Despite having one of the fastest cars in practice and qualifying, the Tasman Motorsports Group (TMG) Valvoline Ford had a frustrating weekend at the opening round of the BNT V8 SuperTourers at Hampton Downs.
TMG driver Daniel Gaunt ended the weekends three practice sessions consistently in the top four, and in qualifying set the third fastest time of 01:03.517, just 0.245 behind pole sitter Ant Pedersen.
Starting from the second row, the Valvoline Ford finished Race one in 10th position after a mid race incident with John McIntyre, race two in 7th and race three in 13th after a spin on the opening lap. Gaunt sits seventh in the championship points.
Gaunt said despite it being a frustrating weekend in not being able to turn car speed into solid race results, there were a number of positives to take out of the weekend.
“A couple of mistakes in the races cost us this weekend. However, the car was fast right throughout practice and qualifying which was encouraging,” said Gaunt.
“We demonstrated towards the end of last year that we have the ability to run at the front. We know a lot more about the car now, and we showed that in qualifying. Our race pace was actually very good, despite a couple of hick-ups early on, and we were able to match the pace of the leaders. We’ll come back stronger at Ruapuna.”
Team Principal Steve Horne said that despite a frustrating weekend, the team was still confident and looking ahead to the next round at Ruapuna.
“We didn’t try and do anything too extreme with our set-up on the weekend, we had the car in good window. We had definite car speed; we just need to work harder to convert that speed into good results in the races.
“It’s a long year ahead, the car is good, the results will come.”
The TMG Valvoline Ford is supported by Valvoline, IVECO Trucks, Midas, and autotrader.co.nz.
Round 2 of the 2013 BNT V8 SuperTourers Championship will be held at Ruapuna, March 9/10.