Two wins for McIntyre extends lead in NZV8 championship

A third consecutive pole position, two top-class race wins and a solid ninth place have contributed to John McIntyre extending his lead in the BNT V8s Championship after this weekend’s third round at Teretonga, Invercargill.

With three of this season’s six championship rounds now complete, the Nelson-based Talley’s Ford driver now has 553 points compared to closest rival Craig Baird with 482 points. This gives McIntyre a 71 point advantage heading to Timaru’s Levels race circuit for round four next weekend.

“We did have quite lofty goals this weekend,” said a very happy McIntyre. “We wanted pole, two race wins and the best possible finish in the reverse grid race and we achieved all of these objectives. But it wasn’t easy with Craig [Baird] chasing hard all weekend.”

In race one, from pole, McIntyre had Baird and fellow Ford driver Angus Fogg alongside, making a three-wide first corner duel. But McIntyre had the lead going around Teretonga’s opening left-handed sweeper and never looked back to score his four race victory of the season.

McIntyre describes his second race win as one of the closest-ever victories in the series, with just 0.036 seconds separating the pair at the chequered flag.

“It was a massive race right from the start – from pole, I led all the way, but Craig was all over me from the first run around the sweeper. After a couple of laps behind the safety car, Craig kept on applying pressure, then on the very last corner, the car’s gearbox popped out of first gear. While I was trying to get it slotted into gear properly, Craig got the inside line as we came onto the start-finish straight for the last time and it was literally a drag race right down to the line. Thankfully we ended up with the win, but another five metres and he would have... It was great to see the big crowd of race fans up on their feet applauding.”

Heading into the weekend’s third race, a reverse grid 22-lapper, McIntyre naturally started at the back of the 21-strong field.

“It sounds odd, but I was really only racing Craig – he’s the one I needed to keep in front of, points-wise. The car’s running like clockwork and the goal was to finish ahead or immediately behind Craig.

As the pair worked from the back through the field, McIntyre got in front of Baird for one lap, then Baird was ahead as intense battles with Fogg and Simon Richards offered varying opportunities for McIntyre in his goal of not letting Baird get too far in front of him.

“With Angus behind me, again we had the same gearbox issue as in race two – it jumped out of gear at the hairpin and I couldn’t get it back in. Three cars passed me, so I just had to put my head down and focus on gathering them back in. I just wasn’t going to give up until I got on the tail of that blue and yellow car again.

“I made it back directly behind Craig, and then on the last lap he passed Simon and with just the start-finish straight to go, I passed Simon just before the line, which put me ninth and Craig eighth.”

With the team’s objectives successfully completed in Invercargill, the focus now shifts to Timaru and the back-to-back round.

“This week, obviously we need to look at the gearbox. We also put the suspension settings for the tight, twisty Timaru circuit back in the car and go through our usual detailed checklist before being ready for our first test session at 9:45am on Saturday morning.”

With a second test session at 2:00pm, qualifying then takes place at 3:55pm. Sunday’s races in Timaru are at 10:00am, 12:55pm and 4:05pm.

“We have some good tyres saved for Timaru,” added McIntyre.

After Timaru, John McIntyre Racing gets a few weeks’ break before round five at Manfeild over the weekend of 14 and 15 February and the season final in Taupo on 20 and 21 March.

The team at John McIntyre Racing extends their thanks to Talley's, Castrol Edge, Protector Safety, Ford NZ, The Rock FM, Ideal Electrical, Websters Hydrated Lime, Avon City Ford, BP Ultimate, Dynamic Fluid Systems, Speedshow, Prime Explosives , Cookes Wirerope, Colorfast Signs, City Collision Repair Napier, and others for supporting their bid to win a third New Zealand V8 Championship title.

McIntyre heads south to stamp dominance in BNT V8 championship

Double New Zealand V8 touring car champion John McIntyre has ambitious goals for the upcoming Teretonga and Timaru rounds of the popular BNT V8s series.

“Now’s the time to really stamp our dominance on the championship points-table and consolidate the lead we earned at the previous round at Ruapuna at the end of November,” says the Nelson-based driver.

“The goal for the whole John McIntyre Racing team is to have the Talley’s Ford on pole at both rounds, then win four of the six races. Obviously that’s not easy to achieve, but we’re quietly confident we have the right package. It will require a solid team effort and for everything to be exactly right.”

Having already put the Talley’s Ford on pole at the first two rounds and won three of the six races contested to date, McIntyre is certainly in a good position to fulfil his ambition of maximising his points’ haul on the two South Island circuits.

“Both Teretonga and Timaru are circuits I really enjoy,” says ‘Johnny Mac’. “I can’t wait to get back on the track in Invercargill. Teretonga needs full commitment; it’s a high speed circuit and like most race drivers, I simply love driving fast! You’re on the limit all the way around Teretonga and that’s the real challenge, especially with our new one-flying-lap top ten qualifying process. You’ll have to drive that one lap perfectly to achieve the best possible time compared to others.”

