NZ Performance Car - - Inside Line -

While most race se­ries are wind­ing down as sum­mer comes to a close, the en­durance side of things is just gear­ing up, with the Eneos North Is­land En­durance Se­ries (NIES) kick­ing off in Taupo on May 20. The se­ries has seen huge growth over the past few sea­sons, and ’17 looks to be no dif­fer­ent, with yet an­other bumper grid ex­pected to con­test the three-round cham­pi­onship se­ries.

Front run­ners Trass Fam­ily Motorsport (TFM) will be run­ning to the grid with a com­pletely re­built 458 GT3. Over the off sea­son, the car has re­ceived a new en­gine and gear­box from the fac­tory. How­ever, it will face some tough com­pe­ti­tion, with Smeg Rac­ing hav­ing just taken own­er­ship of a cur­rent-spec Audi R8LMS Ul­tra. The Audi proved its worth dur­ing its first out­ing in New Zealand, tak­ing the win at the New Zealand En­durance Cham­pi­onships ahead of TFM and the Tul­loch Motorsport SaReNi Ca­maro GT3 — which will also be lin­ing up come May.

But it won’t be all big-dol­lar GT3 cars on the grid; the NIES is typ­i­cally one of the more var­ied New Zealand motorsport se­ries, with ev­ery­thing — right down to near-stock Civics and BMWs — vy­ing. Dates and venues for the 2017 Eneos NEIS are as fol­lows: MAY 20 — TAUPO JUNE 24 — HAMP­TON DOWNS JULY 22 — PUKEKOHE

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