Wellington driver Darryn Henderson will be back on the grid when the 2009/2010 BNT V8s Championship gets underway at Pukekohe Park Raceway, south of Auckland, this weekend
Henderson makes his return in the Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon after an absence of nearly two years. Last seen in the V8s in a Holden Commodore Henderson made a decision to enter the Porsche GT3 Cup almost two years ago and went on to finish 8th overall in that championship last year.
However, a recent test drive in the Falcon was in Darryn's words, "good fun and a challenge", so the Wellingtonian has gone full circle and returned to the BNT V8s Championship.
Darryn will race in a two-car team under the Tulloch Motorsport banner. "We have a brand new Falcon built by Autotek in Christchurch and we will run in tandem with John Whelan of Dunedin. The new car is immaculate, it's unbelievable. Inky (Tulloch) is in a management role and Peter Cunliffe of Autotek will be running us. Chris Gauci will do the engineering and will also join Jodi Tulloch, Inky's daughter, in a team management role. It's an excellent team."
With two test days in the Radio Sport/BP Ultimate Falcon at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch under his belt Darryn is already happy with his lap times. "We were running with a Pukekohe set-up and I've been out of the cars for two years so I'm pretty happy. I expect a decent run and better things in the category than before."
Henderson is pleased that most of his loyal sponsors have remained on board along with the addition of several newcomers. "The live television coverage on TV3 will be beneficial for the sponsors." Henderson's support for his 2009/2010 BNT V8s Championship campaign comes from Radio Sport, BP Ultimate, Samsung, Xtreme Forwarding, Zoagn, Global Signage, NME Electrical Waikato, Laserlite, The Interislander, Powerbuilt, Telecom and Fast Glass.
The championship begins at Pukekohe this weekend before travelling to the South Island for a round at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch at the end of the month. Rounds at Teretonga Park in Invercargill and Timaru International Motor Raceway follow in January. In February the championship visits Manfeild in the Manawatu before the final round at Taupo, one of Henderson's favourite tracks, next March. One other outing awaits the BNT V8s this summer - a non-championship trophy event at the Hamilton 400 in April.
This season a new qualifying procedure has been introduced. After an initial 20 minute session the fastest twenty qualifiers will progress into a further 15 minute session. The top ten will then contest a top ten shoot-out to establish the starting grid for race one the following day. The grid for the second race will be determined by the finishing order of the first race while the final race will be a reverse grid event with the most successful drivers of the round to that point of the weekend at the back faced with the prospect of having to come through the field.
All three races at each round this season take place on the Sunday of race weekend. The first race over 12 laps is timed to start at 10.00am this Sunday followed by the second contest, again over 12 laps, at 12.55 pm. The third and final race will be of 22 laps duration and timed to start at 3.35pm.
CALENDAR 2009/2010 BNT V8s CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 1 - 6-8 November 2009: Pukekohe Park Raceway, Auckland
Round 2 - 27-29 November 2009: Powerbuilt Tools International Raceway, Ruapuna, Christchurch
Round 3 - 15-17 January 2010: Teretonga Park, Invercargill
Round 4 - 22-24 January 2010: Timaru International Motor Raceway, Timaru
Round 5 - 12-14 February 2010: Manfeild Park, Feilding
Round 6 - 19-21 March 2010: Taupo Motorsport Park, Taupo
Non-Championship Trophy Race - 16-18 April 2010: Hamilton 400, Hamilton