Reid gives us an insight into his Porsche GT3 race car as he took us for a ride around the Hampton Downs track
Ordinarily when colleagues ask for some assistance, or if we're honest, the loan of office stationary, the AutoTrader team are the first to look busy. But when the blokes down the hall at Top Gear New Zealand needed a spare pair of hands to help out with a BP Ultimate Track Experience at Hampton Downs recently, naturally the iPods were muted and our curiosity suitably peaked.
Just as well too, as the day netted us a chat with A1GP (remember that?) ace and Porsche racer and performance driving instructor, Jonny Reid, as well as some insight into the belly of the beast – his 309kW Porsche GT3 race car and the best bit, one of the first GT3 hot laps of the circuit.
Like a lot of in-car footage, it’s difficult to truly gauge speeds and braking forces from this clip, but the hammering our camera took as Jonny slams through the six-speed sequential gearbox and dives in to the track’s undulating corners should offer some testament to the rigours of driving a dedicated track machine at full clip.
Jonny admits adapting to tin-tops hasn’t been an easy transition, but sitting next to him in the GT3 you’d never pick it. Compared with some of the other racers we’ve been ferried around by in the past, Reid’s commitment into corners is impressive and car control seems notably effortless.
A world class driver, a world class track. We’re lucky to have both in New Zealand and the GT3 cup car is an ideal vehicle to showcase what happens when they all come together.
Check out the video and experience the ride.