Fillmore and Reid unbeatable in Three-Hour South Island Endurance Series
Sam Fillmore and Jonny Reid (Audi R8 GT3) have proved to be in a class of their own with victory in all three rounds of the 2023 Three-Hour Carter’s Tyre Service South Island Endurance Series, winning both the overall and Class 1 titles for a second consecutive season. At the final round on Saturday, the pairing beat home Steve Brooks and Bill Riding (Audi R8 GT3), who finished second overall, with Glen Smith/John De Veth (McLaren 650S GT3) in third, at the Timaru International Raceway.
“It’s been a really great team effort,” commented Reid. “We have been really delighted with how the car has performed. These three-hour races are hard on the car so to win all three without any mechanical faults is fantastic.
“The engineer relationship has been key along with all the IMS crew. Sam’s performance this season has been faultless. He’s kept a cool head throughout.”
“It was a great race and a lot of fun,” said Fillmore. “So wrapped to bring it home for the IMS team. We certainly could not have done it without Aaron Harris, such an integral part of the team in giving us a fantastic car.”
Just like the second round, Fillmore was given a drive-through penalty early in the race, this time for a racing incident with the Brooks/Riding Audi that led for the first 30 minutes.
This allowed the Hayden Knighton/Kane Lawson Mercedes AMG GT3 through to lead for the next 75-minutes until just after compulsory pitstops and driver changes took place. With Lawson at the wheel, the team was looking solid for a podium until a racing incident saw both them and the Heremana Malmezac/F Beziac, (Porsche GT3R 991.2) retire just after the two-hour mark.
First home in Class 2 (GT Type) was Martin Dippie (Porsche GT3 Cup 992) who had, for this round, Greg Murphy as co-driver. Dippie headed into the round tied with the Hugh Gardiner/Matt Spratt (Porsche GT3 Cup 991.2) for Class 2 honours. The rivals finished on the same lap with Murphy in front, giving Dippie the title.
“We’ve been getting used to the new car and getting the setup right. The first two rounds were a bit of a battle,” commented Dippie. “I really enjoyed today. I just needed to stay with them during my stint before I handed the car to Murph which I did.”
In Class 3 (>3501cc), first home was the Christina Orr-West/Bree Morris Mercedes Benz AMG GT4 giving them the overall Class title.
“Consistency has been the key with a good car under us. The team have done a phenomenal job all season with this car”, said Orr-West.
“It was really good today and happy with our result,” commented Morris.
First overall for the series in Class 4 (2001-3500cc) were Grant Moore/Matthew Moore (Toyota Altezza) while Thomas Mallard/Peter Vodanovich (Toyota 86) won the Class 5 (0-2000cc) title.
The 2023 Carter’s Tyre Service South Island Endurance Series has proved again to be a success with drivers and teams already starting to formulate plans for the next season that gets underway in September 2024.