Green Light #6

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The most exciting edition of Green Light yet! In this issue we cover the V8SuperTourer sprint series title win claimed at the recently held Hampton Downs round over Queen's Birthday weekend.

Transcript of Green Light #6

  • GREEN-LIGHT #6

    14 June 2012 - Issue No,6

    www.jmr.co.nz

  • Hi everyone and welcome to our sixth edition of Green Light and the headline I was hoping for!

    As many of you will now know through TV3s Gillette Motorsport show, TV3 news, the internet and newspapers like NZ Herald, we have won the sprint title in the inaugural season of V8SuperTourers.

    This is a great achievment for the team at JMR considering the challenges we have faced in relocating the team to Taupo and running two V8SuperTourers and the V8Challenge Cup car. We ended the sprint championship with a narrow (2 point!) margin over Jonny Reid and, to keep up the good work, well need more fast and cosistant performances in the two-driver endurance races starting at Taupo Motorsport Park on Fathers Day (2 September).

    The records show: we won one feature race (Ruapuna) had four second places (Hampton Downs Round 1, Ruapuna Race 1, Manfeild Race 1 and 3) and finished third once (Hampton Downs Round 4)

    However what is more significant is our worst result of the season, ninth in race 1 this season. When we qualified 13th for the first race and then went onto finish ninth, I said to the team that it had to be our worst result of the season. And so far, it has been.

    Our sprint title win is as much down to the teams preparation as it is our on-track performance. We all agreed that we could not afford a DNF (did not finish) and that this first season would be about consistancy. We set our goal of complet-ing every race better than ninth position, and it has worked. To have set and achieved that goal makes me very proud of the whole team at JMR.

    14 June 2012 - Issue No,6

    V8SuperTourer sprint champions!

  • 14 June 2012 - Issue No,6

    A wrap-up from round 4 at Hampton DownsWe had very high expectations for this round after coming on very strong at Ruapuna and Manfeild. We went to the track with a completely different set-up to the first round at Hampton Downs, but it still wasnt good enough. My engineer Jason Liefting and I probably confused ourselves by the time Friday practice had finished. We had adjusted nearly everything on the car but we just couldnt make it work. On Saturday morning in the practice session we ran new tyres to see what our true pace was, we were in essence 0.2s off Jonny Reid and 0.5s off Scott McLauglin who was fastest all weekend. Although we were close, the car could only do that time for one lap and it then deteriorated.

    We went into qualifying with a slightly different set-up but most of our plans went down the drain when I crashed on the exit of pit lane! This was a first (and hopefully last) for me! When these Hankook tyres are brand new, they are very slippery, so I carefully exited pit lane at about 50 kp/h in third gear. But then I put my foot into it and the big 7-litre V8 caused the car to snap on me. I couldnt recover the slide and it felt like slow motion as I slid onto the grass and into the barrier. Apart from the embarrassment, from inside the car I thought it was quite badly damaged. The steering wheel wasnt pointing straight and I am sure we had just given away the championship. But when I arrived back in the pits the JMR team quickly had the car up on the air-jacks, assessing the damage. Incredibly, everything was safe to continue - although it didnt feel quite right, the team were happy enough to send me back out. My first laps on these tyres were less than accurate, but I came in to change onto the next set and found some speed right on the last lap of qualifying, finishing with a time of 1.04.4 and ninth on the grid a good effort considering that we could have been starting off the back without any qualifying points.

    In Saturdays race one, #47 handled reasonably well and I was able to make a great start and then hold onto seventh for most of the race. Near the end, Jonny Reids team-mate Ant Pedersen pulled off to the side of the track with a gearbox fail-ure and then I passed Andy Knight with two laps to go. I finished fifth which was a solid effort, but Jonny Reid, who had the championship lead coming into this round, finished third and extended his lead over me.

    On Sunday morning we held an excellent team meeting that I think was the catayst for our sprint title win. Everyone in the team had their input on the small things that we could improve on, including the driver who crashed in qualifying! As a team we certainly performed better over the rest of the day and we will take those lessons into the rest of the year. In race two we started fifth and the car was the best it had been all weekend, not good enough to win but good enough to fight in the top five. During that race Reid was ahead of us again until his car also stopped with a gearbox failure. I drove onto third place and our sixth podium finish of the season. We were in the lead now by 60 points going into the last race.

