Honda Cup Newsletter Number 19 - December 27th

Season’s Greetings to all of the competitors in the Motul Honda Cup North and South.

Tim Blackwell-Chin was having a good look around the Hampton Downs paddock recently at the second round of the NI series of Motul Honda Cup. Tim has a fantastic 1.6 EK resplendent in black and is keen to get back into the series as funds allow. In the meantime he's been out and about helping with friend's cars and catching up with the scene. It would be great to have him and the car back running on a regular or semi-regular basis.

V8 SuperTourer star Andy Booth was full of praise for the Motul Honda Cup in a recent article he wrote for Powerbase magazine. Boothy has always been a fan of what the series has been trying to do and takes a keen interest in progress, enquiring regularly and always chucking in the odd idea or two. A great driver and a great supporter.

A great effort by fuel sponsor Gull saw their team out at Hampton Downs re-stickering the cars flanks with big and bright Gull stickers. These guys really made the effort to get the cars looking like a family and it showed on the track with a fat field all looking pretty cool in their own distinctive liveries but with a 'series' look to each one. Great effort from Gull though - true motorsport fans.

The final enduro round at what will be the new-look Pukekohe is attracting real interest. We haven't formalised a final format, but we think a one hour race with one compulsory driver change with a driver from outside Honda Cup also a must may well be the way to go. We don't want everyone to spend a fortune, and we may insist on used tyres and no new brake pads, but it's taking shape. The meeting falls before the SuperTourers head there and there is quite a bit of interest to say the least....

Talking of SuperTourers, team owner Steve Horne - a legend in motor racing with a history in Can-Am and Indycar (He is Tony Kanaan's manager) - informed us recently that he has a DC5 at his base very similar to the ex-Japanese series car being run by sponsor Tim Pollard. There is a great chance that at some stage we will see Steve out in his car. He loves the Honda Cup and described it as an 'awesome' series brimming with cars, drivers and 'amazing machines'. Can't wait to see him out.

Entry for Taupo and Round 3 of the North Island series is now on-line at www.motorsportentry.com and it is going to be a very cool weekend indeed at the Tasman Revival round. This is one of the premier fixtures during the season for the Historic Motorsport Club and like last season, they were very helpful in allowing us to run with them. It's the weekend before the back-to-back New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing meetings at Hampton Downs and with the theme of those weekends Denny Hulme, and a Can-Am revival series part of that, there are a few fingers crossed that we might be able to see some of these glorious beasts limber up at Taupo. For Hondas it will be business as usual on the long track, with Saturday qualifying and rolling start Race 1, with the Reverse Top Ten and the Handicap on Sunday. Practice is also available on Friday - check the circuit office for details of that. See you there!

Finally, welcome aboard to our two new North Island Series Coordinators Ben Foote and dyno wizard Sam White. Both are infectious enthusiasts for the brand and we dropped them in at the deep end with their debut weekend being the Pukekohe V8ST meeting. They passed the test with flying colours and were back again for Round 2, with Alan down at Timaru running an SI Honda Cup round there. Hampton went without a hitch, and in fact was one of the best days of club racing most of the regulars in Honda Cup could remember. Sam and Ben did a great job that day too - well done boys and THANK YOU!

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

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

STEVEN ALLAN

027 316 6976

stevenallan@hondacup.co.nz

A GREAT 2012

There's no question that 2012 has been a fantastic year for the Motul Honda Cup. As well as completing a fantastic inaugural Summer Season on the North Island and getting a Summer Season underway in our growing South Island group, the community has secured some valuable backing, attracted a good number of new cars and drivers out onto the circuit on both sides of the Cooke Strait and established itself as the fastest growing and largest class of Japanese racing in New Zealand.

It's not been an easy road, especially in an economic climate for motor racing that has seen us working very hard to get cars and drivers on the grid, and working to find sponsors and supporters who have helped us provide some worthwhile deals for competitors and get us on TV!

Our sponsors and supporters have been great. Motul Honda Cup was first to use Hankook racing tyres in New Zealand (Just think who now uses them...) and we have the best deal available for club racers in New Zealand with the distributors for the product - Value Tyres. In simple terms, if you join Honda Cup as a member, and then buy a set of tyres, you make a saving of over $200 than if you just bought the tyres. On your next set, you save $400.

Fuel partner Gull too has been great as we start a relationship with them. From a technical point of view the fuel gives more power and the engines run cooler, but Gull also give vouchers out to the top three in each class after each race. These guys love racing too, and that makes them knowledgeable and a lot of fun to deal with. At the Pukekohe 500 V8ST round, they supported the event by taking some corporate hospitality to watch the Honda racing too. How cool is that?

Honda New Zealand too has been a unique supporter this season to date. They have officially recognised the series and provided us with an absolutely superb CRZ Safety Car that sees service out on track on a regular basis (it will be the course car for the entire meeting at Taupo on January 12 and 13). They too have come along to the events to support us. Thanks too to Rota, the engine tuners and fabricators at Speedfactor, J-Tune and R-Works who are all good supporters of the series at all levels.

As we look to 2013 and even bigger and better things, thanks most of all though go to the drivers and their small teams of supporters and mechanics who have all made the thing a success. All we ever wanted to do was provide a cheap, competitive environment for racing with a friendly community that everyone could feel part of. Hopefully we're getting there.

