Three wins from three races for John McIntyre during the New Zealand V8 touring car races at the ITM 400 V8 Supercar event in Hamilton topped off the final weekend of the 2009/10 season for the two-time NZV8 champion and his team
McIntyre racked up his 50th race victory in an NZV8 during the weekend’s second race and topped that with his 51st NZV8 win on the final afternoon of action. John McIntyre Racing, the team formed by McIntyre in 2006, secured their 30th NZV8 win as a team, an achievement of which McIntyre is particularly proud.
“It’s a huge achievement to do well in this series, and particularly in Hamilton. Not only do you need a quick car, you need a car that can hold together for 16 laps of absolute punishment. The circuit’s incredibly hard on the car and our team can be enormously proud of their efforts – not just here this weekend – but all season with the phenomenal car preparation and team-work,” says the Nelson-based driver.
The weekend’s non-championship races for McIntyre and the NZV8 field started on Friday when the three scheduled qualifying sessions were cut short by officials. Having been fastest during testing and the first qualifying session, McIntyre was third fastest in the second session. With the sudden announcement that the top ten shootout was being cancelled, there wasn’t much McIntyre could do except make the best of the situation. “That’s why you aim to be quickest in every qualifying session.”
Saturday and race one, scheduled to be 12 laps in length but shortened to nine, saw McIntyre pushed back into fourth on the first corner but eventually he was able to get back past Andy Knight and then catch up with Tim Edgell and Kayne Scott. This put McIntyre in the perfect position to take advantage of Edgell’s brake issue and Scott leaving a gap, and pass both to take the lead and the race victory.
Starting from pole for race two on Sunday morning, 12 laps, McIntyre says he missed second gear during the rolling start.
“That gave Kayne the advantage into turn one, then the safety car came out on this opening lap and we followed that for two laps, then Kayne got a really good jump at the re-start. His car was better through one sector of the circuit, but ours was really strong through turns five, six and seven. Basically I was all over Kayne for about three laps. Going into turn seven, he would have covered me if he thought I could pull off the move, but he didn’t and I did, getting the gap on the inside and through into the lead.”
McIntyre then extended his lead over Scott to finish the race 1.5 seconds ahead, and score his 50th race win.
Again on pole for Sunday afternoon’s 16 lap third race, McIntyre says the start lights froze and the first two rows of competitors couldn’t see if the race was officially started or not.
“I was being pushed Andy Knight and him by the guy behind, and with confirmation from Perry [Field, JMR team manager] on the radio, we were away racing.
“Andy was close on my bumper, while out the rear-view mirror I could see a real shambles that Kayne got caught up in, so I pushed hard for four laps to get a lead of nearly eight seconds over Andy and that was our third win of the weekend, and the team’s 30th in 84 races in four seasons – that’s a 35% winning record, which is pretty impressive!
“The whole team can be very proud of their hard work. We’re delighted to finish the season on such a positive note. To all our supporters and sponsors, thank you such much. We hope you’ve enjoyed the season as much as we have – most of it anyway! There’s been some absolutely phenomenal racing.”
McIntyre concludes: “We’re working hard on plans for next year’s NZV8 campaign and look forward to revealing those details in due course.”