Race Report: Round 6, 2016/2017 ACC Production Race Series, 9 April 2017, Hampton Downs
Updated: Feb 27, 2019
Weather: Fine, dry.
Qualifying: After the Pukekohe endurance round was postponed until the 29th of April due to the storms and subsequent flooding, we were back at Hampton Downs for round 6 of the Production Race Series. There was a little driver rust to work out after the long break since the last outing in February and we were experimenting with some new tyres. Qualifying went well enough without setting the world on fire, and we ended up 8th on the grid out of 25 starters.
Race 1: 8 Laps, qualifying order start.
Not a great start to proceedings – we got off the line cleanly and managed to gain a couple of places into the first corner, though turns 2 and 3 well and then ‘BANG’. This was followed by a sound and loss of power I’d heard earlier in the championship when our exhaust manifold blew apart. Knowing how much performance I’d lose and the potential damage that could be caused, I entered the pits as soon as possible. The initial fears were confirmed and we found the exhaust had again blown apart.
Race 2: 6 laps, reverse grid handicap start.
Some very quick work by the Hall Speed Sport crew had the manifold cobbled back together with lock wire. We had no other options on the day and could only hope it was enough. The car fired – all sounded ok and we lined up on the grid for the second race. Again AWD and a good start had us ahead of the group we started amongst in the handicap race. Knowing the fragile exhaust might not giveus a lot of time, it was maximum attack mode. Thankfully it all held together and we were out in front halfway through lap 4. This meant we could back off for the last few laps in the hope we’d compete again in the last race of the day.
Result: 1st overall
Race 3: 10 laps, reverse grid handicap start.
The car was handling well and despite the new tyres being a little slower overall than previously, we flew off the line in in our handicap group. The way we were going, I was starting to believe another win (or at least a podium) was a real possibility. As it turns out, lockwire can only holdexhaust manifolds together for so long, and after a couple of laps our temporary repair gave way.
Needless to say, we will be ensuring the car is bulletproof before the final round of the season on the 29th of April. Especially as it comprises a 6 lap sprint and a 1 hour endurance race.
Huge ‘thank you’ to the Hall Speed Sport team, various supporters, Motul New Zealand, Autolign Mt Wellington,Production Race Series Coordinators and all our Facebook‘likers’. The final round of the championship (Round 7) is on the 29th of April – we might see you out there!!