Michael BristowTalented driver and engine builder, Pukekohe’s Michael Bristow’s, long awaited return to the BNTNZV8 class, was full of dramas for the 24 year old motorsport enthusiast.

Bristow, who has been hampered in his return to the class due to lack of funding, made a huge effort along with his Ted Jarvis-managed team, to get his car ready for the non-championship but very important (for sponsors) ITM400 meeting, competing in the NZV8 support class.

With the support of new sponsors, Waitomo Petroleum and Sinopec Oil, plus Sika, Bristow’s team worked through the night on Thursday to be ready for the practice and qualifying sessions. With no testing or practice, Bristow was just getting used to the demanding Hamilton Street circuit when a front suspension unit failed which caused him to spin sideways into the unforgiving concrete barriers, resulting in significant frontal damage. Again his team had a huge job overnight to repair the damage and were ready to take part in the qualifying session. However, prior to the start of that session, as Bristow was preparing to take part, he became aware of a major mechanical problem – the oil pump drive to his engine had failed.

Again his team worked most of the night to determine whether any damage had been done, and made the very reluctant decision not to race the car for fear of causing further damage which Bristow’s limited budget could not sustain.

“I am very grateful for the support and huge hours my team went through to get me to the Hamilton NZV8 races. I am also very disappointed that we could not front up for the races for my new sponsors, due to unforeseen mechanical problems. I appreciate their understanding and hope to give them some value for their sponsorship in future races for cars in this class,” said Bristow.

Photo by Robin Curtis.