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Jason Richards’ column

 

Tasman Motorsport driver and autotrader.co.nz columnist Jason Richards says new motors will give the team's Commodores a boost for this month's Pukekohe V8 Supercar round.

We’ll have new engines for Pukekohe

April 4, 2007, 11.30am. The next phase in Tasman Motorsport’s development will become evident when our MTA Holden VE Commodores hit the track at Pukekohe later this month.

My teammate, Greg Murphy, and I will have at our disposal new generation Holden Motorsport engines for our hometown round, which is important at such a high-speed circuit.

The new motors, which are only the first in a planned, three-stage engine development programme as we head towards Bathurst in October, have been designed in-house at Tasman Motorsport by Royce McCort.

Like Murph and me, Royce is a proud Kiwi and joined the team as Engine Development Manager earlier this year after having spent considerable time with the factory Holden Racing Team.

With the category as close as it is because of the advanced state of the engines already, huge power gains aren’t found any more, but we’re expecting the engines to be more user-friendly in they way in which they deliver torque – and that’s good for Pukekohe.

Though at this early stage we don’t expect the new engines to be the obvious ‘nuclear’ powerplants that HRT and its sister team, the HSV Dealer Team, have under the bonnets of their Commodores, the new engines are a significant development on the two-year-old units we’ve been running and they should allow us to close the gap a little.

The first new engine will be ready for our test at Winton Motor Raceway next week (Monday, April 10), with the second ready and installed before the cars are loaded on a Jumbo Jet to be flown across the Tasman.

A full day is planned for the test and it won’t be just the engines that we will be concentrating on, with our engineers having a serious programme to run through with our braking and cooling packages amongst other things.

Attention will also be turned towards our pitstops after a couple of disastrous episodes in Perth, a change to new rattle guns the source of our problems rather than human error.

In the past, our wheels have been ‘torqued up’ tighter than what our new guns like. We’ll now change that to allow us to take advantage of the faster guns.

Having displayed signs of promise at the opening two rounds, we’re confident with a successful test Tasman Motorsport will be more competitive come Pukekohe.

Murph has dominated the race, winning the first three in a row from 2001 to 2003, and claiming a fourth victory in 2005.

As well as also finishing third in ’04, Murph also holds the outright lap record at 56.0781 seconds.

Simply, he knows his way around the place!

Not only for Murph, Pukekohe is an important race for our team and with this the last visit Series to the circuit by the V8 Supercars the event takes on even more significance.

We can’t predict the results, but we can promise nothing short of a 110 percent effort.

Jason Richards’ column is exclusive to autotrader.co.nz and Auto Trader Magazine.

 

 


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