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Fillmore takes out the 2024 Porsche Endurance Trophy New Zealand

The inaugural Porsche Endurance Trophy New Zealand was awarded to Sam Fillmore after the final race at the 2024 Summerset GT New Zealand Championship over the weekend. Held at the Hampton Downs SuperSprint, three races over the weekend saw a fight to the end for Fillmore, eventually taking out the GT3 Class trophy. 


Fillmore entered the final round in the lead, however there were 225 points up for grabs over the weekend, leaving Manson in second and Armstrong in third in close contention for the title. 


The weekend commenced with a 1-hour race that saw young up-and-comer Clay Osborne in a 991.2 GT3 Cup car race head-to-head with Paul Southam in his 992 GT3 Cup car. The on-track battle ended in contact between the two front runners which bought out a late safety car, ending Southam’s race. Debutant to the series Seb Manson crossed the line in second ahead of Rob Steele who returned after a hiatus for most of the series. Sam Fillmore and Rick Armstrong came together in the opening laps, meaning both had to fight to secure points towards the Porsche Endurance Trophy.


Paul Southam had a comeback in the second 30-minute race, securing first place, with Seb Manson continuing his impressive debut performance to finish in second place, followed by fellow junior Clay Osborne in third. Porsche Endurance Trophy protagonists Sam Fillmore, Rick Armstrong, and Luke Manson entered race three ready to battle for points, however, an early incident for Manson caused significant damage to the front of his 992 GT3 Cup Car, retiring him from the race. 


The team at International Motorsport worked tirelessly to repair Manson’s 992, with an impressive effort to get it back out on the grid with minutes to spare for race three later that afternoon. 


Entering the final race of the season, both the Porsche Endurance Trophy and the GT New Zealand Championship were undecided. Fillmore was in the lead for the Porsche trophy, followed by Armstrong and Manson.


As they took the checkered flag for the last time, Paul Southam secured the final race win with Armstrong in second and a bittersweet ending to the season for Luke Manson rounding out the podium. Sam Fillmore finished in fifth which secured him enough points to take home the inaugural Porsche Endurance Trophy New Zealand.


The Trophy was awarded to Fillmore at the GT New Zealand prize giving, with Armstrong securing the second-place trophy and Manson in third. As the recipient of the factory-backed initiative, Fillmore will be invited to be recognised by Porsche Motorsport at the “Night of Champions” awards ceremony in Germany in late 2024. 


This is the first time that Porsche New Zealand has awarded this trophy, which is a factory-backed initiative to recognise the best performing 991 & 992 GT3 Cup Cars that competed over 5 rounds within the 2024 GT New Zealand series. 


Fillmore, Armstrong, and Manson have all been announced to be competing with International Motorsport (IMS) in the upcoming New Zealand round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia which will join the Repco Supercars Championship at the ITM Taupo 400 on 19-21 April 2024.


Sam Fillmore


“I am very honoured to win the New Zealand Porsche Endurance Trophy with the IMS team. The racing has been really exciting, very close, and a fantastic camaraderie, especially with Rick Armstrong and Luke Manson. I love the Porsche Brand and racing their exceptional cars. Having raced a 997, both 991 models and now the 992 - the cars keep evolving and are even more special and rewarding to drive. Thank you to Porsche for an amazing opportunity."


Nathan Pilcher, Motorsport Coordinator, Porsche New Zealand


“It's been a fantastic season working with the teams and the GT New Zealand Championship. In its first season, the Trophy has certainly piqued the interest of the Porsche Motorsport Team and customers alike.”


“We look forward to the continued growth of the trophy series for customer racing in our market and we will continue to work with the factory to develop the program and grow the support for the teams, drivers, and customers. We are looking forward to another great season in 2025 and hope to attract more teams to be involved in the series with Porsche.”

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