Australian V8 Supercar driver Steve Owen, who will stand in for the injured Paul Radisich in this weekend’s BNT NZ V8s counter at Pukekohe, ran familiarisation laps in the HPM Racing Ford Falcon at Taupo yesterday and says he found the car “workable”
Owen says the NZ V8 has a lot less horsepower than the V9 Supercar he races in the development series in Australia.
“So you’ve got to carry a lot more mid-corner speed than what I’m used to where you can turn and just power away. So (the NZ V8s) a bit more like open-wheeler to drive in that respect.
“Probably the hardest bit is just getting up to speed with the little tricks each category has got – like putting new tyres on and seeing how much you get out of that.
“You can get your head around things on a practice day but making changes during a race weekend is another story (and) the gap between the front and down the NZ V8s field is pretty fine.”
He says that even though NZ V8s technology is basic, “it’s a lot more controlled, so I think it’s a good thing.
“You’re on a level playing field with guys who have the same shock absorbers and that sort of thing, which is something you don’t get in Australia unless you’re in the top couple of teams - you don’t have that sort of parity.”
Owen will continue to test the HPM Racing Ford today and will run his first lap Pukekohe in official testing on Friday. The NZ V8s race on Saturday afternoon and then twice on Sunday.
Radisich, who was hurt badly in a major crash during practice for the Bathurst 1000 in October, currently leads the NZ series in the HPM Falcon.