2011 Series Newsletter Number 10 - August 18 2011

Pukekohe stone chipping explained-  Lots of drivers would have returned home from Round 3 at Pukekohe wondering if they had been off the track witrhout noticing, such was the dramatic stone chipping at the fronts of most cars. Contrary to what we all thought, the track had been swept a day or two before the meeting. It had also had some repairs done to the surface and evidently, it was these repairs which began to break up, leaving plenty of debris in key points on the track that were the cause of the chipping issues. Hopefully this will not be a major problem at Round 2 of the Summer Series on October 29, the next time we visit Pukekohe.

Enquiries flood in - honestly! - Since we announced the Summer Series, we have been recieving on going and regular emails and calls about the series and alot of these should result in cars coming out for the championship that might have otherwise sat in the garage. It's all shaping up to be pretty exciting.

Speedshow interest - There was plenty of interest in the new V8 SuperTourer car at Speedshow (Some 2000 tickets for the first event were sold at the show alone) and it gave us a chance to push the Motul Honda Cup involvement.  There was plenty of good feedback from those who had already seen it, particularly the track marshalls we spoke to who absolutely love the series!

On the bill with the Muscle Cars - Talking of Speedshow, Central Muscle Cars also announced they would be one of the support classes for the V8 SuperTourers. Two more classes should be confirmed very soon. The first production car - a Ford Falcon V8 SuperTourer despite most of the mis-informed rumours to the contrary - was delivered this week.

In at the deep end - Well done to Tony Allpress who made his Motul Honda Cup debut at Manfeild. In the Race 2 epic, Tony started on pole and held his own in one of the most frentic battles the series has seen. Very difficult to drive well in those conditions, but Tony kept his cool and is eager to get back for more.

NZ Performance Car - Keep your eyes out for a big feature that is coming up in NZ Performance Car on the Motul Honda Cup. The magazine is excited about the series and will be providing regular updates on the summer championship, and possibly the odd car profile.

Sponsorship - We have just completed the sponsorship template that drivers can tailor for their own needs and use to approach local companies for sponsorship. The information includes a series marketing plan, what a car sponsor could hope to get out of involvement with a driver, some tips on how to look after and retain a sponsor and an area for a driver profile. You can find it on the drivers only section of the forum.

HondaCup features on SuperTourer Facebook site - Our Facebook guru Tristan Neate has set up mutual links to the SuperTourer facebook site - click here - and the V8 guys are already out there promoting the Motul Honda Cup summer series. Our own Facebook site now has around 230 'Likes' and is growing all of the time. Just wish I understood how it all worked!!

Design Rik's NZ Hondas Car! If any of you out there want a a cracking prize for a few hours work on your computers, then you should check out the competition on NZ Hondas to design a colour scheme for Rik's car. You can find the competition here And whilst on the subject of Mr Wakelin - check out his awesome in car video from Pukekohe here. Last chance is Friday to get an entry in for the livery competition.

Hard luck Mike - Mike Brownlie was unlucky at Pukekohe to lose it early on in the running and end up backing his car into the barriers on the Mountain. Mike put it down to cold tyres on the very tricky track - which was wet in some places, damp in others, a dry elsewhere. There was a fair bit of damage to the rear driver side corner, but Mike will be aiming to be out again as soon as posisble.

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

WINTER

Unofficial testing/practice - September 17th - Taupo sprint
Round 5 - Taupo long track

SUMMER

Unofficial testing/practice - September 17th - Taupo sprint

Round 1- Taupo long track, September 18th - one day

Round 2- Pukekohe, October 29th - one day

Round 3- Taupo, January 14th and 15th - two day

Round 4- Hampton Downs, February 17/18/19 - three day

Round 5- Hampton Downs, March 3/4 - two day

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

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

Sunckell wins - but Trevor too Strong overall

Ben Sunckell, one of the fastest rookies taking part in the Winter Series, capped a good weekend at Manfeild with a great win in the handicap race, but it was Trevor Strong in his EK20A who took the round with a solid performance on his home track.

Race 1 was all about Alan Stewart in his swift DC2 - actually the very first Integra DC2 to race anywhere in the world according to the original owner. Quite right too that it is still winning!  Trevor Strong, always at the sharp end and invariably on the pace at his home track came a close second, setting himself up for a great day. Third was Gary Maddock in the ex-Justin Herbert championship winning silver DC2.

Race 2 was an absolute epic, with the eight cars scrapping wheel to wheel for the first few corners becoming seven cars when Maddock overcooked Higgins. He just missed Mark Walters as he slid off into the barriers, this left Alan Stewart, Shaun van Beers, Trevor Strong, Richard Gee, Mark Walters, Logan Morrell and debutant Tony Allpress engaged in a fierce battle. Van Beers led early on, but Strong got ahead and sneaked away for the win. Stewart had a drivetrain problem and retired, leaving van Beers in second and Richard Gee to pass both Walters and Morrell for a solid third place.

However, what most of the leading drivers didn't see was a notification that the Safety Car was coming out after the Maddock crash. By the time the train of cars arrived at Higgins on Lap 2, Gary had extricated himself and was heading back to the pits, but the stewards would call in the top runners after the race for a word about being aware of what is going on. When safety is potentially at risk, there is no argument and Honda Cup agrees 100%. It's never a bad thing to remind ourselves about this as we move forward, and we have published the Motorsport New Zealand Code of Conduct for Drivers in an article in this newsletter as a timely reminder of what is expected of all drivers out on track.

Race 3 was all about a great drive by rookie Ben Sunckell. Ben combined speed with some excellent passing manoeuvres to take his first race win in style as the faster cars at the back of the pack found their route to the front stemmed by some great racing in the mid-field. Gary Wilson took a strong second and kept himself in the overall championship chase, while Gary Morrell took his first top three finish in his DC2.

