John McIntyre begins the defence of his NZ V8 title at this weekend’s Tier 1 race meeting at the Pukekohe circuit south of Auckland.
McIntyre has treated his Ford Falcon to a rebuild over the winter, and heads for the ultra-fast track with the Bathurst 1000 and Sandown 500 under his belt.
McIntyre says that in his second year of running his own team he is going into this season better prepared.
With one round less, he says DNFs are “out of the question”, so he’s been working through the car to ensure reliability.
“The aim is to qualify as high as possible and amass enough points to be on the podium for every round. That’s how to win a championship.”
McIntyre will face stern opposition, both from inside the Ford family and from Holden Commodores.
All eyes will be on Kayne Scott who has switched from a Mark Petch Motorsport Commodore to a Falcon this season. He ran McIntyre close last year.
Scott says the Ford was fast straight out of the box in testing last week, running a 61.4-second lap at Pukekohe.
Also Falcon-mounted are Double World Touring Car Cup winner Paul Radisich, the fast-qualifying Angus Fogg, and a trio of quick Australians – Kent Youlden, David Besnard and Cameron McLean.
Leading the Holden charge are former champions Andy Booth and Paul Manuell and fellow fastman Andrew Anderson.
The NZ V8s qualify on Saturday morning, and will race on Saturday evening and twice on Sunday.