Honda Cup Newsletter Number 16 - April 12 2012

Television- Don't forget - we still have coverage on TV of the SuperTourers round to come - and it will be on Gillette Motorsport on TV3 on Sunday April 15th - that's THIS WEEKEND. If you were running or would just like to see what Motul Honda Cup looks like, then you cannot miss this one!

New sponsors - Well done to all of the drivers and teams who have been out there since the New Year working hard to secure new sponsors and get them involved. Yun Liu, Trevor Strong, Gavin Boyne, Martin Dunn, Shane Parsons and Richard Gee are just a few who have signed up some new backers for their efforts.

Richard back - Richard Gee was back in the saddle for the two Hampton Downs rounds with a new Speedfactor built K20A in his lcamo EK. Now fully recovered from his crash injuries, Richard enjoyed every minute out on track and went even better over the second weekend at Hampton Downs.

Enter now - If you are looking to enter Manfeild and the V8 SuperTourer round, which is also our series finale we will be sending out an entry form and how to pay.

Well done - to our recent Adidas Eyewear Drivers of the Day. Gary Wilson secured the shades at Taupo for his blistering drive to take the lead in the Reverse Top Ten clash, Yun Liu was the winner at the V8 SuperTourer round thanks to taking the lead in the handicap race and becoming the first femaile racer to win the class in a race when she took fourth overall. We are delighted to announce that the second weekend at Hampton Downs went to Logan Morrell who cofnirmed he is now one of the guys right on the tale of the fastst competitors - a win is due soon and almost came at Hampton. Logan didn't put a foot wrong all weekend and was fast as well. A well deserved winner.

Big hats off - to Motul Honda Cup runner Grant Shirley who stepped in to help former Honda Cup champ Justin Herbert at Manfeild recently when the engine in his Evo let go at a critical phase of the GT2 championship. Without regard for his own fun - well, not too much anyway! - Grant loaned Justin his car for the entire weekend as he sought to grab as many points as he possibly could to defend his class lead and his chase for the championship. Nice work Mr Shirley!

Winter Series - the Winter Series will run again this year, but will focus on rookie drivers with limited experience or those looking to make the step up to a full Summer Series with Honda Cup. Details available from Big Al.

Gotta love Murph - Paul Radisich did a great welcome for our drivers, and had been planning on bringing Murph but they got their times wrong and in fact both were kicking around the Honda paddock an hour earlier having a look around. Murph was pretty animated about the cars on show, and was heard by a few commenting: "F*****g AWESOME, I love these cars" - it was nice for the organisers to hear. After all, if a four time Bathurst winner loves what you're doing, there cannot be too much wrong with it!

All general info at www.hondacup.co.nz and up and coming dates are as follows:

SUMMER

Round 6- Manfeild, April 27/28/29 - three day

Series contacts

Race Director
Alan Stewart
racedir@hondacup.co.nz

Series Secretary
Bronwyn Donald
secretary@hondacup.co.nz

Marketing and Promotions
Richard Gee
promo@hondacup.co.nz

Technical Officer
Wayne Chapman
tech@hondacup.co.nz

AREA REPS

AUCKLAND CENTRAL

BRENT HAY
021 0412 095
brent@hondacup.co.nz

GAVIN BOYNE
021 300 211
gavin@hondacup.co.nz

HAMILTON

MARK WALTERS
021 0775 932
mark@hondacup.co.nz

ROTORUA

GRANT SHIRLEY
021 2448 889

TAUPO

LOGAN MORRELL
021334798
logan@hondacup.co.nz

TAURANGA

RICHARD GEE
021 0271 1926
richard@hondacup.co.nz

WHAKATANE

GARY WILSON
027 4883 656
gary@hondacup.co.nz

EDGCUMBE

RIK WAKLEIN
021 0269 5156
rik@hondacup.co.nz

NEW PLYMOUTH

JASON WEEL
027 2465 688
jason@hondacup.co.nz

WANGANUI

AL STEWART
021 714 714
alan@hondacup.co.nz

WELLINGTON

WARREN TUNLEY
warren@hondacup.co.nz

WELLINGTON NORTH

TRISTAN NEATE
tristan@hondacup.co.nz

SOUTH ISLAND

MARK WEDERELL
markwederell@gmail.com

Down To The Wire

Well, it's been a while since the last newsletter so we thought we would make this one a big one. We've had three cracking rounds since the start of the year and with one to go we could not have hoped for a better climax. Not only are our two 'aces' out front - Mark Walters and Shane Parsons - just two points apart and with it all to play for in Feilding, but the 1.6 championship is also going down to the wire, with veteran Gary Wilson and find of the season Warren Nutley all set to slug it out for class honours.

The first round of 2012 saw a handful of new cars and drivers appear including the simply fantastic green EG of David Miller and another protégé of Mr Walters make his debut - James Post in his DC2. The round didn't end well for Trevor Strong, who spun on cold tyres in the first race and was collected by his own mechanic and car, as well as by Gavin Boyne in his DC5. Frantic work got Boyne back out - and it was a good job too, as he went on to take his first win in the handicap race.

Hampton Downs and Round 1 of the V8 SuperTourers gave everyone the chance to be part of something big in motorsport in New Zealand and everyone did pretty well. Some rough calculations suggest Hondas did about 1300 laps of the circuit in total over the weekend and there was really only one serious incident. A late call to change the format of the fourth bonus race was down to numbers of cars, and in the end it proved the correct one, with a superb fourth race to sign off a fantastic weekend of motor racing.

