McIntyre and Gilbertson win endurance race title

GilbertsonJMR at ManfeildNelson based three-time New Zealand V8 race car Champion John McIntyre and Hawke’s Bay based ex NZ Porsche Champion Simon Gilbertson added the Three-hour North Island Endurance Race title to their portfolio’s in the weekend.

Based on points across the three-round series, the second place at Feilding’s Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon rewarded the newly formed team with its first major title.
At just seven races old, the GilbertsonJMR 911 GT3 Porsche clinched the title in perfect weather conditions. McIntyre’s home track from his formative days growing up in the Hawke’s Bay, the 41-year-old cites the win was a result of team cohesion in the face of ever-strengthening competition.

“The series keeps growing and is getting harder to be at the forefront of competition.”

“Against the McLaren GT3 of the Smith team, the two SLS Mercedes of Palmerston North’s Mike Racing and the Auckland based Super-Commodore you already have four cars that on paper are significantly quicker than our 2016 991 GT3 Porsche.”

Having debuted last year as a partnership with Simon Gilbertson, the team is a hybrid of the championship winning Tulloch Motorsport and John McIntyre Racing, pooling personnel that have previously enjoyed success together.

“We’ve learned a lot in a short space of time – from a win at the first round this season at Hampton Downs, the fourth at Pukekohe and second at my old home circuit.

“Simon’s driving has just come leaps and bounds, which means in the race we can really fight. The signal that we were starting to feel good is when Simon set a time of 1min06.2 in qualifying 1 – a super impressive lap time for anyone that’s been to Manfeild.”

Describing the competition and pace McIntyre says it’s more a three-hour sprint than race of endurance.

“It all changed in the last 20 minutes of the race when the new race leader put us back into the overall points lead. We just had to hold third position for the race, though the racing was so intense we had a great duel to close and grab second overall for the race – cementing our overall series win.”

The team now turn their attention to the three-round South Island series, plus the one-off New Zealand Endurance Championship event, being held at Highlands on 24 November.

“Building on our solid driving combination, which is going from strength to strength, our next ambition is to win South Island series.”

Calendar: 15 September – Invercargill, 29 September – Christchurch, 13 October – Timaru.

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