Tulloch team to defend endurance title

Tulloch Motorsport CamaroDefending endurance race championship team headed by Ian (Inky) Tulloch will contest both the North and South Island endurance titles for 2016 in the Tulloch Motorsport German built SaReNi Reiter Camaro GT3, starting 4 June.

Having won the three-hour New Zealand Endurance Race Championship event in early March the team’s future received a setback when Gore based owner Inky Tulloch suffered serious injuries following an accident a week later.

Recuperating, Tulloch has committed the team to continue with its plans in his absence, continuing with title sharing driver John McIntyre (Nelson) and newly drafted Simon Gilbertson (Hawkes Bay).

Speaking on behalf of the family, Annette Tulloch, Ian’s wife, said the decision to continue was not hard to make.

“Ian enjoys his racing and has a desire to fulfil his and the teams passion to win the North and South Island titles. His recovery following the accident in March will have him out of the car for some time so it was a simple decision to put a replacement driver in the car and run the team as it was planned," said Mrs Tulloch.

“As a family we are grateful for the support shown to us all following the accident and appreciate being in the position where Ian can enjoy the privilege of defending their title.

The season starts at Taupo 4 June, the first of three rounds for the North Island championship, which concludes 23 July at Manfeild. The team then return to the South for the three South Island rounds, starting at Invercargill’s Teretonga circuit 10 September. The season finale will be held at Timaru on 15 October.

“The best part of going into the new season is Inky recovering well,” said team co-driver John McIntyre. “Along with support from Annette and the Tulloch family to continue we also have the full backing of the team. So it’s a real honour to be again representing the team and look forward to bringing home a few trophies to Inky.

“We have just tested with Simon, who has driven the car for the first time – in the wet, and cold at Teretonga. Along with track time we’ve been through driver change-over and pit stop procedure - now we are prepared to get to the track and focus on winning the title, again.

For Gilbertson the opportunity came at the suggestion of McIntyre – having mentored the Napier based businessman. The pair raced together and finished second overall in 2014 at the Taupo round of the North Island series.
Gilbertson has continued his late blooming racing career since, having done double duty in the Pirelli Porsche Championship and the NZGT2 category.

Tulloch Motorsport is supported by Active Electrical as naming rights sponsor, plus Waterloo Business Park Christchurch, Talley’s, USG Boral, Castrol Edge, Energizer, Phillips and Schneider Electrical also join the team for the new season.

McIntyre and Tulloch secure NZ title

McIntyre and Tulloch winSouthland’s Inky (Ian) Tulloch and Nelson’s John McIntyre added another New Zealand championship title to their respective collections following today’s three-hour endurance race win at Hampton Downs.

Piloting the Tulloch Motorsport German built SaReNi Reiter Camaro GT3 to the chequered flag first, the South Island pairing delighted at adding another MotorSport New Zealand championship award to their respective résumés.

“It is a great feeling; there is nothing like having a New Zealand title. Even with five Australian ones a New Zealand one is special. It has been a long time since the last one and I am really excited we are able to compete at that level - I’ve been very blessed and very fortunate. As long as we are still enjoying it and are competitive we will continue,” said Tulloch, a four-time NZ truck champion.

“The team worked well and the result came.”

Having set fastest time in qualifying Tulloch took the car from the race start to the 1hr 13 minute mark before handing over to McIntyre. Concentrating on sticking to the pre-race plan to keep the car clean, McIntyre had a 20 minute spell late in the race behind the safety car that altered their tactics. He finished a lap ahead of the next placed car.

“We hadn’t planned on two stops so we had to adapt and I think that was the strength of the team - the team were able to think on their feet and with a half-lap warning made the decision that got us to the finish, first. It was a big call. Luckily the other race-win contending SuperTourer (Evans/Rollinson) and Ferrari (Fillmore/Stutterd) had to add a second stop to their race - otherwise it would have been very tricky,” said McIntyre, who has three V8 titles under his belt.

“In full reality we had the fastest car in the race with the fastest times for both of us as drivers. So as a combination we were faster.

