McElrea Racing

Highlands NZ

This is a unique event that we have every year which involves shipping all of the cars and equipment over to New Zealand.

The race format is also different in that the two final races of the AGT Championship are on Saturday and then on Sunday there is the Highlands 101 Endurance race.

It was an epic weekend for the MR International crew with us running another four cars in Sydney at the same time for the final round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Championship.

Tony Walls & Warren Luff

Champ Class - 6th 7th 7th

Tony elected to do both of the AGT 1 hour races on his own rather than use Luffy as a co-driver. This is because Luffy’s driver seeding level would have added a significant amount of time to their compulsory pit stops potentially making them uncompetitive.

Minal and the boys on #11 did a great job with the pitstop timing and Wallsy did some fast and consistent driving in the 1 hour races on Saturday to finish 6th and 7th in the final two races of the Championship.

After his driver coaching for our drivers on Friday and Saturday Luffy was very keen to get behind the wheel to do some laps in ‘Bruce’ the Objective McLaren.

We had a daring strategy planned for Sunday's 101 Endurance race but unfortunately things didn't quite go to plan. Timing of the compulsory pit window and the McLarens fuel burn meant Wallsy had to do a double stint with Luffy doing a long third and final stint while ensuring he didn’t exceed the maximum 55% pro co driver rule. The combined fast and measured efforts resulted in a well-deserved 7th.

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Tony Walls and Warren Luff did a fantastic job to bring the stunning Objective McLaren home in a respectable 7th place in the Highlands 101 Endurance Event

Simon Ellingham & Andre Heimgartner

Trophy Class 5th 3rd 4th

We elected to run Simon solo in both the AGT races on the Saturday as a competitive strategy to avoid the same same seeding issue we had with Wallsy.

Simon’s driving has lifted to another level and (we are very pleased with his progress over the last few rounds) it showed with the outstanding race one and race two results of 5th and 3rd in Trophy Class despite his Porsche GT3 Cup being outclassed by the more modern machinery of his competitors.

Simon was joined by Supercar driver and fellow kiwi Andre Heimgartner for Sunday's 101 Endurance race.

Like Luffy, Andre was also champing at the bit to get behind the wheel at this scenic circuit after a few quiet days.

Despite a change of strategy during the race due to changing conditions, both Andre and Simon did great jobs behind the wheel to finish 4th in Trophy Class and remarkable 12th outright.

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Simon Ellingham and Andre Heimgartner did a fantastic job to finish 4th in Trophy Class and a remarkable 12th outright in the Highlands 101

Michael Hovey & Matt Campbell

Champ Class - 14th DNF 14th

We were very excited about the potential for the Ginetta to pull-off a surprise result in NZ.

This was a fair and reasonable expectation given Hoves pace during the year and Matt Campbell's scintillating pole laps at Phillip Island and Sydney Motorsport Park against Australia's toughest GT competition earlier in the year.

Unfortunately the car fought us from the moment it hit the track at Highlands.

The awesome MR crew lead by Jimmy had to endure and overcome mechanical issues in both AGT races on Saturday.

In Sunday's 101 Endurance race we were presented with a couple of new challenges, all of which were quite deflating for Hoves and Matty.

We are disappointed for Hoves after doing as much as he has to build the Ginetta brand in Australia and despite the generous communication and assistance from our good mate Phil from the UK, better communication from the manufacturer could have avoided most of the issues.

The shame is that this car is so fast, we just need it to start behaving itself!

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Michael Hovey and Matt Campbell had a deflating weekend with mechanical issues preventing a good result.

Summary

There was an enormous amount of work from the awesome MR crew that went into the preparation and logistics for our only 'fly-away' round of the year.

We are proud of the performances of Simon and Wallsy and gutted for Hoves.

Many thanks to our MR Pro drivers Warren Luff and Matt Campbell as well as Andre Heimgartner for supporting Simon Ellingham so well.

The entire MR crew are getting psyched up for a well deserved break and looking forward to an even bigger and better AGT campaign in 2016!

From everyone in the MR family we would like to thank our drivers, partners and supporters for a fantastic 2015.

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A big weekend for MR with us running 7 cars in two separate Championship finale's. One in Australia and the other in New Zealand on the same weekend!