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The latest news from the world of racing


Category: NZV8′s

McIntyre & LesterJohn McIntyre will once again pair with young Kiwi endurance specialist Jono Lester for the three round V8SuperTourers Endurance Championship.

Currently 7th in overall points, the 2012 Sprint Champions JMR have shown plenty of speed during the 2013 season but have been the victim of on-track incidents that have cost numerous podium finishes. McIntyre and his Taupo-based team are looking to the nine race ‘Enduro Series’ both to move forward on the overall Championship, and aim for high honours in the Endurance Championship also.

“Although these races are called enduros, they are effectively sprint races with a pitstop,” McIntyre commented.

“We will need the same fast pace we had at round one and for both drivers to put in fast but consistent performances over the three races.

“Jono has had laps in the car this year and due to his busy driving schedule is very race fit and is adapting well to the V8ST style.”

23-year old Lester is enthusiastic about the team’s chances in the 2013 V8 SuperTourers Enduro Series;

“The JMR team have displayed great speed throughout the 2013 season so far and I’m excited to again join the team after our two Taupo Podiums.”

“JMR are a well-oiled machine and we have continuity on our side. The key to success over the nine races will be consistency and keeping out of trouble. If we can combine that with the speed we know the #47 has then we will be on the right track!”

With Lester fresh from leading the Super Taikyu Series in Japan and McIntyre winning the South Island Endurance Series opener at Invercargill last weekend, the pair are looking forward to pushing the #47 Blackwooks Protector Falcon to the front at Hampton Downs.

The V8SuperTourer action commences on Saturday with two 45-minute practice sessions, followed by individual qualifying and a 36 lap race. The stars of Australasian motorsport will hit the track again on Sunday for two races of 56 laps each.

The weekend will feature same-day television coverage on TV3′s CRC Motorsport, from 03:00pm to 05:30pm this Sunday, September 29.

Haydn MackenzieNZV8 stalwart, Haydn Mackenzie, has entered his ‘new generation’ FG Falcon in the V8 Challenge Cup support races for the NZSuperTourer endurance races at Taupo this weekend (Sept 1-2). This is the car that was paraded around the circuits etc as chassis No 1 of the new generation NZV8s during the past racing season etc.

The V8 Challenge Cup regulations now allow these new generation cars to compete in the V8 Challenge Cup, but they have to run the same engine etc that the current NZV8s have been running.

“We decided to run in the V8 Challenge Cup races as it will give us a good opportunity to sort out the new chassis under racing conditions,” said Andrew Mackenzie, Haydn’s father. “It is also a good opportunity for Haydn to get some racing mileage under his belt after his non-racing accident towards the end of last season.”

“We have made this decision after listening to the recent NZV8 information meeting at Hampton Downs when it was apparent that there was still plenty of confusion as to whether a ‘good value’ NZV8 championship series can be put together for this coming racing season.

“Haydn and I love racing V8s and want to get on with something worthwhile as soon as possible. We will take both our new car and the old one to Taupo and test them both. There a number of issues with the new car that need to be tested and sorted, especially in reference to the new chassis having been engineered around an 18in wheel whereas we are having to go back to a 17in wheel and a new brand of tyre. So whichever car is better to drive there, we will run it.

“Haydn and I would like to thank very much our sponsors who have stuck with us during this difficult period – Radio Sport, Castrol, Toyota Financial Services, Albany Toyota, Albany Village Firestone and Wurth,” said Andrew Mackenzie.

Photo by Geoff Ridder.

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.

Albany Toyota NZV8 driver, Haydn Mackenzie (28) will not be able to contest the NZV8 support races at the forthcoming ITM400 meeting at Hamilton as he has suffered a badly broken leg during a MotoX accident during the Tussock Buster event at Waiouru this past weekend. He was airlifted from the event to Palmerston North Hospital and immediately underwent surgery. He will be transferred to Auckland Hospital during this week.

Mackenzie, along with his father, Andrew, and their Albany Toyota dealership, have been longtime stalwarts of the NZV8 class, despite it previously being an exclusive Ford/Holden class. Nevertheless, they have been running a BA Falcon in the class and Haydn was looking forward to having his last race in the Falcon at the ITM 400 Hamilton support races before switching to the new NZV8 ‘future class’ driving the new FG prototype car that he and Andrew have had built as chassis #1 of what the new generation NZV8s will be. However, with the recent change/expansion of the regulations for the new NZV8s, any make of car is eligible for the new NZV8 championship, using any engine.

Mackenzie is thus considering ‘re-clothing’ his new currently FG-bodied chassis, which is universal to the new NZV8 class, in a Toyota model ‘bodywork’ and running a Toyota engine for next season which will then give him and Andrew the chance to combine their enthusiasm for motorsport – and especially the NZV8 class – and their Albany Toyota business.

NZV8-NGThe future ‘look and specification’ of cars eligible for the official New Zealand V8 Saloon Championship – currently called ‘The BNTNZV8s’ – was revealed at the CRC Speedshow in Auckland this weekend (July 23-24).

The first car, built for the Haydn Mackenzie Motorsport Team by Mitchell Race Xtreme in Hamilton, ensures the ‘future proofing’ of the official NZV8 Saloon Championship, producing a modern version of the traditional Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore cars that will provide a basis for future development, while still retaining the basic DNA of the two models.

“This new generation of the NZV8 will be eligible to compete in the 2012-13 BNTNZV8 Championship, alongside the current cars that have been raced in previous seasons,” says Andrew Mackenzie, Chairman of the Board of the NZV8s. “We will ensure that the new cars will be on equal footing with the older cars which will run out of eligibility at the end of the 2012-13 Championship season. We are also going to ensure that as far as possible there will be parity between the new Holden and Ford models. The new generation cars will run the same engine specs as the current cars, with Ford engines in Ford cars and Holden engines in Holden cars. There is the option of some new generation engines becoming available but they are unlikely to be eligible until the 2012-13 championship season, with appropriate parity restrictions.”

Mackenzie says the big advantage of the new NZV8 cars is that the design and construction of the prototype car – a Falcon – has all been done in New Zealand, and future models can also be built here, supporting local industry and teams. “It has taken the Mitchell team 11 weeks from formulating the design to the completed vehicle on display at Speedshow. The concept and construction of these cars has been approved by both the Ford and Holden factories as racing versions of the standard road cars with many of the parts coming directly from the Australian V8Supercars.

“We now have a base from which to develop our NZV8 Championship class of the future. The Board is adamant that all current cars will compete in this coming season and the following season’s championships, but will be joined in the 2012-13 championship by the new generation cars but with parity of performance regulated between the current and new cars and the two makes. This new car gives us a platform for the development of the class in the future, keeping the cars modern in appearance with the ability to enhance their performance in the future,” says Mackenzie.

Photo by Geoff Ridder.

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