Gibson PukekoheGibson top rookie in V8 SuperTourer series

Auckland based V8 SuperTourer race car driver Mark Gibson rounded out the 2014 sprint season as top rookie following the four race weekend held at the Pukekohe V8 Supercar weekend.

Driving for multiple championship winning John McIntyre Racing and the #47 Blackwoods Protector FG Falcon V8 SuperTourer, Gibson exceeded expectations to finish seventh overall in the 2014 sprint standings – ahead of three other rookies.

Contested across four events in four months, Gibson stunned on debut at the Highlands South Island season opening round in late January. Recording a third place finish in the weekend's final race, behind V8 racing legend Greg Murphy, jumpstarted his points chase in New Zealand's premier touring car category.
Continuing to score points against other New Zealand champion race drivers, Gibson's season ran to a steady rhythm as he came to grips with the 575 horsepower car.
Of the 13 races held for the title Gibson scored one podium finish, six top-eight results and ten top-ten placings.

Under the guidance of 2012 sprint champion and team owner John McIntyre, the 22-year-old Gibson has made incremental gains, surpassing the season's competition target.

"Mark has beaten our goal that I set for him and the team. It was to be in the top-eight on points and he has gone one better with seventh. That's come from improvements in lap times and how he's getting used to drive a purpose built race car. Plus his ability to race and steer clear of trouble are critical to our success at the V8 SuperTourer endurance title," said McIntyre.

Starting at Taupo in late September McIntyre will return to racing as the team's second driver.

"As a team we are making progress at catching and passing teams and drivers in front of us in the championship. We will not be satisfied until we are winning races consistently and in this series with identical equipment and multiple driver champions it's tough. Competition has never been so challenging here in New Zealand, boosted by a number of Australian V8 Supercar drivers having a crack too."

With the aim of driving in the V8 Supercar series Gibson says the season has been important at getting the experience and expertise to be competitive at the world class level.

"It's been a great four rounds for me since making my debut in the SuperTourer series full time. I have learnt so much from the whole team and know there are still plenty of improvements yet to master every time I get in the car. I had a goal of a top-eight for the sprint rounds and to be seventh and top rookie it has gone to plan nicely," said Gibson.

"Now the focus is on keeping up the training and putting that valuable seat time to use for the enduro's, where I can't wait to team up with John and have a good crack at the title."

Based at Taupo's motorsport park, the John McIntyre Racing team will have a home weekend of sorts when the series resumes following the winter break. Gibson grew up in Taupo.

The three-round series starts 27-28 September, that's followed by Hampton Downs (1-2 November) with the title decider at Pukekohe (29-30 November).

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