After the three races, Strong was the round winner from van Beers and Walters. Other notable performances during the day came from Noel Anderson - consistently fast in his EG, and Tim Blackwell-Chin, who bagged an impressive 1.20 seconds dead in his 1.6 EK on his first visit to the circuit.

Motul signs up for summer

Specialist motorsports oil company Motul has announced title sponsorship of the new-look Honda Cup summer series.

Motul has provided seed funding for the developing series during the three winter championships it has run over the past two years and is a natural fit for Honda Cup.  Managing Director Tim Pollard is a keen racer and will run in the series in his own ex-Japanese Touring Car Championship Integra DC5.

“It’s a great market for us,” commented Pollard. “There is a huge opportunity for Motul to become the lubricant of choice for a younger generation of talented engine tuners and developers, many of whom choose Hondas for their bullet proof reliability and high basic performance. As well as that, the series has secured two very high profile meetings in the V8 SuperTourers, and it will be great to have a significant presence at those events as part of the package.”

Taupo - it's gonna be big

Taupo is going to be a great day for the Honda Cup - as we wave goodbye to another ultra successful winter series, we set off on a new venture, the summer series. We are very confident of a good number of cars out on track but please do get your paperwork in as quickly as posisble to avoid disappointment or any late fees. There is an opportunity to test on the Saturday as part of the Taupo Car Club's Dual Sprint series. There is a special deal on offer from the club with a $25 discount for anyone from Honda Cup entering the Dual Sprint and the racing on Sunday.

All the documentation you need for Taupo, for registration for the Summer Series and for the regulations for the series are available under 2011 Documentation on the right hand side of the web site - www.hondacup.co.nz - all open into simple pre-prepared Word files to make life easier for you!

Being aware and being fair

As we move towards a summer championship with the number of drivers likely to be high and the spread of experience equally as likely to be wide, it is worth revisiting the regulation that is always one of the most widely talked about at any race meeting.

It's the code of conduct that relates to passing other cars and general behaviour out there on the circuit. The drivers summoned before the stewards at Manfeild were a mixture of experienced and inexperienced but the point made by stewards was a sound one - it doesn't matter how hard you are concentrating in a race - the rules demand you also pay attention to what is happening on the track itself in terms of marshal flags, lights, boards etc. If you don't, you can get penalised. There are actually a few more key areas of driver conduct that we should all remind ourselves about before we go racing. Here is the rule from Motorsport New Zealand.

12. Code of Driving Conduct:

12.1 Any occurrence or series of occurrences involving one or more drivers, or any actions by any driver, which is considered to have had a negative effect on any competitor or competitors is not permitted and will be penalised. These occurrences, may result in or from, but not limited to:

· The stopping of a test or qualifying session or the suspension of a race;

· Causing a false start by one or more cars;

· Causing a collision;

· Forcing a driver off the track;

· Preventing an overtaking maneuver by a driver;

· Impeding another driver during overtaking;

· Causing an avoidable accident;

· Changing line to block another competitor more than once on a straight;

New Class for 1.8s

When the Summer Series kicks off at Taupo in September - there will be a new class in the series specifically for 1.8 powered cars.

While the majority of automotive manufacturers have gone the traditional 1300, 1600 2000cc route, Honda made a name for itself with the 1800cc B18c . An engine that when released in R spec in 1996 put out the highest bhp per litre and has gone on to power more performance vehicles than any other production engine.

With so many B18C powered Hondas out racing, it was felt  that there should be a class  for the B18C powered cars  given how difficult it is for them to compete against the much lighter 1.6 powered cars or  more powerful 2 litre K or B series powered- machines.  From the level of enquiry received its looking like the new 1601-1800 class  will be one of the most hotly contest classes of the Summer Series.

Given there is an overlap of dates, it will be possible for someone to race at Taupo and for example, qualify for points in 1.8. So, for example, if you are running a 1.6 engine currently, but intend to change to a 1.8 after Taupo, then you can run the car in 1.6 at Taupo as you have done during the Winter series, and as well as taking your 1.6 points, also gain  points towards the 1.8 Summer Series class. You can only do this for Taupo. After Taupo, you must be running in the class for which you engine cc is appropriate. So if you decide to change to a two litre after Round 2, then you move to the 2 litre class at that point. Any class points achieved for either 1.6 or 1.8 must 'stay' in that class.

However, your overall series points will remain the cumulative total of all points scored.

Refer to the technical regulations and series articles for further information - both of which can be found on the front page of the Honda cup site www.hondacup.co.nz

Any technical queries can be made direct to the Technical Officer whose contact details can also be found on the newsletter ot on the contacts page of the web site.

RACE CLASSES

The Honda Cup Racing Series has classes as follows;

0 – 1600 cc

1601 – 2000 cc

2001 to 2200cc

B series Honda engines shall be allowed a maximum overbore allowance of 0.5 mm from the standard bore diameter when running a standard crankshaft with standard stroke for that engine. The purpose of this rule is to allow B16A and B16B engines to remain n the 1600 cc class and B18C and B18CR engines to remain in the 1800cc weight category.

There shall be no overbore allowance for any other Honda engine type.

Top ten after Round 3


1  Mark Walters Civic H1 358
2  Shaun Van Beers Integra H2  355
3  Richard Gee Civic H1   328
4  Gary Wilson Civic H1   317
5  Jason Weel Civic H1   220
6  Ben Sunckell Civic H1   218
7  Peter Dudson Integra H2  216
8  Logan Morrell Civic HU  205
9  David Harker Civic H1  194
10 Martin Dunn Integra H2  175 

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