Race Report: Round 3, 2019/2020 ACC Production Race Series, 23 November 2019, Taupo Motorsport Park
Conditions: Hot. Dry.
Qualifying: With no major updates to the car and a proven setup we could head into qualifying with with a focus on getting a good result. 14 entries also meant a little more room during the qualifying session than normal, so a few clean laps resulted in the 3rd fastest time overall and the corresponding starting position for race 1.
Race 1 (8 Lap sprint, qualifying order start): Into race 1 and we were running very similar lap times to the cars in 1st & 2nd - Marco Holtriger in his very quick Porsche 944 Turbo and Treva Smith's rapid BMW M3. Into turn one we'd slotted into 1st place, but the BMW dove down into the turn 11 braking zone and then the Porsche got by down the back straight on the penultimate lap.
Result: 3rd Overall.
Race 2 (10 lap reverse grid, handicap start): The first of the reverse grid handicap races had us starting from pit lane, 3rd from last. This negated our ability to get off the start line quickly, so we'd have to be pushing hard for every one of the 10 laps to get towards the front of the field. Everything went well though and by lap 5 we'd caught a couple of the cars in front and managed to get by. A few more cars per lap almost got us to the front of the pack but Glenn Gordon's fast little Datsun with its screaming 4AGE engine and sequential gearbox proved to be a bit too far down the road by the time the chequered flag dropped.
Result: 2nd Overall
Race 3 (12 laps reverse grid, handicap start): The last race of the day saw us starting from pit lane again but right off the back. The battle with the BMW and the Porsche that had been running all day resumed, but took an unfortunate turn in the turn 11 braking zone when the lower suspension arm on Marco's Porsche gave way, sending him off the track in dramatic fashion. It took until lap 7 until we could gain any real places. As we came onto the final lap in 4th place, we gained a place early on but once agin it was Glenn Gordon in his Datsun the finished in front by 0.3 seconds.
Result: 3rd Overall
Another very solid showing with 3 podiums from 3 starts. No wins though and we remain in 3rd place on the points table. Next round on the 8th of February 2020 will be back at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo and is one we need to score very well at to close the championship points deficit. Massive thanks to the Prime Speed Sport team, various supporters, Motul New Zealand, Yokohama Tyres NZ, Paddon Rallysport, Autolign Mt Wellington, Production Race Series Coordinators and all our Facebook followers.