Tight title fight expected in Three-Hour South Island Endurance Series finale in Timaru
While Sam Fillmore and Johnny Reid (Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3) have won the first two rounds of the 2022 Three-Hour Carter’s Tyre Service South Island Endurance Series completed so far, they cannot make a mistake at the final this weekend in Timaru with title rivals so close on the overall points table. Timaru International Raceway in South Canterbury hosts the third and final round this Saturday which, like the first two rounds, will be highly competitive.
Fierce rivals, Andrew Fawcett/Daniel Gaunt (McLaren 720S GT3), who have twice finished second to Fillmore/Reid, are just ten-points behind the leaders with both Glenn Smith/John DeVeth (McLaren 650s GT3) and Hayden Knighton/Kane Lawson (Mercedes Benz AMG GT30) holding third equal and also within striking distance.
While the title fight is likely to take place between the top four Class 1 GT3 cars, should all of them falter then fifth overall and first in Class 2 (GT Type), Heremana Malmezac/Jono Lester (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup MR), still have a mathematical chance of overall honours.
Throw into the mix the Mercedes AMG GT3 of Ant Pedersen/Paul Pedersen who finished third at the opening round in Christchurch, the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 of Lance Hughes/Chris van der Drift which finished third in Teretonga, as well as the very quick Brabham BT62 of series sponsors Dwayne Carter/Matthew Carter and any result is possible on the day.
Class titles are also on the line with Fillmore/Reid leading Class 1 (GT3). Just ten-points separate the top two in Class 2 (GT Type) with Malmezac/Lester leading Steve Brooks/Bill Riding (Porsche 992 Cup) while Darryl Barret/Hamish Frew (Ford Falcon FG V8ST) are 61-points further back in third.
Marco Giltrap/Simon Evans (Porsche 718 Clubsport GT4) have effectively wrapped up the Class 3 (>3500cc including GT4) with a 84-point lead over D Rogers/Brian Green (McLaren 570S GT4).
The closest title fight will be in Class 4 (2001-350cc) with Grant Askew/Cole Askew (VW Golf GTi TCR) tied on 115-points with Barry Moore/ James Paterson (Audi R8 2.0T). Each team has recorded a Class win as well as retiring from one round. Whoever finishes in front will take the title.
Class 5 will be decided between Grant Moore/Matt Moore (Toyota Altezza 2.0) and Andrew Kitching/Will Kitching (Toyota GT86) with just nine-points between the two. Currently fourth overall is the Honda Civic of Terence Phillips/ Darryl Phillips. With the recent passing of Darryl Phillips which the Series acknowledges, Daniel Cropp will join Terence Phillips for the final round on Saturday.
Also, to be decided is the new ‘winner takes all’ Michelin Am/Am Trophy for the Three-Hour series. Knighton and Lawson are tied in first with Smith/DeVeth with Brooks/Riding third, Moore/Moore fourth and Kitching/Kitching in fifth.
Testing for the 2022 Three-Hour Carter’s Tyre Service South Island Endurance Series takes place on Friday with a 15min qualifying session at 9:50am Saturday morning and the race set to go at 1:30pm.