Race Report: Round 5, 2019/2020 ACC Production Race Series, 1 March 2020, Pukekohe Park Raceway
Conditions: Hot. Dry.
Qualifying: Normally the round of the series where we run the full back straightaway configuration at Pukekohe means a good number of entrants - it's the only time in the season this configuration is used and it's a fast wild ride reminiscent of bygone years at this track. It wasn't the case this year though as there were a couple of big events on including the Leadfoot Festival which attracted a big number of motorsport fans. So a total of 15 cars rolled out for qualifying and a bit of clean track was the result. Regular series entrants Todd Mant-Old and Treva Smith topped the qualifying times and we slotted into 3rd place with some clean but careful laps. We were sitting second overall in the championship and rather than chase outright glory, we needed to ensure a finish with a solid haul of points.
Race 1 (8 laps, qualifying order start): Lights out and into the 1st race of the day - we got off the line well as per usual, drew level and had a crack around the outside of the 1st two cars into turn one. Unfortunately the track hadn't had much running and there was no grip out there so we couldn't make it stick and had to drop back into 3rd. Brendan McGovern in his lightning-quick RX7 got by a few laps in, but as he was running with another class and on full slicks, it was a loss of position that had no effect for our series and the related points. Marco Holtrigter's Porsche 944 Turbo stayed on our rear bumper for the majority of the race but a bit of tactical driving managed to keep him there for all 8 laps.
Result: 3rd Overall.
Race 2 (8 laps reverse grid, handicap start): Normal service resumed with us starting towards the back with only a couple of quicker cars further back. This would prove to be our best chance of getting to the front of the reverse grid field and snatching a win and the associated points haul. It was looking good too as we got into our work quickly and started gaining positions by lap 5. We thought we'd done enough on the second to last lap as there was only clear track in front, but Kevin Hilt's Race 1 dramas in his Nissan 300ZX had gained him a strong starting position for the handicap race that we just couldn't haul in.
Result: 2nd Overall
Race 3 (10 laps reverse grid, handicap start): Last race of the day and all we had to do was bring it home. We started off in a group with Treva Smith and Marco Holtrigter and a race long battle would ensue. The handicapping was pretty tough on us at the back and despite a great race with some good duels, none of us climbed the leaderboard much and only a few places were gained by the time the flag dropped.
Result: 10th Overall
As it turns out, Auckland Car Club cancelled the final round of the series scheduled to be held on April the 5th at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park due to the the Covid 19 Corona Virus. The Production Race Series for 2019/20 correspondingly concluded as well with us sitting on top of the 'B' Class points, the endurance series points and the overall championship, making it 3 seasons in a row that we've taken the top honours. This couldn't have happened without the support and involvement of 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 online followers.