In a race weekend where over a quarter of the V8 SuperTourer field sustained major damage, the Tasman Motorsports Group (TMG) Valvoline Ford recovered from a bad qualifying result to complete a clean and damage free weekend of racing at the Pukekohe Brother 350, round 3 of the BNT V8 SuperTourers championship.
TMG driver Daniel Gaunt only managed to qualify the Valvoline Ford in 17th position during a rain soaked and red flag ridden qualifying session.
“They were some pretty treacherous conditions to be out in, at one stage we weren’t even going to qualify it was that bad out there,” said Gaunt.
“We probably went a little bit low with our tyre pressures. The track was extremely wet, and with traffic, spray and the amount of red flag stoppages in the session it was hard to find some clear track to get the temps up and get a good lap in.”
“Leading into the races, the encouraging thing was that during our dry running in practice we had some good pace, so would be able to fight back in the races.”
Fight back was just what Gaunt and the TMG crew did, finishing the three races in 9th, 7th and 5th.
“One of the keys leading into race one was to steer clear of trouble, especially when being at the back of the field, so I just took passing opportunities as they came and we moved our way up the field.”
Race one was marred by a big crash at the start, which eliminated three cars with major damage. A similar incident in race two also saw a number of cars crash out and not able to restart.
“There was some fairly average driving out there, guys taking risks where you shouldn’t on a weekend like that. It was good for us though, just had to stay really alert and get through it all.”
“We’ve come away with some good points which will help our championship.”
Gaunt subbed in for injured team mate Andrew Waite, who suffered a broken wrist a few weeks prior to the Pukekohe race weekend. Waite will pilot the car at next round of the championship in September.
The Tasman Motorsports Group Valvoline Ford is supported by IVECO Trucks, Autotrader.co.nz, Midas, BOC and Colin Waite Panel Beaters.