John McIntyre V8ST RuapunaMcIntyre takes heart from two top ten finishes 

Leading V8 SuperTourer driver John McIntyre takes heart from scoring two top ten finishes at the BNT V8 SuperTourers’ second round in Christchurch.

The Nelson-based multiple V8 racing champion says the V8 SuperTourer category is the toughest motor racing series that New Zealand has ever seen. 

“That is no stretch of the imagination. When you have a bad weekend and finish in top ten twice, that’s still something,” says McIntyre who adds that he was very frustrated not to be able qualify better than 12th in the 19-strong field. 

“We were very comfortable and fast in the Blackwoods Protector Falcon in Saturday’s practice sessions, finishing the two sessions second and third respectively. But we made mistakes in the intense 20-minute qualifying period with both the car and our plan, so to a large extent that sets up the rest of the weekend.”

McIntyre says the car was good enough to improve from 12th to seventh in the first 12-lap race. 

“The car wasn’t brilliant in race one, but it was good enough to achieve that.

“Then I got shuffled in the first few corners of the second race, a 16-lapper.  Sometimes the inside line works, sometimes it’s better going outside and whatever it  was, it didn’t work for me this time. But then I got into a good rhythm and had quite good car speed, although couldn’t really use it for much of the race.”

A mid-race tussle with Shane Van Gisbergen left McIntyre with nowhere to go, the two tangling and spinning to leave both cars carrying damage. Van Gisbergen was given a drive-through penalty but had already pitted due to the damage while McIntyre continued racing at the back of the field, rear bumper flapping. 

“We were shown the mechanical flag and there used to be some leniency if you’d been hit by someone else so we decided to carry on. Right at the end a drive-through penalty was given because we hadn’t come in, so I served that on last lap to finish 15th. It was just one of those things.”

McIntyre was happier with what he describes as “…a really magic start from 16th and I was quite quickly up to eighth in the feature race, a 25-lapper. I could take advantage of several others dropping out during the race to finish sixth and secure some decent points.”

Overall it was an up and down day for John McIntyre Racing which resulted in McIntyre slipping slightly on the championship leader-board from fifth to seventh.

“It was a weekend of missed opportunities, but we continue to learn and gel as a team after running such different setups last year. In some ways we’re starting again where other teams have a proven package.  You certainly need to have everything working for you in the right way to really succeed in this series as is evident from the struggles of plenty of talented competitors this weekend.”

There is an 11 week break until McIntyre and the V8 SuperTourer field are next on track at Pukekohe Park Raceway over the weekend of 25 and 26 May.

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