Reigning champion John Mcintyre got his bid for a third successive BNT NZ V8s title back on track with a pole to flag win in the rain-delayed opening race at Teretonga yesterday.
Reigning champion, John McIntyre, regained the BNT NZ V8s series points lead and gave his team a morale boost by scoring a lights-to-flag win in the first race of the Teretonga round yesterday evening.
Yes, evening, though later in the evening than the organisers had intended after a thunderstorm delayed the programme while course workers and the fire brigade pumped water off the racetrack.
The Teretonga race programme was scheduled to run into the evening to make the most of the Southland twilight – in high summer it doesn’t get dark in Invercargill until almost 11pm.
But the rain, hail and thunderstorm which struck during the Toyota Racing Series heat (which was abandoned after two laps) meant it was 8 o’clock before the track was safe enough for the V8s to race on. The track was drying, but most drivers elected to run on the treaded Dunlop wet weather tyre.
Fujitsu Ford Falcon driver Kayne Scott, who led the points going into the race, was plagued by engine troubles from mid-race which saw him finish well down the order and surrender the series lead to McIntyre who is now 22 points ahead.
“Towards the end we were cruising to help hold the tyres together,” said McIntyre. “Being able to set pole position really sets you up for the whole weekend and after being a bit down after not being able to do as well as we would have liked at Timaru (the weekend before), the whole John McIntyre Racing team really needed a good result like this.”
Holden Commodores had a better run at Teretonga with Andy Booth finishing second and teammate Paul Manuell fourth behind Craig Baird’s Falcon.
“We’d gone out on drys (slick dry weather tyres) to check the track conditions,” said Booth. “There was a bit of confusion whether we were meant to be on wets or drys, but it was definitely a track for wets.
“So we did a swift change and got back to the starting grid. We had some good pace, despite not having time to do a set-up specifically for the wets.
“It was pleasing to pass Angus (Fogg who later dropped out) in the first part of the race and after Kayne went backwards we decided to consolidate second place, get the points and have a good starting place (for Sunday’s races).”
Race One results.
1. John McIntyre, Nelson, Ford Falcon.
2. Andy Booth, Auckland, Holden Commodore.
3. Craig Baird, Australia, Ford Falcon.
4. Paul Manuell, Auckland, Holden Commodore.
5. Paul Pedersen, Rotorua, Ford Falcon.
6. Adam Brook, Christchurch, Ford Falcon.
7. Andrew Porter, Auckland, Ford Falcon.
8. Inky Tulloch, Gore, Ford Falcon.
9. Eddie Bell, Christchurch, Ford Falcon.
10. Nick Ross, Cambridge, Holden Commodore.