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M2 Motorsport supporters magazine: V8 SUPERTOURERS ROUND FIVE


review: ROUND FIVE Last weekend the M2 Motorsport converged on Taupo Motorsport Park for our debut round in the New Zealand V8SuperTourer series. We ‘ve had a very busy last few months preparing our Holden Commodore for this series, and were very much looking forward to everything coming together for the first time. We had a short shakedown test a week before, with our drivers Simon McLennan and Craig Innes completing a half-day session at Manfeild. Everything went to plan, and although we didn’t get to put the car through its paces in anger, it was a confidence boost heading to Taupo.

We weren’t going to set the world on fire at our first round, but we had a great time getting amongst it!

Our Wellington-based team features a bunch of guys from across the country who have a wide range of experience in engineering racecars, however Simon and Craig have had no experience at all in V8 style ‘tin-top’ racing. Therefore, our expectations for the weekend were simple: we were to learn and understand as much about this new racecar as we could. We weren’t going to set the world on fire at our first round, but we had a great time getting amongst it! There are only a few meetings left this season, but we’d like to invite all our supporters to Pukekohe (26 to 28 October) and Ruapuna (23 to 25 November) to see us in action. Tickets are available at www.v8st.co.nz/tickets.html See you there!


track info: TAUPO MOTORSPORT PARK TAUPO CITY CENTRE

85 KM/H

210 KM/H

125 KM/H

175 KM/H

65 KM/H

235 KM/H


Set just ten minutes from Taupo’s city centre, the track was originally a short (but popular) 1.6km circuit built in the 1960’s. Work on a circuit extension began in 2005, and in January 2007 the new 3.3km track came of age when it hosted a round of the 06-07 A1GP Championship. Present-day Taupo Motorsport Park is a technical circuit that requires a lot of courage and commitment from any driver loooking for a fast lap. Turn nine sums up the character of the track nicely; a fast right hander that demands an aggressive entry, a smooth exit, and rewards its master with a fast, exciting ride!

160 KM/H

65 KM/H 135 KM/H

START/FINISH LINE 180 KM/H

110 KM/H


debrief: QUALIFYING Qualifying for the V8SuperTourer endurance series features two twenty minute sessions split between the two drivers. The results determine where the car starts for race one and race two, depending on which driver starts the race.

Although at the back end of the grid, the team made great strides and we improved on our fastest test session time by 0.8 seconds.

Craig Innes was first to step into the M2 Motorsport Holden Commodore for the co-driver’s qualifying session. Craig was on track with international drivers such as Jeroen Bleekemolen and V8Supercar pilots Tony D’Alberto and Jono Webb. With twenty V8SuperTourers on track, Craig found it difficult to get a clean lap, but as we have only limited experience, the M2 team were largely using this session to post a time and continue developing tyre, suspension and aero settings in preparation for Sunday’s races. Craig improved on the morning’s practice times and posted a 1:31.735 to end up in P19. Simon McLennan began the second qualifying session for ‘A’ drivers shortly afterwards. Craig provided positive feedback after his session and enabled the M2 team to make some further improvements to the car before Simon hit the track. Simon was qualifying with the drivers who have been a part of the series from round one, and clear track enabled Simon to post a time of 1.30.944 and take P18. Although at the back end of the grid, the team made great strides during qualifying, and we improved on our fastest test session time by 0.8 seconds. The gap between P1 qualifier and M2 was 2.2 seconds; not bad for our first meeting.


capture: QUALIFYING


debrief: RACE ONE Starting from P19, Simon had the honour of piloting the M2 V8SuperTourer for the first stint of the 56 lap endurance race. Not only did the M2 drivers have to contend with the nerves of competing in their first V8SuperTourer race, we also had to learn very quickly how to negotiate the rolling start.

‘

Simon got a clean start and avoided the first lap carnage. The team put through the call to stay at the back of the field, look forwards and learn as much as he could. An on and off battle with Hugh Gardiner ensued whilst other drivers were getting caught up in contact and earning themselves drive-through penalties.

