We recently caught up by phone with well know racer David Dovey, and head of the North Island Endurance Race Drivers Club, and asked him to share the clubs thoughts on where to from now, given the major impact Covid-19 has had on the Club Endurance Racing Series and its many loyal competitors.
VNews: So David what brought about the change to car eligibility and for both the One Hour Endurance race, also driver eligibility?
Dovey: “Good question, but let me say right at the start of this interview, that because of the unprecedented effect of the Corona Virus Pandemic, we not only had to face the fact that we would have to postpone the North Island Series, but also to ‘cut our cloth’ so to speak to in the best interests of our many loyal competitors, many of whom have faced major economic changes that could preclude them competing this year. I am fortunate enough to have a very strong Committee and as a committee we decided to, [A] reduce the number of round’s from 3 to 2 rounds, plus shift the venues closer to where the vast majority of our competitors live and thats in the greater Auckland area, and, [B] shift the date’s into the second half of this year.
VNews: So thats why you chose Hampton Downs and Pukekohe Park?
Dovey: Exactly, the next difficulty we had was to do our best to avoid a head on date clash with the South Island Endurance Series, and although the dates are close a driver or very keen team could still compete in both and we know of a least one driver that is going to actually do both series.
VNews: Lucky or fortunate person!
Dovey: “Fortunate indeed, but thats the cooky crumbles some time’s”
VNews: So David what about NIERDC’s decision to invite Transam and TA2 cars to compete in your Series?
Dovey: Invariably there are differences in partnership and for some now our club members have been lobbying the Committee to accept a greater range of competitor car than we have done in accord with SIERDC. This came to a head at our AGM, and at a very well attended meeting remits were put forward on a number of rules and regulations that we share in a partnership with SIERDC. Two of those remits had overwhelming support from the assembled members, one was to allow a wider array of car’s to compete in both the One Hour and the Three Hour races, including allowing older generation GT3 cars to compete in the 1 hour race. The second remit was to relook at the grading of certain so called Elite and Amateur drivers.
We made an unanimous decision to use our postponed series to trial a wider range of eligible cars, such as the previously banned SCCA Trans-Am and similar space-framed cars, because in our Technical Committees expert opinion, the previous ban on these cars was no longer warranted. Obviously time will tell if we have made the right decision. And if we wrong then obviously we reimplement the ban, so it’s a great chance to trial this experiment if you like, because it’s only for two race meetings and this year those cars will still not be eligible for the Grand Final MSNZ Endurance Championship at Highland Motorsport Park.
VNews: OK so is the opening up of the One Hour races Driver Eligibility also an experimental trial?
Dovey: More of an experiment than a trial, however, if it’s well received and a success in our club members opinion then maybe something positive will have come out of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
VNews: Thanks for your time David.