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Tyres the key, says Stewart


Excitement builds for GT1 series

North Island OSCA competitor Tony Stewart is looking forward to the opening round of the new GT1 series at Taupo on October 4/5 and believes that keeping tyres in good condition will be a key to success in the series.

Stewart is putting the finishing touches to his Intergen Mazda RX7 turbo, which he drove to fourth in the North Island OSCA series last season.

“I’m really looking forward to the start of the series. In a way I wish I could watch the races.

“I think it’s great that the three similar classes [OSCA, Super Sedans and GT] will be combined and that should result in a great battle between the top two or three drivers from each class. It will also eliminate a lot of confusion for the spectators,’’ he says.

Stewart’s crew has worked over the winter months altering the car’s roll centres and renewing the shock absorber valves in an effort to make the car look after its tyres better.

With 800 horsepower at the wheels the Mazda previously lapped Manfeild two seconds faster on new tyres than at the end of the meeting, and in the GT1 category each car is allocated only six tyres for first two meetings.

The triple-rotor engine Mazda also generates a considerable amount of under bonnet heat, and with the GT1 being four laps longer than the usual OSCA sprint races, additional attention has been given to cooling the engine bay and cockpit.

Stewart hopes for top-10 places with the revamped car in the new series. 

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