Catch them if you can

With two series running, it's been very interesting to see who has been setting the pace in the early races and it’s a process that has been full of surprises.

On the North Island, reigning champion Shane Parsons has had more than his fair share of reliability issues in the very hot and unique ITM Cambridge CRX, and the man out front and out front by some margin is last year's runner-up Mark Walters. Mr Motavator has a new car this season, the ex-Dudson DC2 with a K20 fitted and he has been largely unstoppable, destroying fields at the Pukekohe 500 V8 SuperTourer meeting and also winning races in dominant fashion at Round 2 at Hampton Downs.

With more speed to come from the car as Mark develops it, the other runners in the field have some work to do. Chief challenger has been Colin Abah in the highly tuned J-Tune EK20, now in blue after a few years in white. Parsons hasn't hit top form in his car as yet, while Logan Morrell, Martin Dunn, Richard Gee, Tim Pollard and Warren Tunley have all showed potential race-winning speed on occasion, but nothing consistent to provide serious opposition to Walters.

The 1.8 litre class looks like it is shaping up into a great battle, with Rik Wakelin, Kevin Varney, Garry Morrell, Oliver Heycoop, Brent Hay and others all showing class winning pace. 1.6 looks equally as competitive, with Tunley, Shaun Morris, Ryan McCartney and Jason Weel all fast, and reigning champ Gary Wilson fast but playing catch-up after a dropped valve put him out of Round 2 before practice.

On the South Island, the growing field has been dominated by the ex-van Beers Integra DC5, now in Motul colours and raced by Mark Meadows, has a 47 point lead over DC2 racer Glen Johnston after three rounds. Dave McLean showed some good pace at the third round in his DC2 and it is he perhaps who might form the challenge to Meadows as the series heads into the New Year.

EK racer Tony Witheridge is 34 points ahead of EG mounted Warren Walker in another closely fought 1.6 class and Johnston heads the 1.8 field.

Don't forget - the Hankook deal helps you

Motul Honda Cup has a fabulous deal that is only available to registered paid up and active members of the series.

We hope to have all competitors running on Hankook slicks during both Summer Series with the incentive being simply that these are the best tyres available, and also the least expensive. V8 SuperTourer rac er and three time NZV8 cham John McIntyre reckons Hankooks are the best tyres he has ever raced on, and we use pretty much the same compounds. It's a great deal for anyone who pays up and joins Honda Cup, whether your are a core member who races every round or just a weekend warrior who likes to get out at his or her favurite track for a race weekend every now and then.

Tyre sizes, compounds and prices are available from Al or Richard as well as an order form which should be used when ordering the boots from Value Tyres.

Setting new standards for Honda racing

There is no doubt one of the most refreshing sights over the past six or seven months has been the quality of the new cars and drivers coming into fields in both the North and the South. What were the best cars to look at a couple of years ago and now just also-rans compared to some of the gear that is coming out of the garages and sheds of our racers.

This is a phenomenal testament to the abilities on small budgets of our drivers and their mechanics and it really is exactly what we had hoped for with Motul Honda Cup - low cost racing where a bit of effort and hard work can make all the difference.

We have been wowed by the standard of most if not all of the South Island cars and up North, you only have to take a look at the machines of Warren Tunley (pictured), David Miller, Shaun Morris and others to see that the standard is being raised all of the time. Kevin Varney has a new car looming which should also be sensational, and when it is racing, just take a look at Jack Tse's amazing Prototype Class DC5 - this would grace any touring car field in the world in its day.

There are even more great cars out there that we are working on securing for the series and the momentum is such that organisers of the new Australian Honda series are flying down to be at Hampton Downs to see how the New Zealand series does it.

Manfeild, no bull, just facts

There has been quite a bit of rubbish written on the Internet but the facts are as follows. When Motul Honda Cup was established through disenchantment with the way the Honda class was being run in SS2000 and the IRC, it did so as a series without any race dates.

The series was offered initially to David Dovey at the IRC and he immediately refused, without the decision going to committee. We accepted that as a series and moved on, building bridges with V8 SuperTourers as they set out on their own journey and with the Historic Racing Club and Auckland Car Club. Without those three organisations, and particularly Mark Petch at V8 SuperTourers and Chris Watson at the HRC, we would not have had any dates.

When the V8 SuperTourer round at Manfeild fell through - both Motul Honda Cup and the Central Muscle Cars needed to find other rounds. CMC slotted nicely into the Hampton Downs Legends of Speed event but Motul Honda Cup wanted something further south for its Wellington, Manawatu and West Coast drivers (and potentially South Island drivers) so we looked around for a Taupo date or something else at Manfeild. The IRC had an event scheduled at Taupo on their calendar that would have worked, and Chris Watson offered to make our case to the IRC to be included. Once again David Dovey refused, once again without the decision even being put to the committee. When this was put on our forum for all to see, we received complaints of bias from the IRC. They asked us to remove the post. We refused and instead encouraged them to respond on the public forum. They did not.

We'll refrain from making comment on our opinion on that sequence of events, other than to say it was a shame politics stood in the way of making life a little easier for the competitors who do so much travelling, without complaining, from the bottom half of the North Island to race in Honda Cup. As regards an alternative date, things are shaping up nicely and Richard is more than happy with the alternatives we have in place - including one possibility that will allow - as was the original intention with Manfeild - South Island cars to head North for a unique unification round counting for points in both series.