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Filmore/Reid’s superb performance wins Three-Hour South Island Endurance Series opener

Returning 2022 champions Sam Filmore and Jonny Reid (Audi R8 GT3) set the benchmark for their rivals after wining the opening round of the 2023 Three-Hour Carter’s Tyre Service South Island Endurance Series in Christchurch on Saturday. The experienced pairing played to their strengths, initially showing patience as the race unfolded, producing the speed when required and backed up by their team for pitstops. Second home was the Mercedes AMG GT3 of Paul and Ant Pedersen followed by the Audi R8 GT3 of Steve Brooks and Bill Riding.

“Sam (Filmore) was on fire today right from qualifying,” said Reid. “His first stint set us up really well. Thanks to the team it was a collaborative effort today and just an awesome result to start the South Island Series.

“I knew Ant (Pedersen) would give it a go as I have raced against him plenty of times. They are fierce competitors and doing a great job. We just had it hooked up today.”

Within the opening laps, the Brabham BT62 entry of Dwayne Carter and Shane van Gisbergen came to a grinding halt after the right rear wheel came loose. Once back in the pits the team were able to get the car back out on track, but it later retired after completing 38 laps.

Initially it was Jono Lester (Porsche GT3R 991.2) that led for most of the first hour with the fastest qualifier, Glen Smith/John De Veth McLaren GT3, vying for second. First to pit for tyres and fuel was the Shane Helms/Ronan Murphy Renault R.S.01 who later briefly led the race. Also, in the mix and leading at the hallway mark was the Riding/Brooks Audi which eventually settled for third overall.

“Really happy, a great result,” commented Steve Brooks. “It’s our first time on the podium in this series and really enjoying the new car and looking at getting quicker all the time.”

Reid took over the lead until the end from the two-hour mark holding out the Pedersen’s Merc and setting a new Euromarque Motorsport Park track record of 1:19.584 for Class 1 cars.

Top Class 2 (GT Type) car home and seventh overall was the new Porsche GT3 Cup 992 of Martin Dippe/John Penny while Christina Orr-West and Bree Morris (Mercedes Benz AMG GT4) were first in Class 3 (>3501cc).

The Grant Moore/Matthew Moore (Toyota Altezza) team managed to keep the car on track finishing first in Class 4 (2001-3500cc) while Thomas Mallard/Peter Vodanovich (Toyota 86) won Class 5 (0-2000cc).

The second of three rounds take place at Teretonga Park in Invercargill 23 September 2023.

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