McIntyre tops standings at 3-hr enduro

Paired with Simon Gilbertson for the Taupo round of the 3-Hour North Island Endurance Race Series John McIntyre steered the Porsche GT3 to the top of the touring car category.

Finishing second overall in the race, behind the points ineligible Juno sports car, there were challenges that kept McIntyre busy when he took over at the half-way mark.
Starting from third position in damp conditions, car owner Simon Gilbertson kept ahead of trouble to pit at the 1hr 25min mark for McIntyre to take the car to the finish. Unfortunately another team had wrong-parked in their pit area costing two minutes while the kerfuffle was resolved.

McIntyre joined the race in fourth position – a lap down on the car ahead. Pegging back that gap he was able to overtake the leading touring cars for the top spot and the points reward.

It was McIntyre's first race since December 2013.

The third and final round for the 2014 season will be held at Hampton Downs on 26 July.

JMR and John McIntyreMcIntyre to drive winning Porsche

Nelson's John McIntyre kick-starts his endurance season of racing this Saturday 5 July aboard the recent 1 Hour North Island Endurance Series race winning Porsche 997 GT3 car of Simon Gilbertson.

Pairing with the Hawke's Bay racer, McIntyre returns to racing duties in preparation for the 27 September start to the 2014/2015 V8 SuperTourer endurance series, having won the inaugural sprint title in 2012.

This weekend's event, at the Taupo Motorsport Park, is familiar territory to McIntyre, who runs his JMR V8 SuperTourer operation from the adjacent business park.
Entered in to the three-hour category, the pair will be up against 30 other teams including several other similar 997 Porsches, GT and Sports Cars in the increasingly popular North Island Endurance Series.

"I'm really excited to be getting behind the wheel again," says McIntyre, who took leave of racing his #47 Ford V8 SuperTourer late last year, after 14 consecutive national championship seasons of motor racing.

"Owning, running and financing the JMR V8 SuperTourer team had affected my driving and I needed to redress the balance. Putting Mark Gibson in my car and focussing on bringing him up to speed gave me the space to build the team in to a formidable package ahead of the three-round V8 SuperTourer endurance series.

"To finish last year off I competed in nine endurance races over ten weeks. I was physically and mentally drained.

"Now I'm itching to get back to racing – and the opportunity to join Simon is the perfect build-up to the V8 SuperTourer season.

"Our JMR CircuitWorx preparation business has been maintaining and running Simon's Porsche and I have been able to drive the car at Taupo and Pukekohe in testing with him. He drives the car very well."

McIntyre has also hinted a return to Australian events, such as the 12hr Bathurst race for GT cars and V8 Supercar endurance rounds are on his radar.

"One thing my layoff has given me is a real desire and hunger to get back into racing again. I am really excited about the rest of 2014 and will be aiming at driving in more endurance races.

The three round North Island Endurance Series follows in the footsteps of the strongly competitive South Island Endurance Series – which McIntyre also raced at last year.
Following the Taupo event, the series concludes at Hampton Downs, 26 July.

Coverage of the event will be highlighted on next Thursday's SKY Speed television show.

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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