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Kiwi team ready to tackle Mt Everest race event

Kiwi team ready to tackle Mt Everest race event

New Zealand’s only team entered in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race is this week familiarising themselves with Germany’s 25.4km very long circuit – regarded as the ‘Mt Everest’ of annual races.

Kiwi Team Nurburgring’s squad of four drivers are spending the remaining few days before this coming weekend’s 24-hour event to familiarise themselves best they can of the circuit that takes in part of the Eifel Mountains. Headed by leading Auckland plastics surgeon Dr Greg Taylor, he will share the driving duties with Mike Eady, John McIntyre and Tim Martin.

Using the New Zealand prepared Honda Civic Type-R, the team has the goal of firstly finishing the gruelling event, with a good chance of a class placing in the Group-N production category they have entered.

Sharing pit facilities and the resources of the Honda Germany team, the Kiwi’s are one of 240 cars entered for the event. Needing to be whittled down to 210 for Saturday (17th June) afternoon’s 3pm start (2am Sunday NZST) - the Kiwi team confident to be inside the cut.

One Kiwi who has driven to class topping success at the event is well known endurance racer Mike Eady (Auckland). In charge of the driver-lineup during the race, he says the event ahead will open a few eyes when they set-up the Kiwi built Dynapack Dynamometer. “I think a few will be surprised at our level of planning and preparation – we’re not just some hick team from the other end of the world.”

While on the same weekend as the Le Mans 24-hour race, the Nurburgring event features a wide variety of mainly production based cars.

“Le Mans is for prototype sports cars – full factory and the most advanced technology in the world. Whereas every driver in the world wants to do the Nurburgring; it’s the grand daddy of circuits. It’s a track that challenges them, such a big grid, such excitement. We are going in as underdogs, but I have been there four times and know what it takes to get a finish,” he added.
“It’s such a challenge, that we can take a little car from here and have a go.”

Fellow driver John McIntyre is quick to point out how ‘hidden’ the event is from the sporting radar: “You can have Le Mans one weekend and have 240 teams running in an event not too far down the road the same time – so that kinda speaks for how big the race it is.”

Adding to its character, the hills and surrounds of the region make the track notorious for fog and rain in one part – whilst fine at the other end. “It’s unbelievable; from an antipodeans’ point of view this place is sort of hiding,” he added.

Youngest driver in the team, Auckland’s Tim Martin (23) says his past Elite MotorSport Academy training is helping prepare for the challenge ahead: “Working with physical trainers and nutritionists at the Academy has been hugely important to make sure we are prepared for such a challenging race. So I’m really really excited about the project; we’ve put in a lot of time in terms of preparation, in terms of the car and our physical fitness. I’m just looking forward to driving a good and safe race and having a car we can get to the finish line in.”

In making the dream of running a Kiwi team at Nurburgring a reality, Dr Greg Taylor speaks of the special characteristics and antipodean nature of the long circuit John McIntyre referred to:

“The history of the event: its geographic location, its difficulty and beauty. It is unquestionably the most beautiful place, with the biggest race - the hardest event – that reeks with history. That has helped with everyone’s motivation, so the whole team is pretty excited. It is the culmination of a year’s effort. I guess it’s a bit like climbing Mt Everest – it is more to do with the planning than performance.”

In front of an annual spectator count exceeding 250,000 people, the weekend event starts on Thursday afternoon with a formation parade. There are two timed practise sessions on the Friday before the team go on trickle charge in preparation for the 3pm start on Saturday 17th June. The chequered flag is due out at 3pm Sunday 18th June (2am Monday 19th June NZST).

Support for Kiwi Team Nurburgring comes from: Dynapack Chassis Dynamometers, Eurosilicone Breast Aesthetics, Cosmetic Art, Advan Yokohama Tyres, Racetech Seats, Hella NZ and CRC.

Keep up-to-date with the teams progress via their website


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