Double podium for AMR runners at Rd 2 North Island Endurance Series

Saturday, May 29, 2021

A highly entertaining second round of New Zealand’s North Island Endurance Series left the #52 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Racing team having to be satisfied with a second-place finish at the end of today’s three hour race from the Hampton Downs circuit.

Having qualified second behind the #1 McLaren 650S and with light rain beginning to fall as the cars assembled on the grid, it didn’t take Darren Kelly more than the length of the pit straight before taking the lead before gapping the chasing pack by some considerable margin and lapping the #111 AMR Australasia Vantage GT8R car by as early as the tenth minute.

Running as deep as the seventy eighth minute, Kelly pitted to swap over to Alex Ribera before a Safety Car period for a stranded car all but destroyed their race lead soon after their first stop. The restart lap then allowed the new generation #33 Audi R8 to come through into P2 to begin what would become a challenging time for Riberas with just an hour remaining.

Pass and counter passes were made between the #52 and #22 cars as each battled for the lead before ultimately the #22 car broke the tow and made it’s get-away and through their final stop of the race to claim the race win over the #52 car.

Without any real class competition, the #111 Vantage GT8R of Steve Harrison and Shane Murland finished the race P6 overall as fastest finisher behind the other GT3 class cars – so it wasn’t all bad!!

Both Aston’s now lead their respective classes at the halfway stage of the season.

Photo credits – NIES / Team

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