BPUltimate/Hawke’s Bay Ford Falcon driver John McIntyre strung together a series of top placings – including one race win – to take victory in last weekend’s round of the Parker Enzed NZ V8 Series at Timaru.
The win has seen him retain the series points lead he took away from Kayne Scott (Fujitsu Holden Commodore) in Race 1 on Saturday afternoon. Scott was absent racing in the Australian V8 Supercar Development Series in Adelaide where he retired from Race 1 but finished sixth in Race 2 after a storming drive from the back of the grid.
Scott then jetted across the Tasman to race at Timaru, producing another drive from the back of the grid to come home eighth in Sunday morning’s V8 heat.
The points he amassed there gave him sixth on the grid for the reverse grid Race 3 which he won with ease.
Scott now trails McIntyre by eight points in the championship.
A resurgent Andy Booth finished second overall last weekend after winning Race 2 in his Tasman Motorsport Holden Commodore.
He had taken the race lead off McIntyre with a bold pass on the outside line in the corner at the end of the main straight. It was rated the move of the weekend by spectators.
Booth said he was in with a chance of winning the round until a cut tyre in the third race meant he had to pit for a fresh tyre.
Australian David Besnard (Hydraulink Ford Falcon) was third overall, with a third, a fourth and 23rd placing. But he was unhappy with officials’ reaction to an incident with Angus Fogg (Caltex Star Mart Falcon) in Race 3.
“John did a great job to win the weekend and I was getting past people cleanly in the third race,” he said.
“Then I was squarely turned around by Fogg and he copped only a drive-through penalty. I did a similar thing at Manfeild and landed a points penalty, a fine and an endorsement on my licence. To be honest [the inconsistent application of penalties] is enough to make me think twice about coming back, but I really love this series.”
McIntyre won Saturday’s race convincingly after winning pole position and then the startline drag race.
He outgunned fellow front row starter Booth and was never headed – or seriously challenged – over the 12 laps.
Behind them all the way were Besnard and Fogg. The leading quartet opened a solid gap on the duelling Holdens of Andrew Anderson and Paul Manuell.
Anderson edged Manuell at the start, and the Orix Commodore pilot couldn’t get past, despite several attempts.
The move among the top order came when Paul Pedersen took his Caltex Falcon past Mark Pedersen’s similar United Video car, and then stretched out a good gap.
Christchurch driver Adam Brook (Falcon) drove to a ninth place finish, in a rare appearance in the series. Booth became the only Holden driver other than reigning champion Scott to win an NZ V8 race when he took victory in Sunday morning’s 16-lapper.
McIntyre led the early running, with Booth stalking him in the Tasman Motorsport Commodore before passing him on the outside line in the daunting corner off the main straight.
Booth said he is confident now that the team has a good car set-up. That was confirmed by a Tasman Motorsport V8 Supercar engineer who attended the Manfeild round in February. Booth says he has decided to concentrate on finding a faster pace through refining his driving style, rather than making constant changes to the chassis settings in the quest for speed. And it’s paying off.
Fogg and Besnard had relatively lonely races to finish third and fourth. At one point, Fogg has closed in on McIntyre before dropping away again.
Manuell drove to fifth after passing Anderson during lap 11. Their placings gave Holden three spots in the top six.
Falcon driver Paul Pedersen finished seventh ahead of Scott who produced a champion’s drive to thread his way through from the back of the grid. Scott had started off the back after missing qualifying because he was racing in the Australian V8 Development series.
Brook (Ford) turned in another good drive to place 10th behind Dean Perkins’ GT Radials Falcon.
Scott finished his trans-Tasman weekend with a victory in the final, reverse grid, race after MotorSport New Zealand officials defused a drivers’ revolt that threatened to stop the race running.
Drivers were still in a meeting called to discuss Scott’s grid position for the final 20-lapper, and delayed the race start. Scott was sixth on the grid after finishing eighth in Race 2 – the reverse grid starting positions are decided on each driver’s points tally from the first two races.
Scott’s 39 points from Race 2 gave him sixth starting position. Some drivers said that was unfair, giving the champion a starting spot that would make his chances of winning all but inevitable.
But MotorSport NZ president Steven Kennedy reportedly told drivers they had known for two weeks that Scott would not be contesting the first race at Timaru, yet had left it until virtually moments before the race’s scheduled start to make their feelings known.
So the race went ahead, and Scott was in the lead before it was five laps old.
Mike Wallace (Holden Commodore) hung on to second place for the entire distance, though Scott cleared away to win by 14.1 seconds. Wallace’s crew had rebuilt the car after he got tangled with another car in Race 2.
Clark Proctor was closing in his Ford Falcon, but was battling oversteer, and couldn’t get close enough to mount an attack for second. Then came Kevin Williams (Commodore), Nick Ross (Commodore), and Mark Pedersen (Falcon). Two more Holdens, driven by Cam Hardy and Darryn Henderson, finished in the top 10 to give the Lion brand a six-four placings ratio.
Falcon drivers Adam Brook and Pete Roberts finished seventh and 10th. Other than Scott, none of the series pace-setters got into the top 10.
For more on the NZ V8s at Timaru, plus coverage of the other classes, see the Motorsport section of autotrader.co.nz. Log in next weekend for on-the-day news from the Teretonga round of the Mike Pero Mortgages series.