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Speed merchants . . . Cam Davies (left) and Flyn Mitchell with the car they built to compete in the 2020 South Island Endurance Series. PHOTO: LEIGHANA CROMIE

A couple of self-confessed “Waimate battlers” are gearing up to take on some of the country’s top motorsport drivers.

Cam Davies and Flyn Mitchell have spent the past few months building their 400hp car from scratch, to take part in the C-class of the 2020 South Island Endurance Series.

The car has the body of a Mazda RX-8, a Commodore V8 engine and a four-speed Nascar gear box and carries 120 litres of fuel, so the pair will have one pit stop to change drivers and refuel.

The races are three hours long and the vehicle that does the most laps in that time wins. The fastest cars can cover up to 400km.

“We built something in a shed in Waimate and are going up against people who have spent the same amount on their cars as what our entire workshop costs,” Mitchell said.

“As long as the car is reliable we will be all right.”

Mitchell and Davies have competed in South Island Pro7 racing for the past three years, but this was another step up.

“It is pretty much the premier of New Zealand motorsport – we wanted to be involved,” Davies said.

“This is really pushing it. It’s pretty easy to build a race car to do eight or 10 laps, which is about 20 minutes, but three hours is a different story.

“It’s pretty hard on the body, it dehydrates you massively, it’s super hot – probably about 40 or 50 degrees in the car.

“We tested the car last Sunday and it ran faultlessly, which is pretty amazing considering we spent the last four months hand-building it.”

The series starts at Invercargill’s Teretonga Park on Saturday, September 12. It then goes to Mike Pero Ruapuna, in Christchurch, on October 3 and the grand finale is at Levels Raceway, in Timaru, on October 17.

The top qualifiers will gain entry to the 2020 New Zealand Endurance Championships, which be at Highlands Motorsport Park, in Cromwell, on November 7.