David Harker Civic H1 194
10 Martin Dunn Integra H2 175

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