McIntyre brings Porsche power to Nelson

JMR Porsche

Nelson racing driver John McIntyre will present the 2016 991 GT3 Porsche to sponsors and supporters at Nelson's MS Ford prior to the first race of the South Island endurance series at Invercargill.

Nelson motorsport driver John McIntyre has a new race car – a 2016 Porsche 991 GT3.

While racing at Germany's Nurburgring ten years ago, McIntyre visited the headquarters of Manthey Racing to marvel at the company's development of Porsche racing vehicles.

He is now just days away from racing its 2016 Porsche 991 GT3 Cup MR model at the South Island Endurance Series in Invercargill.

"I never imagined I'd be racing one of their cars in New Zealand, that's for sure," he said.

McIntyre races for Gilbertson JMR and team owner Simon Gilbertson bought the car from specialist European Porsche Team FACH Autotech. FACH Autotech had previously taken Kiwi Earl Bamber to the Porsche Supercup title.

One of only two in New Zealand, the car recently arrived from Switzerland where it had has already raced and won the Porsche Cup race at the Monaco Grand Prix.

"The first drive we had in the car, it's kind of a pleasant surrounding to be in from a race car point of view – It just does things very nicely."

"Being a factory-built race car [Manthey Racing] make a lot of the base cup cars – hundreds of them each year, so you know it's done right."

McIntyre said there had been a number of modifications required to get the Porsche ready for endurance racing in NZ because of different rules here.

As well as cooling systems for body and helmet, some telemetry and GPS sensors had also been installed to get more information out of the car.

"It's a lot of small things that add up to quite a bit ... a huge amount of work and not a lot of time for testing," McIntyre said.

Prior to the first race of this year's South Island Endurance Series in Invercargill, McIntyre will present the car to sponsors and supporters at Nelson's MS Ford on Monday evening.

"MS Motors and Talley's have been my longest-serving sponsors – 18 years and counting – not many race cars come through Nelson of this calibre, so I thought we'd bring it through and get a bit of attention and show it off."

McIntyre said while an opportunity for a joyride was unlikely, he hoped those coming would be interested in the intricacies of the car or the driver aids crucial to long stints behind the wheel.

"The car will only just get into the showroom in regards to how low it sits – you'd probably take the cat's eyes off the centre of the road if it was there."

"Unless they've been lucky enough to go for a ride in a race or hot lap situation, it's really hard for people to comprehend the g-forces, heat and concentration [while racing] – you're always moving one part of your body."

McIntyre will then transport the vehicle to Invercargill for two days of testing before racing on September 9.

McIntyre hoped the Southland leg would provide him with a successful return to driving Porsches, three years since his last race in the sports car.

"It should come back to me pretty easily – it's easily the fastest Porsche I've driven – it's always exciting to be going faster than slower as you get older."


Homecoming for champion McIntyre and Tulloch Team

Tulloch team 2016It will be a homecoming for now Nelson based driver John McIntyre who returns to his home circuit of Manfeild near Feilding for the season’s final round of the three-hour North Island Endurance Race Series, in the Tulloch Motorsport Camaro.

Joined by Hawke’s Bay based Simon Gilbertson for Saturday’s 23 July title decider, it will be the first time the pair will race the German built SaReNi Reiter Camaro GT3 at Manfeild – the circuit where McIntyre began his multi-championship winning career.

“It will be fastest car I have driven there,” says McIntyre. “Of all the cars I’ve raced at Manfeild the Tulloch Motorsport Camaro has the most horsepower and grip – I can’t wait. It’s been an honour to have the opportunity to race alongside Inky (Ian) Tulloch and in his absence it is our quest to turn this opportunity in to a result at a place I know so well.”

The then Hawke’s Bay based McIntyre made his racing debut 26 years ago at the age of 13. McIntyre says Manfeild is a circuit that will suit all types of car.

