Haydn MackenzieAlbany Toyota driver, Haydn Mackenzie, was very pleased with the opportunity that was afforded him to test and race his new generation Falcon during the V8 Challenge Cup support races for the V8SuperTourer Endurance meeting at Taupo Motorsport Park last weekend.

“We greatly appreciated being invited to be included in this meeting, which gave us the opportunity to try the car in race conditions, matched against some of the Challenge Cup cars,” said Mackenzie.

“We were unable to race the car on the 17in wheels and tyres (as used by the other Challenge Cup cars) and were grateful that the organisers allowed us to use 18in used tyres but restrict our revs to 200 less than the Cup cars. We also had to use the same engine and four-speed gearbox that the current Challenge Cup cars were using – but limited to using 200 less revs. Certainly the car seemed very quick and handled well and we were fastest in the two practice sessions and in qualifying, before going on to win the first race. I was gaining confidence in myself and in the car for the second race (top five reversed start) to the extent that I pushed a bit too hard on the final lap of the race trying to make up for our lack of revs and spun out on a fast corner. Then, after carefully checking the car in the pits, we discovered a major problem with a right front hub, so for the third race we ran our old NZV8 which went well, despite our not having time to do the warm-up lap. Had it not been for the pitlane start, our lap times indicated we would have given top Challenge Cup competitor and third race winner, Matt Lockwood, a good run for the race win,” said Mackenzie.

“Certainly it was good for me to get behind the wheel of a racecar again, but I really wonder how the organisers are going to achieve some sort of parity with the old NZV8s/Challenge Cup cars if they are going to put them together with the new generation cars in races.”

Photo by Geoff Ridder.