THE UL­TI­MATE NORTH VS SOUTH EN­DURO BAT­TLE

NZ Performance Car - - Inside Line -

New Zealand’s largest au­to­mo­tive dis­trib­u­tor, Nichibo, is set to con­tinue its sup­port of the North Is­land En­durance Se­ries into the 2017–’18 sea­son. Nichibo cur­rently holds the nam­ing rights spon­sor with their Mahin­dra brand, and it will now switch to Eneos — Ja­pan’s top oil brand, with a strong her­itage in Su­per GT and World Su­per­bike rac­ing in the mother­land — for the new sea­son. The Mahin­dra North Is­land En­durance Se­ries has been a mas­sive suc­cess since its in­cep­tion in 2013, and in con­junc­tion with the Carters Tyres South Is­land En­durance Se­ries and Mo­tor­Sport New Zealand, the top 20 cars from both se­ries will go head to head for win­ner-take-all New Zealand Cham­pi­onship ti­tles at Christchurch’s Mike Pero Mo­tor­sport Park on March 18, 2017.

The joint agree­ment will see the event run an­nu­ally, al­ter­nat­ing is­lands — it was hosted by the North Is­land at Hamp­ton Downs Mo­tor­sport Park in March 2016.

It fea­tures a unique for­mat — a one-off race for the Cham­pi­onship ti­tles. To qual­ify you must fin­ish within the top 20 in each se­ries, and, to elim­i­nate tro­phy hunters, there are no al­lowances for wild-card en­tries.

With some of the fastest cars in the coun­try ex­pected each year, and ab­so­lutely no cham­pi­onship strat­egy in play, it will make for an even more in­ter­est­ing new sea­son of the North Is­land En­durance Se­ries as the driv­ers no doubt fight their way into a qual­i­fy­ing place to try claim the ti­tle on home soil again in 2018.

The 2017–’18 Eneos North Is­land En­durance Se­ries will kick off at Bruce McLaren Mo­tor­sport Park in Taupo on May 20, 2017.

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