NZ V8s racer Paul Manuell hopes the pace his Orix Holden Commodore showed at Pukekohe last weekend can be carried on to the others tracks the series visits this season
Manuell put the cat squarely among the pigeons by gridding the Holden on pole and then scoring a lights-to-flag win in race one on Saturday.
On Sunday he led the first race until the closing stages when series leader and reigning champion John McIntyre slipped past at the hairpin after Manuell made a small error under braking.
“Pukekohe is a unique style of track,” Manuell says. “And I’ve done a lot of laps around there. It’s hard to say how the Commodore will go at Ruapuna (the next round just outside Christchurch). It’s a bit of an unknown.”
Manuell said the Wayne Anderson-run team had reverted to an older steering geometry set-up for Pukekohe and it worked well.
Freedoms given to the Commodore teams to make changes to the steering geometry to improve turn-in to corners hadn’t worked on the Orix car. “So we went back.”
Manuell’s showing at the weekend – he finished second overall behind McIntyre – more than made amends for a shaky start at Taupo where he said they were “still mucking around” with chassis set-up.
And it has catapulted him into fifth place in the series.