Race Report: Round 1, 2016/2017 ACC Production Race Series, 3 September 2016, Hampton Downs
Updated: Feb 27, 2019
Weather: Fine, cool, dry track.
Qualifying: Not the best qualifying with the cool morning conditions limiting grip and a massive 45 car field ensuring a clean lap was a distant dream. Still managed 12th overall so reasonably happy with that. Persistent brake issue was still apparent, which would have to be managed throughout the day, otherwise the car felt great.
Race 1: 8 Laps, qualifying order start.
Got off the line well and the day had warmed up a little, so I was looking forward to a bit more grip. It wasn’t to be though, with a sudden water spray coming out the bonnet vents and a distinct coolant smell evident halfway round the first lap signalling trouble. I had no choice but to come into the pits before any damage was done. A burst top radiator hose turned out to be the culprit. Great effort by the team had the car all sorted out in time for Race 2 though.
Race 2: 6 laps, reverse grid handicap start.
With a shocking start to the series from Race 1, I immediately had some catching up to do, so we primed the car, bolted on the softer tyres and let rip. Starting in 29th due to the reverse grid, it was a very busy race and a huge amount of fun coming through the field. The brake issues weren’t such a problem as passing under braking with cars 4-wide in front wasn’t an option most of the time. Fantastic result though and justified the effort of fixing up the car from the Race 1 disaster!
Result: 3rd overall
Race 3: 10 laps, reverse grid handicap start.
After the awesome time in the previous handicap race, I was really looking forward to the longer 10 lap last race of the day. I’d been bumped even further back in the starting grid so it was all to do if I wanted to rescue some points for the day. This race was massive fun, with the cars in front seeming to never be tangled up in a battle by the time I arrived. Everything just clicked and with a couple of laps to go, I found myself zeroing in a blue BMW that seemed to have no-one in front of it... I managed to get by on the straight just after turn
5 and pulled away. I wasn’t sure if there were more cars further down the road, but given I couldn’t see them and only had a couple of laps to go, I backed off a little in the braking zones to give my now very unhappy brakes a small respite. A few laps later I crossed the line with the chequered flag waving. During the warm down lap, it dawned on me when I got claps and cheers from spectators and marshals (who are absolute legends), that I’d won my first race of the series.... An amazing result.
Result: 1st overall
Huge ‘thank you’ to the Hall Speed Sport team, various supporters, Motul New Zealand, Production Race Series Coordinators and all our Facebook ‘followers’. Bring on Round 2 at Pukekohe on the 15thof October!!