Race Report: Round 4, 2019/2020 ACC Production Race Series, 8 February 2020, Taupo Motorsport Park
Updated: Apr 5
Conditions: Hot. Dry.
Qualifying: A smaller field of entrants than normal (20) meant some good clean qualifying laps. We ended up 4th fastest overall on a conservative engine setting. We were out early and first, so the track had no rubber down and was a bit slippery for all.
Race 1 (1 hour enduro, qualifying order start): The second 1 hour race of the season started nice and early so the running conditions were comparatively cool which made life a lot easier - the inside of a race car during the kiwi summer is a fairly warm place to be! Our team had a great record built over the last 3 seasons in the 1 hour race, winning every race that we'd finished and the enduro championship twice. Having won the first race of this season, we were hoping to repeat the performance and take a commanding lead in the endurance championship. From the outset we were running with the Porsche 944 Turbo of Marco Holtrigter and Todd Mant-Olds rapid Mustang Cobra. They were setting a quick pace so we settled into third with the aim of conserving fuel and tyres on the abrasive Taupo track in order to give us something to fight back with towards the end. Everything went well, and the pitstop was fairly tidy, but the Mustang had too much pace to reel in by the time the chequered flag fell.
Result: 2nd Overall.
Race 2 (6 laps, qualifying order start): After catching a breath and filling the car back up with fuel, we were into the first of the sprint races. Again starting from 4th, our little Subaru WRX shot off the line and into 1st place. Aaron Wharerau squeezed down the inside into turn 1 on lap 2 but we kept the pressure on and two turns later he left the track pushing a little hard. The fast cars were all over the back of us and our 4 car group were involved in some close racing. We managed to hold 1st until the penultimate lap when a missed shift let Todd's Mustang get the run on us down the back straight, and we despite a few attempts, he held that position.
Result: 2nd Overall
Race 3 (8 laps reverse grid, handicap start): We were down the back for the reverse grid with the Mustang after our previous lap times were only 0.3 seconds apart. This time it was our turn to finish in front as we caught up with and made our way through the pack.
Result: 5th Overall
Race 4 (8 laps reverse grid, handicap start): For the last race of the day, we were again down the back. Again we got the jump off the line but both the Mustang and the Evo found their way past - the Mitsubishi winding up the turbocharger to fly by on the back straight. The car performed faultlessly all day with the Motul fluids doing a great job keeping evrerything spinning and our Yokohama's hanging on in baking hot conditions on an abrasive surface. We managed to get through a large part of the field after the 8 laps and overall had a positive day out.
Result: 5th Overall
So Round 4 is done with 2 more to go. We now sit first overall in Group B (2L-3.5L) and are up to second in the overall championship. Next up is Pukekohe Park Raceway on the 1st of March - it'll be fast and require big commitment as normal but especially so as we'll be running the full back straight. It'll be a good turnout, so come out and say "hi". 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.
Thanks to Dave at Autostore and Steve from Cameras in Action for some of these awesome pics.