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M2 Motorsport supporters magazine: V8 SUPERTOURERS 2014 - ROUND TWO, MANFEILD


track info: MANFEILD

Manfeild is one of the older, more established circuits in New Zealand, and this weekend the V8 SuperTourer series visits for the first time since 2012, racing as a support class for the Toyota Racing Series’ New Zealand Grand Prix meeting. While the layout is basically two straights linked by three main corners, it’s still a challenge to set up a V8 SuperTourer to perform well over a lap, and be fast for a whole race. But as it’s our ‘local’ track (our team is based further south in Lower Hutt and comes here for testing), we think our extra experience at the circuit might just see us surprising a few of the podium regulars...

START/FINISH LINE

TURN 7 (PEPSI MAX) 115 KM/H

TURN 3 (SPLASH) 100 KM/H

TURN 5 (HAIRPIN) 65 KM/H

SPEED 220 KM/H


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TURN 1 (TOYOTA) 75 KM/H SPEED 225 KM/H

TURN 6 (HIGGINS) 85 KM/H


introduction: ROUND TWO - MANFEILD

Just two weeks after we were at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell, we arrived at Manfield in Fielding for round two of the 2014 series. Manfeild is our ‘home’ track, and while we’ve done more than a few laps round here on our test days, we’ve never raced a V8SuperTourer at the track, so the weekend ahead was a mixture of the familiar and unfamiliar. Over the last six months, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of setup (how we adjust the suspension, brakes, tyres and rear wing), and the good thing about racing at Manfield is that we already know from testing how to setup the car before we go out for our first practice session. This saves us a huge amount of time; we don’t burn up practice sessions trying techniques that don’t work - instead we’re able to fine tune the car, and the whole team is happier and more relaxed knowing that we’re on the money. An issue with a sensor in the gearbox caused problems for us in the first Qualifying session (for race one), but the team dug in and fixed that overnight, and scored one of our best results in Qualifying 2 (for Race two) with seventh position on the grid. From there, it was a short wait until race one on Saturday afternoon, and we were looking forward to turning our good form in practice into an even better race result...


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report: RACE ONE

After spending all day Friday, and Saturday morning perfecting our setup for dry conditions, the showers that rolled across the circuit on Saturday afternoon weren’t really what we wanted to see as we rolled out on slick tyres for race one. The gearbox problem we had in Qualifying 1 meant we hadn’t recorded good times and were starting from near the back of the field. So we wondered if we couldn’t use this situation to our advantage by pulling in to pitlane during the warm-up laps and switching to wet weather tyres before everybody else. Simon: “I had the boys on the radio and we were talking about potentially making a tactical move to come in and throw some wets on.” “Then, if the race gets declared [wet] later, all cars come in to pit lane [to change to wets], and I go to the front of the group....and everyone else queues behind me. It was going to be a ‘hero or zero’ strategy...” Well, we placed our bets and pitted to change tyres as the rest of the field roared off on the first lap. And while the rain did get a little heavier, it wasn’t enough to suit the wet weather tyres. This is always a recipe for disaster, and the dryish track chewed the tyres up early on in the race, making the car a real handful and putting us to the back of the field by the chequered flag. It’s a real shame our gamble didn’t pay off, but we were still bouyed by our pace during Qualifying, and a sunnier forecast for race two and three on Sunday.


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capture: RACE ONE


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report: RACE TWO

Come Sunday morning, the team has regrouped and we’re all looking forward to racing in sunny, warm conditions. Simon in particular, was raring to go. “We know that we’ve got a really good, fast, dry car. We start today’s race from seventh place, so we won’t be doing anything silly from there. I’m looking forward to getting out there and having a red hot go at this today.” “I want to get out there and get stuck in. It’s Colin’s birthday too, so if we can get some runs on the board for him too it’d be nice as well!” Racing at this professional level is tough, and a good race result is usually down to having the car well prepared as much as it is driver skill...and luck. There have been times in the past where a few small mistakes have cost us results, but on Sunday morning it all came together beautifully, and Simon scored his best sprint race result to date, just being pipped for fifth position on the run to the flag by André Heimgartner. “I had a really good one-lap battle with Richard Moore and I took heart from that because we ran side-by-side for a few turns; he passed me and I passed him, and then he passed me back, and I don’t think we rubbed a panel...so I really enjoyed that.” “...I managed to escape the [next] battle pack and bring it home in sixth...and very nearly fifth.” “André drove like a man possessed on those last few laps, and he deserved fifth!”


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capture: RACE TWO


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report: RACE THREE

With some really encouraging results in race two behind us, the team was feeling good ahead of race three - a longer 25 lap feature on Sunday afternoon. Simon talks us through how the race unfolded: “The car had been fast all weekend - it just needed some time and some good track space to unlock it, and so it was set to come on (perform best) mid to late race...so the whole strategy was to survive the start of the race and to really make some moves towards the end.” “Coming out of Higgins (turn six) I dropped a left rear wheel off the circuit...which isn’t uncommon...and I’ve done enough laps around Manfeild to know that dropping a wheel off doesn’t normally cause dramas at that point in the circuit...but for whatever reason (and we’re still trying to work it out), as soon as I dropped that wheel off the car snapped hard to the left and put us straight into the concrete wall.” So it ended up a disappointing finish to a weekend that was shaping up to really reward Simon and the team for all their hard work, but we think this wasn’t a ‘normal’ accident to suffer, and our really great results earlier on can’t be erased by this crash. “The car speed is developing and we’re making steps forward, and after race two we had a newfound confidence within the team...so it was a premature end to race three... (not good in that sense), but it fires us up to get to the next round.” Please join us at Pukekohe on the 22nd and 23rd of March for round three of the series!


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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 season. If you are a nationally based business, or local to one of the V8SuperTourers rounds in Auckland, Taupo, or Palmerston North and are interested in a great 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

Produced for M2 Motorsport by Championship Digital Š2014 Championship Digital


V8ST 2014 round 2