Haydn Mackenzie North Shore NZV8 driver, Haydn Mackenzie, had a rude and almost disastrous introduction to the rough and tumble of the fast but unforgiving Hamilton Street race when he competed there for the first time in the NZV8 support event at this year’s ITM400 V8Supercar meeting in his Albany Toyota-sponsored car.

Mackenzie started race one from grid 14 but got baulked having to avoid the spinning car of Tim Edgell on the straight before the first corner, dropping to 20th place. Then he fired into the sweeper corner a couple of laps later and found three cars spun-up across the track. Unable to avoid them on this slippery corner, Haydn smashed into them, the bonnet and guards being badly buckled. It seemed as if Haydn’s first Hamilton meeting would be over, but his hard-working Albany Toyota team quickly got to work and pulled off the damaged panels. Fortunately the main chassis rails and structure were not badly damaged, so the team worked hard to straighten and replace panels, check wheel alignment etc, to have the car ready for the second race on Sunday morning.

Unfortunately the fairytale did not have a happy conclusion as despite the huge effort his team had made, Haydn struggled to finish race two on Sunday due to running ‘dry’ tyres in the increasingly damp conditions and an intermittent fuel pressure issue. He started race three from the rear of the grid, but fuel problems again intervened, causing him to back off and coast over the finish line.

“I certainly found out about how unforgiving the Hamilton Street circuit can be, but I enjoyed the challenge of driving on it,” said Haydn. “I have to thank especially my hard-working crew who rebuilt my car so that I could race it on Sunday, and my family and friends/sponsors for all their support this past season.”

Despite not contesting the South Island rounds of the championship, Mackenzie finished the championship in 22nd place.

Hayden would like to thank his sponsors group : Albany Toyota, Castrol, Wurth, Albany Village Firestone and Writeon Signs.

Photo by Geoff Ridder