The Teretonga event is the third round of the 2009-10 BNT V8s Championship and takes place over the weekend of 16 and 17 January. The following weekend, 23 and 24 January, sees McIntyre competing on the popular Timaru circuit run by the South Canterbury Car Club.

“It’s really a different feeling down south – you can feel it with the crowd. They love seeing us racing, we love being at both venues and I think it’s really good for the whole NZ V8 series that we continue to race from one end of the country to virtually the other.”

McIntyre’s team will depart their Hastings workshop on Wednesday for the big drive to Invercargill.

“The guys had some time off over Christmas, but we’ve had a good chance to keep going through the car, looking for those little things that give us a bit more speed.

“We expect that Teretonga will suit the car really well, as it was in good form at Ruapuna. We know we have a lot of car speed.”

McIntyre will be making appearances at engineering supplier Blackwoods Paykels in Dunedin on Thursday at 3pm and Protector Safety in Invercargill on Friday at lunchtime before the weekend’s race schedule.

Saturday 16 January sees McIntyre undertake two test sessions at Teretonga before qualifying starts at 4pm. On Sunday 17 January, the races start at 9:40am, 1pm and 4:10pm. Same-day coverage starts on TV3 at 2pm with further interviews and action on Fujitsu MotorSport NZ on Sky Sport channels in following weeks.

The team at John McIntyre Racing extends their thanks to Talley's, Castrol Edge, Protector Safety, Ford NZ, The Rock FM, Ideal Electrical, Websters Hydrated Lime, Avon City Ford, BP Ultimate, Dynamic Fluid Systems, Speedshow, Prime Explosives , Cookes Wirerope, Colorfast Signs, City Collision Repair Napier, and others for supporting their bid to win a third New Zealand V8 Championship title.

Johnny Mac heads to Adelaide in Fujitsu Racing’s V8 Supercar

John McIntyre is off across the Tasman to race for Stone Brothers Racing again this month, joining the team with their Fujitsu Racing-backed V8 Supercar in the opening round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series in Adelaide, South Australia.

The Fujitsu series competitors have two races on the support card for the main V8 Supercar category during the hugely popular Clipsal 500 event around the streets of Adelaide from 11 to 14 March, 2010.

“Adelaide is one of the best street races in Australasia and it’s a very tough circuit, so this is another fantastic opportunity from Stone Brothers Racing (SBR). I’m looking forward to it all enormously,” says the Nelson-based two-time New Zealand V8 champion who drove for SBR in last year’s Phillip Island and Bathurst endurance races.

This week ‘Johnny Mac’ has returned happy from a very productive test day in the #93 Fujitsu Racing BF Falcon at the Queensland Raceway, saying it’s the most comfortable he’s ever felt in a V8 Supercar.

“Our day of testing saw me complete around 40 laps in dry conditions in the SBR-built and run BF Falcon. This car was last raced by Shane van Gisbergen in 2008 and has been updated with the latest sequential gearbox and specifications.

“We worked through a comprehensive programme, testing set-ups, and Shane came along to do a handful of laps for reference with the car’s set-up. We were running almost identical times in the cars, so that was very positive. With Shane’s current pace and success in the V8 Supercar Championship, it’s great to be on the same pace as he is,” says McIntyre from his home in Nelson where he’s preparing to fly back across the Tasman on Wednesday 10 March.

In future Fujitsu series rounds, the #93 car will be driven by SBR’s most recent Fujitsu Series signing 16-year-old Scott McLaughlin, but as he hasn’t yet got the right racing licence, Ross and Jimmy Stone asked McIntyre to drive.

“Once again, I’m hugely appreciative of the confidence Ross and Jimmy show by offering me this opportunity. They wanted to race the car in Adelaide in the Fujitsu Racing colours, so we’ll get the car out there for the sponsor and the team. It also gives me an awesome opportunity to drive on one of the best, most challenging street circuits in Australasia.”

McLaughlin is making a giant leap from kart racing to V8 Supercars when he gets into the car at the second Fujitsu Series round at Ipswich, Queensland, making him the youngest ever V8 Supercar driver when he starts his first race. McLaughlin also works fulltime as an apprentice fabricator in the SBR workshop and the car’s number 93 references McLaughlin’s year of birth, 1993.

Johnny Mac’s schedule in Adelaide is:
Thursday, 11 March
9:30am – 30 min practice
13:50pm – 30 min practice

Friday, 12 March
8:30am – drivers’ briefing
12:50pm – 30 min qualifying
18:20pm - Race 1, 24 laps

Sunday, 14 March
10:00am – Race 2, 24 laps or 1 lap after 10:43am, whichever comes first

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