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M2 Motorsport supporters magazine: V8 SUPERTOURERS 2014 - ROUND FOUR, PUKEKOHE PARK RACEWAY


Round four of the 2014 series sees us back at Pukekohe Park Raceway as a support class to the V8 Supercar series. Since opening in 1963, the track has evolved a number of times to suit changing tastes and requirements. The most recent changes occured over the 2012/13 summer, when the track was upgraded to host V8 Supercars. Concrete barriers and catch fencing from the Hamilton Street circuit now line most of the track, and a new set of corners (turns five, six, and seven) help slow the cars to a safe speed for the hairpin, which would have otherwise had too little run-off after the old flat-out blast down the back straight. Pukekohe is still a bumpy, fast, rip-snorter of a circuit, though, and a great test for any car and driver. The title ‘Spiritual home of New Zealand Motorsport’ is well deserved. Track website:




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TURN 6 80 KM/H


TURN 1 190 KM/H




Round four of the series, and we’re back at Pukekohe Park Raceway. This is our fourth visit to the circuit in twelve months (it’s becoming a second home), and this weekend we looked forward to running as a support class to the V8Supercars, and enjoying all the action and excitement they bring with them. With a crowd of around 150,000 through the gates over three days, the ITM500 is a massive event and a great chance for everyone in the V8 SuperTourer paddock to put on a great show for the fans and supporters. We’re excited to debut a cool new livery for the car thanks to Granger Design, and continue to support the Wings for Life World Run (click here to sponsor Simon’s entry) in front of a huge and enthusiastic crowd. We had a fair bit of rain on Thursday, and as we weren’t expecting any more over the weekend, we didn’t spend much time out on track getting dialled in to those conditions. Come Friday and Qualifying, the sun was shining, but things weren’t too rosy for us. After a really disappointing performance, we discovered that we had left some out of the way parts of the car set up for the wet when we were here last in March. This was the last thing we were expecting, as the car was on rails when we were here last, but now it was ‘ driving a marshmallow...’ according to Simon. With the team working late into the night we soon worked out what the problem was and got it fixed. Not the ideal start to the weekend, but a positive about starting from the back of the grid is that we would be able to avoid any first-lap mid-pack punchups that might occur in race one on Saturday.

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With the chassis issues that held us back in Qualifying sorted, Simon felt pumped ahead of the first race on Saturday morning. The racing gods had other ideas, however. “Unfortunately on the warm-up lap, out the gate and on to the back straight and just as I was warming up the tyres in second gear, I heard a massive bang, and I knew (because we’ve done one before) that we’d broken a right rear axle.” And with that, our first race was over before we even reached the start line. It was turnign out to be one of those kinds of weekends. But fast-forward a few hours...the offending part has been replaced and the team are ready for race two for the weekend. Simon picks up the story as the lights go out. “I was quite cautious off the start; the guys up front were banging into each other a wee bit, so my whole plan was to sit there and just make it through the first couple of laps” “At the end of the back straight a couple of cars locked up and I guess out of sympathy I decided to lock up as well and looped it, all on my lonesome...” What the team really needed now was a safety car to bunch the field back up - and we got one when Andrew Waite went off approaching ‘The Mountain’. But it wasn’t to be any use to us; the V8 Supercar schedule dictated that the race had to finish exactly on time so theirs could start in sync with the Aussie TV broadcast, and as Andrew’s car was taking a while to extract from beneath the tyre bundles, we were forced to trundle around behind the Safety Car until the chequered flag was shown.

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report: RACE THREE

Having been dealt more than our fair share of blows so far this weekend, the team were remarkably chipper on Sunday morning, something Simon is always grateful for. “I’ve got one of the best teams in pitlane working for me. They’re friends and they’re family and no matter what happens they chin up...and as long as the guys are happy, that gives me hope and I want to do a good job for them.” Thankfully race three for the weekend was a cracker. Starting from the back we finally seemed to be free of all the shackles that had held us back so far. “We needed to get that one under our belt! A nice clean race and I was really happy with that race. Our strategy worked for us - we picked a couple of cars off at the start without being overly aggressive and moved forwards and continued to pick cars off during the race - capitalised on a few who fell off [the track] - and bought it home in eighth from fourteenth or fifteenth!” “We weren’t the fastest car on the track but were probably one of the most consistent... so while others were faster at one point and then started to fall away at the end, our car was solid the whole way, which mean tthat I was able to pass and make those moves.” “So that was a real morale booster for the team...” “Really upbeat after that first one!”

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capture: RACE THREE

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report: RACE FOUR

With a successful race three under our belts, a trouble-free race four was just what we needed to banish the demons that visited us on Thursday and Friday. And that’s what we got as the meeting began to wind up on Sunday afternoon. A fairly clean start for Simon, who sat tight while those around him fell. With Morgan Haber, Angus Fogg and Steve Owen out of the race by lap seven, Simon simply had to pass and hold off Tim Edgell and Chris Hanley to take another eighth place at the finish. Job done! And with that, a slightly unexpected end of the 2014 season. V8Supertourers management have re-jigged the calendar to align it with Motorsport New Zealand’s Summer Series, so the 2014-15 season now runs from September ‘14 to April ‘15. The five month break will give us time to refresh the car, go testing, talk to our sponsors, and start planning our 2014-15 campaign. The exciting thing about this change is that the series now starts with three endurance rounds, beginning in Taupo on 27th September. And while a deal is far from complete, we’re hopeful that we’ll be joined again by our good mate Cam Waters, who is doing a stellar job in the Dunlop Series in Australia. Our congratulations go to 2014 series winner, Greg Murphy, and our thanks to all of our awesome supporters during 2014. Thankyou very much for following and encouraging us as we take tenth position overall, and we’re looking forward to seeing you all again after the break. Remember, our garage door is always open, so please come and say hi if you’re at the track, or stay in touch with us on Facebook if you can’t make it. - M2 Motorsport

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capture: RACE FOUR

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M2 Motorsport would like to thank supporters of our 2014 season:

We’re currently looking for partners to join M2 Motorsport for the 2014-15 season. If you are a nationally based business, or local to our next rounds in Taupo, Auckland, or Waikato and are interested in a great opportunity to accelerate your brand, please contact us!

Simon McLennan Ph: 0274 072808

M2 Motorsport 20 Dunns Street Silverstream Upper Hutt 5019

Colin McLennan Ph: 0274 407671

Produced for M2 Motorsport by Championship Digital Š2014 Championship Digital

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