The ultimate North vs South enduro-battle

7 February, 2017


New Zealand’s largest automotive distributor, Nichibo, is set to continue its support of the North Island Endurance Series into the 2017/2018 season. Nichibo currently holds the naming rights sponsor with their Mahindra brand, and it will now switch to Eneos — Japan’s top oil brand, with a strong heritage in Super GT and World Superbike racing in the motherland — for the new season. 

The Mahindra North Island Endurance series has been a massive success since its inception in 2013, and in conjunction with the Carters Tyres South Island Endurance Series and MotorSport New Zealand, the top 20 cars from both series will go head to head for winner-take-all New Zealand Championship titles at Christchurch’s Mike Pero Motorsport Park on March 18, 2017.

The joint agreement will see the event run annually, alternating islands — it was hosted by the north at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in March 2016.

It features a unique format, a one-off race for the Championship titles — to qualify you must finish within the top 20 in each series, and to eliminate trophy hunters, there are no allowances for wildcard entries. 

With some of the fastest cars in the country expected each year, and absolutely no championship strategy in play, it will make for an even more interesting new season of the North Island Endurance Series as the drivers no doubt fight their way into a qualifying place to try claim the title on home soil again in 2018. 

The 2017–’18 Eneos North Island Endurance Series will kick off at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park Taupo, on May 20, 2017

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.