2011 Series Newsletter Number 6 - June 15 2011

Your series - play a part in its future

The Motul HondaCup is your series. The guys behind the scenes put in the time and the hard yards to create the series because of a passion for motorsport and a love of Hondas.

Having said that,most of them are a bit grey around the edges and in these tough times, if the future of motorsport is to be secured across all classes then the sport must bring in enthusiastic young people and provide an environment where they can racewithing their means and yet test themselves and explore their potential.

That's why we are working very closely with New Zealand Hondas, the biggest car forum in the country and one simply full to the brim with talented young engineers and drivers. So where do we go from here? We want to hear YOUR views about the future of the series and what you would like to see. We know many of you have some fantastic ideas and some very well thought out opinions. Pop them in an email and send them to Mr Ecclestone himself, Alan Stewart. His email aadress is below in the contacts.

In-car video

Thanks to Yun Liu for some amazing in car footage. Richard is doing a video of each of the Taupo races and will get it finished...at some stage soon! If you still ahve some in car footage from Taupo, bring it along and if you have a camera in your car, make sure you film at Hampton Downs so we can do the same thing with Round 2.

Photography and driver profiles

Many thanks to those who have completed their driver profiles on the forum. Series photographer Lyall Chinnery will be on hand once again at Hampton Downs to grab the action and also a head and shoulders 'mug shot' of each driver. Make sure he gets yours!

Welcomes

Welcome to the new drivers making the step into or back into the Motul Honda Cup. Steve Taylor and Mike Brownlie are just two of the racers making their first appearences - though Mike has done several rounds of the series in previous years and has also competed in SS2000.

 

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

Round 2 - June19th - Hampton Downs
Round 3 - July 17th - Pukekohe
Round 4 - August 7th - Manfeild
Unofficial testing/practice - September 17th - Taupo sprint
Round 5 - Taupo long track

Series contacts

Race Director
Alan Stewart
racedir@hondacup.co.nz

Series Co-ordinator
Scotty Smith
seriesco@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

Round 2 - difficult to pick a winner

Round 2 of the 2011 Motul HondaCup series takes place this weekend at the Hampton Downs circuit and it is hard to pick a winner.

The 1.6 powered cars of Richard Gee and Mark Walters that were well at home and at the sharp end on the tight and twisty short circuit at Taupo will be faced by a much sterner challenge from the K20 powered cars. Grunt up the hills and down the two long straights will favour the 2 litre machines, The K20 powered cars lining up for the weekend include Taranaki's Shaun van Beers in his Just Tyres-backed DC5, Martin Dunn in his Cascade Pools example, series sponsor Tim Pollard in the fabulous ex-Japanese production series Motul car,  Colin Abah's EK9, Gary Morrell's DC5 and the very nimble Rob Sutherland's DC2. Expect all of these cars to be at the sharp end of the grid and to be setting a strong pace. The intriguing prospect of the K20 powered FD2 of multiple New Zealand Production champ Steve Taylor throws another wild card into the mix.

Walters and Gee will do battle again in the 1.6 class, and will be joined by Gary Wilson and top rookie from Round 1 Ben Sunckell. David Harker (pictured) and Jason Weel should also be competitive and either could spring a surprise over the course of the day's racing. Of the new drivers to the series, Sunckell had the best of it at Taupo, but Logen Morrell, Yun Liu and Haden Walsh also impressed and all will be aiming to move up the order on Sunday. Last but not least, series regular Tristan Neate has sorted out some brake issues which seriously affected his pace at Taupo. A skipper on a commercial vessel, he wasn't expecting to run as his ship was due to depart, but it has been delayed a week and he'll be out in his black EF. Good lad!

The weather forecast isn't stellar, but Sunday certainly looks better than Friday and Saturday and it could be challenging day of decision making as to whether to run slicks, wets or dots. That choice could be a crucial call in changeable weather.

Car Builds - the inside line

In the last issue, we mentioned the quantity of car builds underway that we have heard about from Honda enthusiasts interested in being a part of the series. Many are close to completion, like the very interesting CRX we received pictures of recently, and should be out in the Winter series at some stage - fingers crossed.

To help and encourage the build of more Honda race cars, we are planning a series of articles with some basic do's and don'ts from the top Honda race car builders. The idea is to give you some ideas about what is important and what is not and of course, to bust some common myths about race car preparation and get some good discussion going!

Motul Team Kiwi revealed

Five Motul HondaCup drivers have confirmed they plan to travel to the USA at the end of November to compete in the Thunderhill 25 Hours (Yep,25 not 24) north of Sacramento.

Alan Stewart, Trevor Strong, Tim Pollard, Martin Dunn and Richard Gee have confirmed their entry into the classic and have secured backing from Motul globally, as well as Hondata in the US, to realise a lifelong dream. One of the support team also travelling will be series racer Noel Anderson, who in his early years worked for Bruce McLaren in the UK.

"It's the trip of a lifetime for all of us really," said Stewart. "We have a great group and the car will be an absolute demon. Being a Spoon car the build quality is fantastic. It puts out great power and has been a strong performer in the event in the past two years. There is an alarming amount of interest in the team coming across to race and we have already been promised TV interviews and articles in magazines and we plan to promote the New Zealand Honda series as hard as we possibly can. We are looking into being able to bring live updates to the HondaCup web site, but being oldies, we really need some youth expertise on this!"

The team will be supported by US Honda mechanics and enthusiasts and the drivers plan several days of acclimatisation at the track with an experienced driver.

The car will run on what is effectively a dot version of the Hankook slicks being run in NZ by Stewart, Strong and Gee.

Championship Standings

 

1              34            Richard Gee Civic H1                              115

2              36            Mark Walters Civic H1                            106

3              53            Shaun Van Beers Integra H2                 105

4              24            Gary Wilson Civic H1                              83

5              31            Ben Sunckell Civic H1                             81

6              32            Rik Wakelin Civic H1                              79

7              77            Martin Dunn Integra                              72

8              88            Tim Blackwell-Chin Civic                       67

9              46            Jason Weel Civic H1                               61

10            42            Peter Dudson Integra H2                       53

11            65            Trevor Strong Civic H2                             52

12            54            Noel Anderson Civic H2                          50

13            95            Colin Abah Civic H2 DNF                         49

=14          2              Logan Morrell Civic HU                           39

=14          23            David Harker Civic H1                             39

16            3              Garry Morrell Integra H2                        38

17            6              Yun Liu Integra H2                                  32

18            33            Jarrod McLachlan Civic                           28

19            44            Haden Walsh Civic HU                           21

=20          74            Andrew Johnson Civic H2                       15

=20          99            Tristan Neate Civic H1                            15