There are 32 entered to the three-round endurance championship series. McIntyre and Gilbertson won the opening round at Taupo, and clawed back to finish third in the previous round at Hampton Downs.

“The Camaro will be hard to beat on the three straights at Manfeild whereas the likes of the lighter-weight Audis will have an advantage under braking. So the racing will be very very close and I predict the title will be won or lost in the strategy decisions around the pit stops. Each driver must drive a minimum of one hour and a maximum of two, so the aim is to stop only once in the three-hour long race.”

McIntyre last raced at Manfeild in 2012 – in the JMR V8 SuperTourer.

“In the first race of that weekend we came home in second place behind Jonny Reid – the winner of the previous endurance race at Hampton Downs (Audi R8). So Jonny and I have a bit of history that I’m keen to reverse at Manfeild – particularly since we are now tied on overall points.”

Sitting at the top of the table alongside Reid with 181 points, McIntyre highlights the third placed car (Ferrari) isn’t far behind.

“There is a lot at stake and it’s more than just being the fastest car. With so many cars on the track all at different speeds the first focus is on finishing,” added McIntyre.

The race is to start at 1pm (admission is FREE) with the season champion to take the chequered flag at 4pm.

Schedule SATURDAY 23rd JULY

9.45 – 10.05am: Qualifying for 1 Hour Race
10.15 – 10.50am: Qualifying for 3 Hour Race
11.00am: One Hour Race Starts
12.00pm: One Hour Race Finishes
1.30pm: Three-hour race start
4.30pm: 3 Hour Race Finishes

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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.

Tulloch team take race win toward endurance title

Tulloch team win at TaupoWinning today’s first of three races for the 2016 North Island Endurance Race Championship is now reality for Southland’s Tulloch Motorsport team and their German built SaReNi Reiter Camaro GT3.

Held at Taupo’s Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park the majority of the three-hour race was held behind the Safety Car as a thick blanket of fog affected visibility. Emerging to take the chequered flag first team drivers John McIntyre (Nelson) and Simon Gilbertson (Hawke’s Bay) worked to a strategic plan – set by team owners Ian (Inky) Tulloch and his wife Annette.

Starting from pole position after dominating the earlier held qualifying session, Gilbertson led the field behind the Safety Car. At exactly one-third of the way through the race he pitted to a strategy McIntyre credited to being the race winning move.

“During that hour Simon had to keep the tyres warm, brakes warm and use minimal fuel to reduce time spent refuelling – just in case there was a break in the weather and the racing started,” said McIntyre.

Taking his turn behind the wheel, McIntyre said the speed at which they changed positions was their edge.

“About two hours 20 minutes in the weather lifted enough we got into racing and it was having that quick stop done that meant we had a time bonus.”

What followed had those present riveted to the action of the two front runners of McIntyre and V8 champion Simon Evans.

“Simon and I had a see-saw battle – it was fantastic racing. We had multiple passing moves on each other plus working around others racing; add the variable visibility and it really made it exciting. It really caught people’s attention – the hard, fair and clean racing – we really had to work for it.”

Lasting for just over 20 minutes McIntyre was focussed on getting a gap on the chasing Evans.

“Our strategy was simple; we had to factor our fuel and pit stop plan would keep us in the lead when and if the fog returned and the Safety Car came out.”

That is exactly what happened. With 14 minutes remaining and deteriorating visibility the Safety Car brought racing to a halt and led the field to the chequered flag at the three hour mark.

“The race officials did the best job at coping with the conditions and allowing racing when it was safest.
For us it was the ultimate result. It was an earned result from a pole position start and the best way to begin our title defence.

“As a team it hands Inky and Annette the trophy they set the operation up to achieve – so has a lot of meaning to me, to be able to deliver that as a team.”

The series second of three rounds will be contested at the emerging Hampton Downs circuit in three weeks’ time. It is the venue where McIntyre and Tulloch scored their first win in the car last season.

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.

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