Craig focussed on learning as much as he could and staying out of trouble....and eventually came home in 12th position

A call to pit the car early paid great dividends, as pitlane was calm when Simon handed the car over to Craig. For a team with minimal practice, our driver change and pitstop was quick and clean, leaving Craig in a good position to finish off the race. Craig drove consistently, and as many other cars were battling hard and causing a few incidents, the M2 team asked that he focussed on learning as much as he could, and stay out of trouble. The M2 V8SuperTourer was moving up the leaderboard and Craig eventually came home in 12th position. Although we still need to improve our pace, we learned how a clean and consistent race can be very rewarding for the team. P12 in our debut V8SuperTourer race exceeded all our expectations, and our fastest lap time improved to only 1.8seconds slower than the race winner.

’


capture: RACE ONE


debrief: RACE TWO V8SuperTourer regulations state that in endurance races, both drivers must start one race each. As Simon started race one, Craig was very quickly back in the car for race two. Craig got stuck in right from the start, and found his way quickly up to P14. This is as good as it got for the M2 team; while Craig did his best and battled as hard as he could, the team fell down the order and settled into 17th position as we pitted.

our fastest lap was now only 1.4 seconds behind the winner’s; a sign of improving speed and a positive to take with us

Simon took over on lap 26 to finish the second half of race two. With not a lot going on at the back end of the field, we were hoping to capitalise on dramas ahead of us, but there weren’t any! Highlights include a safety car period when Simon found himself in the middle of the pack (albeit a lap down); the M2 team coaching him to stay calm and be wary of the front runners ahead and behind. After enduring a “bump and run” style pass, Simon moved to the side and allowed them to pass and resume their battle in their own space. Once the pack had moved through, Simon found himself with clear track and used the rest of the race to test different lines and gear selections. This resulted in a couple of off-track excursions which Simon put down to ‘finding the limits’, but no damage was done and the M2 Motorsport V8SuperTourer came home in P18. And although we finished down the order, our fastest lap was now only 1.4 seconds behind the winner’s - a sign of improving speed and a positive to take with us to Pukekohe.


capture: RACE TWO


sponsor profile: MOTHERS The M2 Motorsport Holden Commodore V8SuperTourer has a striking set of graphics, and we’re thrilled that Mothers Polishes, Waxes, and Cleaners have partnered with us to ensure our V8SuperTourer stays as clean and striking as the day it rolled out of the workshop.

M2 Motorsport have used Mothers polishes, waxes, and cleaning products since 2010, when the team competed in the New Zealand Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge. Ever since, Mothers have been our first choice for preparing and presenting our race cars.

Whether it’s a classic, something more modern, (or a SuperTourer based down here in New Zealand), Mothers simply provide the best range of products to keep your motor vehicle looking its best

The Mothers brand has a rich history, and are the products of choice for car enthusiasts worldwide. Whether it’s a classic, something more modern, (or a SuperTourer based down here in New Zealand), Mothers simply provide the best range of products to keep your motor vehicle looking its best. You can learn more by visiting their website at www.mothers.co.nz or find them at your local auto accessories store.


our thanks to... M2 Motorsport would like to thank the following partners for their support in the team’s 2012 V8SuperTourer Endurance campaign:

We are currently looking for partners to join M2 Motorsport for the remaining two rounds of the 2012 season. If you are a national based business, or local to the Pukekohe or Ruapuna round, and are interested in an exclusive opportunity to accelerate your brand, please contact us!

Simon McLennan Ph: 0274 072808 simon.mclennan@m2motorsport.co.nz

M2 Motorsport 20 Dunns Street Silverstream Upper Hutt 5019

Colin McLennan Ph: 0274 407671 colin.mclennan@m2motorsport.co.nz


M2 Motorsport supporters magazine - V8 Supertourers round five