Mark Walters and Shane Parsons were out front all weekend, but spare a thought for guest driver and Squawking Magpie winery owner Gavin Yortt, who rocked up in the ‘Big Al’ DC2 rocket ship and just got quicker and quicker. A DNS in Race 1 prevented him from winning the round, but his drive from the back in the Reverse Top Ten race was an epic.

It was back to Hampton Downs a fortnight later, for a much quieter weekend on the bill at the legends of Speed meeting. A smaller group enjoyed some fantastic action and Shane Parsons took the round win, with Mark Walters’ long time record of finishing coming to an end when his car broke down during the handicap race.

It's been a great season and a testament to everyone who has committed to it to go racing and make it happen - drivers, sponsors and organisers. It's an old cliché but it really wouldn't have happened without everyone's help. All we can say for the final round is be safe out there and may the best man win!

Season 2 almost ready

Motul Honda Cup is already deep into planning Summer Season 2 and is working on some new ideas to make the series even more interesting to existing and new drivers.

One of the major ideas we have had is to introduce an enduro race to the calendar. Not a 24 hour or even six hour challenge, but something a little shorter so we can all sample what it takes. the initial idea is for a one hour or one and half hour race with a fuel stop and a driver change to a driver who must not be a regular in the championship. And if two drivers are not for you, then we will be able to come up with something to make the single driver get out of the car and get back in. Anyway, we’re sure you get the general idea!

It all has to be done properly and to strict rules but our early discussions with race weekend organisers have convinced us it will be possible. What we would probably do is fit it in over a two day meeting - qualify in the morning on Saturday as normal then run the enduro as the last race of the day on the Saturday, with the sprint races for the round running on the Sunday. Most we have spoken to in the series already or considering it love the idea and it certainly does add yet another dimension to the Motul Honda Cup. We are very keen indeed to hear from our racers with their opinions. One thing we can confirm is that the entry fee for the particular weekend we are looking at will not increase as a result of us having a longer race on the programme - which is great news.

Honda Cup South Island

With the Honda cup North Island Summer season nearing an end the series organisers now have time to attend to the request from the many Honda enthusiast based in the South Island and are currently organising the inaugural Motul Honda Cup South Winter Series .

“It's been a challenge," said Honda Cup Race Director Al Stewart . “It's not easy when you are working from a remote base but the level of enthusiasm from the 'mainland' is high and I could not see us going another season without getting something going to keep all the Southern Honda enthusiasts happy. We're not too fussed about numbers at this stage, but we want to get it going and see what we can achieve alongside the North Island programme."

Mark Wederall - whose car is pictured on display at last weekend's V8 SuperTourer round at Ruapuna - has offer his assistance to co ordinate the Winter Series and long time Honda enthusiast Alex Brown has also put his hand up to help get it all underway . Tentative dates have been announced for a pilot mini-series with Round 1 at Timaru on the 5th August and Round 2 at Ruapuna on 19th August.

In addition all South Island competitors are invited to run at the North Island winter round to be held at Manfield on the 8th July. Anyone interested in joining in with the Motul Honda Cup South can check out www.hondacup.co.nz There is a full list of contacts available on the site along with all the rules , regulations and other helpful information.

V8 Heaven

The critics said it wouldn't happen. They were wrong. But not only were they wrong, a 20,000 strong crowd of happy smiling fans proved they were also pretty much completely out of touch with what the fans of motorsport want. And Hondas were a big part of that first massive weekend for the new breed of V8s.

Sixteen V8 SuperTourers, as many production V8 cars as the national series has mustered this past season, a full field of Central Muscle Cars and an NZ record field of 30 Hondas. A gymkhana, the Big Ben Utes, a few Superkarts and a mega atmosphere. It all seemed to work out pretty well and there wasn't one person who left that race meeting saying it was a waste of time, money or anything else.

Round 2 at Ruapuna was also a huge event with many saying it was the biggest event there for 20 years. Hondas are back on the bill for Manfeild - Round 3 of the SuperTourers - and the round is already set to be one of, if not the biggest meeting at the Feilding venue in recent years.

The Hampton Downs weekend stirred up plenty of debate and Hondas took a bit of stick from one of the directors of The Motorsport Company, who posted derogatory comments about the weekend on the Ten Tenths forum. There were plenty of responses, none we agreed with more than the following one - made by a highly respected member of the racing community in New Zealand.

"I have got to admit that that was the best weekend in NZ motorsport since Murph started winning Pukekohe in V8SC and R3 one of the most amazing races I have seen for a while if you were there. I was out there supplying gear to ST, CC and support classes and I haven’t seen so many smiles on people's faces for a long long time. I’m sure there were teething problems but for their first time the show was what we needed and all the staff at SuperTourers, drivers and teams have done an awesome job.

The Honda cup and Muscle Car guys were stoked and all it took was a bit of love. Don't know if you walked the pitlane after the race but the buzz from the teams and the drivers was electric (even if their doors and bumpers were hanging off their cars) Even some of the attending MSNZ officials were acknowledging that this was a different atmosphere from what they are used to.

I don't agree with comments that Honda didn’t deserve to be there, they put their hand up, backed ST, had a big diverse field and loved it and I reckon that’s more important for our sport than anything right now."

Enough said.

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