Christina Orr is hoping her team can come back from a disastrous start to the Toyota Racing Series at Pukekohe.
“We really shot ourselves in the foot, and I guess we need to be more careful with our preparation,” the Bay of Plenty driver said this week. “The shock absorbers (used in practice) on our car were the old model and technically illegal.”
They were replaced by the correct units for the race, but with no testing on them, the car’s set-up was astray.
Mark Petch Motorsport is providing the car and its transportation to and from the circuits free, but the Orr family and their sponsors are paying to run the Tatuus single seater. The change to new shock absorbers was something they hadn’t expected.
“Coming over the hill (at Pukekohe) you’re flat and hooking sixth and the car wanted to turn left instead of right. I guess it knocked my confidence and ruined it for the rest of the weekend.’’
Craig Russell, who ran the AutoMotion team in last season’s TRS, is providing data acquisition and assessment services to the team this season, and the need to set up the car to suit the new shocks in the qualifying sessions hurt Orr’s race results.
There’s a lot of pressure to perform placed on Orr’s young shoulders this season. Generally regarded as New Zealand’s fastest female racing driver, she realises she needs to achieve results for her career to maintain momentum.
“When you see the way the top teams have things ironed out and you know this is the year you have to succeed, it’s hard when you start to think you’re not going to have the goods to do that,’’ she said.