John McIntyre Racing gave it everything they could during Timaru NZ V8 round

“All you can say is we gave it everything we could,” said a still smiling, but understandably disappointed John McIntyre after an unprecedented run of three did-not-finish (DNF) results at the Timaru round of the NZ V8s championship.

“We have faced some serious adversity all day, but we didn’t give up; we just kept on trying. Honestly, the effort from the whole team was absolutely huge. Add in the amazing level of support shown by our sponsors and fans, and you’ve got to end the day with a rueful smile and the acknowledgement that today just wasn’t our day,” said McIntyre after sliding off a glass-like wet track into the wall in race one and then suffering mechanical issues in a leased car in the day’s other two races.

Having been leading the NZ V8 series going into this fourth round, McIntyre’s position was leapfrogged by two competitors. He now sits 115 points adrift of new series leader Craig Baird with two rounds of the 2009-10 championship still to run.

With the Castrol Edge Ford demonstrating excellent pace on the technical Timaru circuit, McIntyre lined up for the weekend’s first 12-lap race third on the grid. What had been drizzle became solid rain just as the field completed the rolling start. McIntyre was past pole-sitter Angus Fogg and had a 100-metre lead by the time he came around the last corner before the start-finish straight, but the previously-damp line on newly-sealed tarmac offered absolutely no traction this time around.

“It was like driving on glass. I’d backed off but the car just aquaplaned and we were in the wall. Others were spinning in exactly the same place, and bouncing off our car.

“The pair that went on to first and second, Baird and Tim Edgell, were lucky. They’d missed the pit exit closure time-limit and were starting from pit lane. As the rain fell more heavily, their cars were pushed back into the pits by their crews to change to wet tyres, so they got a lucky break on the rest of the field which went into the pits to change tyres after that first dangerous lap and race being red-flagged.

“Not that there was much we could do at that point, but we decided quickly that we couldn’t repair the JMR car in time for the second race, so we talked to the other Ford teams and reached an agreement to lease the Haydn Mackenzie Motorsport hot lap car – already in race spec. That was an offer we very much appreciated.

“JMR swung into action, changing over some components and parts to bring it as close to our car as we could in that two hour window.”

Having not finished race one, McIntyre started from the back of the grid for race two and sadly didn’t even make it around the first lap.

“The main fuel pump wasn’t 100% and we couldn’t have envisaged something like that would stop; there was just no fuel pressure.”

More repairs and McIntyre lined up for race three, again at the back of the grid without having completed one full racing lap in the swiftly-renumbered #47 Ford.

“On wets in solid rain, we got off to a solid start at the back and were boxing along quite nicely, all things considered, improving from 22nd to 16th when the throttle cable broke. It was just past the pit entry too, so we couldn’t even coast into pit lane and hope to get a quick repair.

“Honestly, it just wasn’t our day. All you can do now is look back and laugh at what we’ve been through. What else can you do?”

The team faces a busy three weeks getting the JMR Ford back in tip-top shape before round five of the season at Manfeild, 13 to 14 February.

“We’re in full chase mode now. Okay, we’re third, but we know we have good car speed, we’ve got good race pace and we’ve been qualifying well. Last year at Manfeild we achieved something no one else has ever done – three race wins at one round. We’ll just have to see where we’re at when we get there, but don’t discount us. With 450 points up for grabs for the winners of the next six races, it’s not over yet.”

More than ever today, McIntyre and his team at John McIntyre Racing thanks their sponsors 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 their ongoing support.

NZ V8 series leader McIntyre aims for strong start in Timaru

Currently at the top of the leader-board, John McIntyre is aiming for a strong start from third slot on the grid in the first of the weekend’s New Zealand V8 races at Levels Raceway in Timaru this weekend.

“We’re really happy that the car has demonstrated its speed; it’s miles quicker than it’s been here before and, okay, third on the grid isn’t exactly where we wanted to be, but we’re one place up on Craig Baird, our closest rival in the championship battle, and that’s very important,” said McIntyre after Saturday’s top ten qualifying shoot-out.

McIntyre said a couple of tiny errors on his flying lap made the difference between a pole-setting time and third. “That shows how close this series is and how you need to be 100% spot-on on these flying laps.”

McIntyre’s time in the final run was 1:06.183 compared to pole-setting Angus Fogg with 1:05.823. The John McIntyre Racing team can be encouraged by the pace shown during the afternoon’s second qualifying session when the #47 Castrol Edge Ford achieved the quickest time in that session of 1:05.967 on a dry circuit.

The morning test session was run with persistent drizzle soaking the popular South Canterbury motor racing circuit, but the rain eased with the afternoon’s final test session and all three qualifying runs taking place on the dry spec. Dunlop tyres.

“I’ve started third here before and been third when we came out of the first left-then-big-right-sweeper complex,” he said. “Who knows what’s going to happen, but I do have the inside line into the first corner on this very technical circuit.”

Sunday’s races in Timaru start at 10:00am, 12:55pm and 4:05pm, with two 12-lap races followed by the always-challenging 22-lap, full reverse grid final race.

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.

John McIntyre Racing celebrates a season of firsts while preparing for Timaru NZ V8s

As the John McIntyre Racing team heads for the popular South Canterbury motor racing circuit outside Timaru for the next round of the BNT V8s Championship, they are quietly giving themselves a pat on the back for what they have already achieved this season.

“As the other champions in this competitive class know, you need consistently excellent results to win,” says John McIntyre, the two-time NZ V8 champion based in Nelson.

“I think we can take a moment to celebrate what we have already achieved this season – five wins from nine races and three consecutive pole positions at three rounds, something we think hasn’t been done before in this class. There’s no doubt that this series is aggressively contested and you have to get everything as close to perfect as possible to do well. It’s certainly not easy to pull off results like these.”

McIntyre notes that last weekend’s second race victory at Teretonga was also the team’s 25th win and the 46th win for him as a driver in this class.

“It’s the first time we’ve won a round at Invercargill, and also at Ruapuna back in November. And it’s the first time we’ve won two rounds consecutively.

“So, looking at the statistics, we can be justly proud of our achievements and I acknowledge every one of our team members and all our supporters in helping us get to where we are today – at the top of the 2009-10 leader-board going into round four in Timaru.

“I have no doubt there will be intense competition as others try and outdo us at Timaru – that’s what this competition is about and, hey, we’re all racing drivers and we love a good battle on the track.

“But we’ve done well at Timaru these past three seasons with our JMR team. We’ve won the round twice and were third last year, and with our current form, we’ll be doing our utmost to extend our lead in the championship even further by Sunday afternoon,” says the quietly-confident and well-prepared 32-year-old.

The Timaru schedule sees JMR and the Castrol Edge Ford hit the tight, 2.4 km Timaru circuit for their first test session at 9:45am on Saturday 23 January. A second test session takes place at 2:00pm before the three-part qualifying session which starts at 3:55pm. Sunday’s races in Timaru are at 10:00am, 12:55pm and 4:05pm.

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.

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