V8 Supercar Endurance Champion Luff joins McIntyre for Final

Warren LuffAustralian Racing Driver Warren Luff will join John McIntyre for the final V8SuperTourer round at Pukekohe Raceway at the end of November.

Luff is the newly crowned V8Supercars Endurance Cup Champion, partnering Craig Lowndes at the recent Sandown 500 (2nd), Bathurst 1000 (3rd) and old Coast 600 (1st) to claim the title.

With current endurance co-drive Jono Lester unavailable for the Pukekohe event, McIntyre was quick to snap up the highly rated V8 endurance driver Luff.

“Warren was at the top of the list when it came to selecting a co-driver that is quick and consistent for Pukekohe. It’s no secret that we (John McIntyre Racing) have had a trying season, actually our toughest in our 7 years. We are taking on a maximum attack attitude to Pukekohe and I know Warren will be able to back me up as we try and win our first race of the season”. Commented McIntyre.

Luff is equally excited about joining the team and Johnny Mac for the Pukekohe final. “I can’t wait to have a drive of the V8SuperTourer after watching the series on TV in Australia. The cars look like a lot of fun to drive and the Pukekohe track I really enjoy”. Said Warren Luff.

Luff has flown in today to get his first taste of the #47 JMR V8SuperTourer at Manfeild at the teams Sponsor ride day. The series will join the NZ Grand Prix for the first time when it returns to the Manawatu Circuit in February next year.

John McIntyre and Jono Lester

McIntyre and Lester on a charge for Enduros

John McIntyre will once again pair with young Kiwi endurance specialist Jono Lester for the three round V8SuperTourers Endurance Championship.

Currently 7th in overall points, the 2012 Sprint Champions JMR have shown plenty of speed during the 2013 season but have been the victim of on-track incidents that have cost numerous podium finishes. McIntyre and his Taupo-based team are looking to the nine race 'Enduro Series' both to move forward on the overall Championship, and aim for high honours in the Endurance Championship also.

"Although these races are called enduros, they are effectively sprint races with a pitstop," McIntyre commented.

"We will need the same fast pace we had at round one and for both drivers to put in fast but consistent performances over the three races.

"Jono has had laps in the car this year and due to his busy driving schedule is very race fit and is adapting well to the V8ST style."

23-year old Lester is enthusiastic about the team's chances in the 2013 V8 SuperTourers Enduro Series;

"The JMR team have displayed great speed throughout the 2013 season so far and I'm excited to again join the team after our two Taupo Podiums."

"JMR are a well-oiled machine and we have continuity on our side. The key to success over the nine races will be consistency and keeping out of trouble. If we can combine that with the speed we know the #47 has then we will be on the right track!"

With Lester fresh from leading the Super Taikyu Series in Japan and McIntyre winning the South Island Endurance Series opener at Invercargill last weekend, the pair are looking forward to pushing the #47 Blackwooks Protector Falcon to the front at Hampton Downs.

The V8SuperTourer action commences on Saturday with two 45-minute practice sessions, followed by individual qualifying and a 36 lap race. The stars of Australasian motorsport will hit the track again on Sunday for two races of 56 laps each.

The weekend will feature same-day television coverage on TV3's CRC Motorsport, from 03:00pm to 05:30pm this Sunday, September 29.

McIntyre_PukekoheRd3McIntyre’s strong pace goes unrewarded at Pukekohe

The weekend’s third round of the BNT V8 SuperTourers at Pukekohe had ups and downs for John McIntyre during what was an action-packed and chaotic series of races on the revamped circuit.

The early pace of the #47 Blackwoods Protector Falcon meant things started well for John McIntyre Racing with the team delighted to report their best qualifying result of the season, third.

“We came through Saturday’s two practice sessions with the third quickest time in each session,” says the Nelson-based McIntyre. “And despite qualifying running in very wet, challenging conditions and having what can only be called a ‘major moment’ on my first flying lap, it was very pleasing to secure the third-quickest qualifying lap. The car showed it was very competitive, our time placing us just behind Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin, and ahead of Greg Murphy.”

Sunday’s three races got underway with showers frequently scudding across the circuit. McIntyre was ahead of the massive start line incident which saw race one red-flagged; he then ran steadily in fourth in the restarted 15-lap race before being caught out by surface water at turn four.

“I ran wide on the damp surface; only just slipping off the circuit onto the grass, and then into the tyre wall. I managed to get moving again and finished 13th with a fair amount of damage.”

The second race, 20 laps, was nearly over before it began with an even bigger crash going into turns two and three on the first lap. Starting from 13th put McIntyre in the thick of the action and he had to divert into the pit garage briefly before the restart, unlike at least three other competitors whose cars were too badly damaged. The three-time V8 champion then made the most of the Blackwoods Protector Falcon’s strong race pace charged through the field to finish a well-deserved sixth.

In the third and longest race, 32 laps, McIntyre started fifth.

“I had a really good start, getting the inside line past Scott McLaughlin and Ant Pedersen. I then passed Shane van Gisbergen for 2nd before he re-passed me again at the hairpin. There was some hard racing before they all got back past me, then I was able to back off a little and hold a comfortable fifth place for much of the race. I had a run at Ant in the closing laps and was reeling him in before hitting the turn one bumps for which Pukekohe is so well-known. Basically it was my fault, when I hit the bump the wheel was out of control in my hands and I went off into the gravel trap where I stayed.”

The resultant 14th saw McIntyre slip one place down the V8 SuperTourer points-table to eighth.

“All in all, it was a treacherous weekend of racing – every class had their issues with the rain-slicked circuit. But the car had really good race pace, so we’ve been fighting among the top five all weekend. Compared to last year’s round at Pukekohe, I’ve been heartened with the car’s performance here this weekend.

“Huge thanks go to the JMR crew who worked incredibly hard all day to patch up the damage and keep #47 in the races.”

There’s now a 14-week break until the next V8 SuperTourer round in Taupo at the end of August.

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