  • 14 June 2012 - Issue No,6

    A wrap-up from round 4 at Hampton Downs cont...Everything looked good for Sundays final race. We narrowly made it for the race start. Other teams had reported an issue with the fuel system and so we only just finished checking our system before we were due to leave the pit lane. We were third on the grid with Reid tenth. We made some minor adjustments to the car to try and improve its drive off the last corner and its stability into turn two. We got it wrong! What we have found with the V8SuperTourers is they work in a very small set-up window and we had just moved outside of that (again)!. I still had Reid behind me for most of the race until my gearbox had a few issues of its own. About 10 laps into the 35-lapper, I went to change to fifth gear but it changed back into fourth! This went on intermittently for the next 25 laps and I lost places, dropping all the way to ninth. I could see Reid in the distance moving into fourth and I thought I needed another position to win the title. Normally I would have had the team telling me the points situation in my radio, but static in my earpiece meant that I had to un-plug the radio cord. I managed to pass Paul Manuell with two laps to go but I still didnt know if that was enough for the championship.

    Coming onto the main straight for the last time I had Manuell about four car lengths behind me. On the run up to the line, the gearbox decided to go from fourth to sixth in one go - I just managed to get it back into fifth and power over the line, just 0.2s ahead of Manuell. I drove around on the parade lap, thinking we hadnt done it. I went to drive the car into pit lane but the team were there to meet me, telling me I had to reverse back and drive to the podium so we could celebrate!

    To say that was a relief is a massive understatement. Now we can focus on improving our understanding of how the car works best by testing at Taupo. We move into the two-driver endurance phase of the championship now with young Kiwi star Jono Lester joining me in #47 for the three endurance races. I have chosen Jono because he is a young Kiwi with a great pedigree having raced Porsches in New Zealand and overseas. He is currently driving a Mercedes Benz in a key Japanese endurance series, so hes race-fit and ready to go [See page 24 for more.] We will be out testing with Jono and the endurance driver for Steve Ricahrds #556 car next Wednesday at Taupo Motorsport Park. More to come on the announcement of that driver soon!

    Even though we have a mid-season break from racing, its still busy! After completing two ride days in the next fortnight we will strip the cars down completely and start preparing them for the two-driver races. We will then take the cars and transporter to CRC Speedshow at Aucklands ASB Showgrounds on 21-22 July.

    Remember the first two-driver endurance race will be at Taupo on 2 September (Fathers Day). Look for more details on ticket pricing and hospitality packages in the coming weeks.

  • 14 June 2012 - Issue No,6

    Key highlights from the Hampton Downs weekend

    Regained the championship lead after the Sunday morning 25-lap race. Finished the final race for the sprint championship in eighth - 0.2sec ahead of being ninth. The race position left us with a winning margin of two points for the championship title. John recorded his sixth podium result (3rd in race 2) in the sprint series - most of any driver. Steve finished 10th overall in the standings out of 19 drivers.

  • JMR Hampton Downs photo gallery

    14 June 2012 - Issue No,6

  • 14 June 2012 - Issue No,6

    Saturday, 2 JuneQualifying

    Pos No. Name Best time In lap Best speed Diff Gap Laps1 93 Scott McLaughlin 1:03.829 13 148.334 132 2 Jonny Reid 1:03.918 14 148.127 0.089 0.089 143 5 Andy Knight 1:04.181 12 147.520 0.352 0.263 144 99 Kayne Scott 1:04.192 2 147.495 0.363 0.011 125 23 Andy Booth 1:04.278 7 147.298 0.449 0.086 116 96 Ant Pedersen 1:04.294 12 147.261 0.465 0.016 147 22 Andre Heimgartner 1:04.379 10 147.067 0.550 0.085 128 51 Greg Murphy 1:04.389 9 147.044 0.560 0.010 129 47 John McIntyre 1:04.401 11 147.016 0.572 0.012 1210 15 Paul Manuell 1:04.406 15 147.005 0.577 0.005 1511 12 Geoff Emery 1:04.458 13 146.886 0.629 0.052 1312 31 Daniel Gaunt 1:04.481 13 146.834 0.652 0.023 1613 10 Richard Moore 1:04.547 13 146.684 0.718 0.066 1314 247 Angus Fogg 1:04.634 11 146.486 0.805 0.087 1115 556 Steven Richards 1:04.703 5 146.330 0.874 0.069 1416 27 Craig Baird 1:04.924 9 145.832 1.095 0.221 1417 69 Eddie Bell 1:05.117 13 145.400 1.288 0.193 13

    Race results: Round 4Hampton Downs

  • 14 June 2012 - Issue No,6

    Saturday, 2 JuneRace 1, 20 laps

    Pos No. Name Laps Total time Diff Best time In lap Best speed1 93 Scott McLaughlin 20 21:40.491 1:04.232 7 147.4032 23 Andy Booth 20 21:43.209 2.718 1:04.521 7 146.7433 2 Jonny Reid