“It was a really hot day as well so we ended up using more fuel, plus we were really roasting inside the car and toward the end, for the last hour, I had to have the cool suit turned off - so it was getting really hot. Then we had a big safety car period right near the end where everything was getting hotter and hotter. The five laps at the end we had to call on a bit of experience, keep the lap advantage we had, keep it on the track and know we would have the title. That’s what we did and are really pleased for the team as it’s a title in recognition for a year and a half’s work since Inky bought the car.”

Today’s win kick’s off a further six events planned for 2016 - the three-round North Island endurance series, followed by the three-round South Island endurance series.

This season the team have Active Electrical as naming rights sponsor alongside the return of Waterloo Business Park Christchurch, Talley’s, USG Boral, Castrol Edge, Energizer. Phillips and Schneider Electrical also join the team for the new season.

Tulloch and McIntyre step up for NZ championship title

Tulloch Camaro at Hampton DownsSouthland’s Inky (Ian) Tulloch and Nelson’s John McIntyre head to Hampton Downs this weekend with the focus of adding another New Zealand race championship to their collection as they tackle the first of seven events for the 2016 season.

Saturday’s (12 March) three-hour endurance race comes with a New Zealand title - the golden prize Tulloch, McIntyre and 26 other teams will line up for. The pair will share drive the Tulloch Motorsport German built SaReNi Reiter Camaro GT3 that took them to overall victory in the 2015 North Island Endurance series.

Set to unveil the new-look and aerodynamically upgraded Camaro, the South Islanders take on the North Island based one-off event as a precursor to the six endurance events being held later in the year.

Team owner Tulloch cautions at his level of expectation, based on a racing career spanning four decades, including four New Zealand truck racing championship titles, Australian truck racing title wins and various sports car/rallying victories.

“There are a lot of very good cars and driver combinations that will be there for this one-off event and I’ve only ever raced at Hampton Downs once before. So I recognise the limits of our hopes and ambitions as clearly seat mileage there counts,” says Tulloch.

“Although based on our results and performance last year it would have been a natural advantage we had heading into this event. That is why we will again run our own race to a pre-determined strategy. I have always realised that if you want to finish first, first you must finish. Endurance racing reflects that even more.

Tulloch reinforces his point on the basis of the wins accumulated by the pairing on debut in 2015: “The putting together of the two teams, the grey hair and the dark hair has worked pretty well really. So it gives us a high-degree of confidence heading into the weekend at having a team and car I have worked with and won with before. But like anything there are always things you can’t predict will happen - not the least of which will be the weather.”

Three-time New Zealand V8 champion McIntyre says one ingredient to winning will be having what he terms a ‘clean’ car against a lineup of competitors in cars such as Audi, BMW, Ferrari and Porsche.

“At some stage in the race you will probably have to push to get track position, to keep on the lead lap or have to find some pace. To do that the car has to be clean. These cars are about aerodynamics, so if you knock off or damage the endplates on the front of the car or get the rear diffuser damaged it’s not going to help. In a sprint race things like that aren’t as important but in an endurance race any performance degradation will compound over time - and it’s time you can’t make up. So that is our focus - to stay clean, especially when there are 26 other cars on the track of varying speeds. The key is keeping the car in top shape so we have the pace in hand,” says the birthday celebrating 39-year-old.

“Last year we were flat-out learning about the car and gelling as a team. In that process you get things wrong and some things right. So this year is about building on all the information we gathered last year - and now not having to sweat the small stuff - we know the processes. We go into the weekend knowing there are less variables, especially since Hampton Downs is a happy hunting ground for us. The first time Inky and I won together in the car was there last year - plus it was also my first win at Hampton Downs.

The race starts at 12:35pm with the chequered flag to be shown at 3:35pm. Live timing of the race can be found on www.race-monitor.com with progress updates on the John McIntyre Racing Facebook page www.facebook.com/JMR47

For 2016 the team welcome Active Electrical as naming rights sponsor alongside the return of Waterloo Business Park Christchurch, Talley’s, USG Boral, Castrol Edge, Energizer. Phillips and Schneider Electrical also join the team for the new season.

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