Booth’s Woodstock Racing team moves forward despite bad luck
10 March 2013
Booth’s Woodstock Racing team moves forward despite tough luck
Andy Booth, driver of the Woodstock Racing Commodore, has moved up one rung on the BNT V8 SuperTourers leader-board to 11th after a weekend of racing the two-time V8 champion describes as frustrating.
“We started well, taking good pace from Saturday’s practice sessions into qualifying,” says the Birkenhead, Auckland-based driver of the second V8 SuperTourer event of 2013 contested at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway outside Christchurch from 9 to 10 March.
“We were very comfortably among the top three or four during the early part of qualifying, then right at the end, there were a whole bunch of times very similar to ours, literally hundredths of a second faster and that shuffled us back to eighth. We were just 0.290 seconds off the quickest, Ant Pedersen, and there were six other drivers between him and us. Insanely close.”
Fine, but not overly hot weather on Sunday created conditions Booth describes as “really quite good” for racing.
“It’s an old mantra already in this relatively new class – you have to qualify near the front to keep out of potential dramas in the first race. If you don’t, well, that’s what happened to us. After a very good start which allowed me to gain a few positions, I got a run on Andre Heimegartner down the inside into the hairpin. I was cleanly through on the inside when Andre decided to turn in from mid-track, crashing into the Woodstock Commodore and popping a tyre right off the rim. I pitted and the guys got me underway very quickly. Disappointingly, a lack of a good camera angle meant Andre didn’t cop a penalty. Still, we did finish16th, managing to salvage some points.”
Starting race two from 16th, Booth again made a strong start, passing several cars before the last corner of the first lap where he was tagged by Dominick Storey, spinning Booth round to a standstill and causing him to lose a significant margin.
“I just had to get my head down to make up whatever I could. With the car as quick as those further up the field, I was able to catch the field and make up a couple of positions to finish 13th which was encouraging.
“Through other people’s penalties, we started race three in 12th and our aim was to get into the top ten at least once this weekend. I got another great start, gaining positions on the opening laps. Our guys had the Woodstock Commodore set up to be good over a longer run, but it lacked grip early on. I went wide coming around the sweeper onto the main straight and grazed the wall, losing a couple of spots. The car was on song midway through the 25 laps, then the safety car came out and it was amazing how much grip the car lost after the restart. Trying to attack again, I slid wide into the infield, took a little trip across the grass and, again, had all that work to make up places. Despite all that I was really pleased to make it back up to eighth and achieve the aim to finish in the top ten.
“It’s a shame we made it so difficult for ourselves at times, but we’ll take the positive step up the championship points-table and aim to improve even further at round three in May when we head to Pukekohe,” says Booth with a wry smile. “At some point in this championship, the luck has to go Woodstock Racing’s way.”
Off the circuit, Booth says the weekend was excellent. “As an event, the Mike Pero Need for Speed was great. There were good crowds of enthusiastic Canterbury motorsport fans both days. I really enjoyed all the interaction throughout the weekend, starting with a special Woodstock Bourbon and Cola promotion in Kaiapoi on Thursday and taking in hundreds of very excited children at school visits on Friday and at the track on Saturday.”
Booth and fellow competitors take a break now until round three which runs 25 to 26 May at Pukekohe Park Raceway.
Andy Booth and the Woodstock Racing Commodore compete in the BNT V8 SuperTourers with the support of Woodstock Bourbon and Cola, Wynn’s, SG Fleet, Advanced Transaction Systems, Toptul, Precision Autowerk, Central Towing and New Balance. Follow Woodstock Racing via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/andyboothracing or see www.andyboothracing.com for more news and updates.