Suzuki car race manager calls time
Suzuki car race manager calls time
Co-ordinator of the Winger Suzuki Swift Sport Cup Paul Burborough has called time after seven years with the small car race category he helped establish.
The series of identical specification 1600cc Suzuki Swift Sport cars has just concluded its sixth season of competition – taking in the majority of New Zealand’s prominent motor racing circuits – with Burborough at the helm. Handing incoming champion Shaun Lawrence of Hamilton the title he’d been chasing for four consecutive seasons Burborough said it was the right time to take a step back.
Also the Dealer Principal of Winger Suzuki in Hamilton and Queenstown, Burborough has a young family that he’s intent on spending more time with during his kids’ formative years.
“My boy is in to his rugby and our daughter is quite a competitive swimmer so it’s important I’m there for those big moments and after seven years with the Suzuki series its time I hand the reins to someone else to continue the legacy,” says Burborough.
Approached by Suzuki New Zealand in 2007
to start a motorsport programme Burborough had a Swift
readied for competition that was first used by now Dealer
Principal of Dunedin based Gilmour Suzuki, Emma
Switching the programme’s focus to racing at New Zealand’s motor race circuits Burborough commissioned the construction of ten cars in a joint venture with Wintec in Hamilton. Integrated in to the motorsport apprentice engineers programme overseen by Winger supplied technicians the first batch of cars were ready for the start of the 2007/2008 summer motor race season.
Burborough touched on some of the highlights, that has seen a total of 21 cars constructed to race in the series: “We’ve had some great drivers that have gone on to be in the V8 SuperTourers series – like Richard Moore, Angus Fogg, Simon Evans, Mark Gibson, and last year Will Bamber.
“The Australians saw we were doing a good job – sending a guy over with a car to race with us. He went back; they built a whole lot more and now have their own series over there.
“Hamilton street race was another highlight – Winger’s hometown so was something extra special. When the cars came round on the final lap of the final race they they’d spread four wide as a racing salute – bringing the crowd to a standing ovation. That’s something we’d never seen before and was a pretty awesome result for the brand and category seeing nose to tail hard racing inside the concrete lined jungle gym track.”
Burborough concludes with a string of accolades for those that have been part of the series success:
“I’m eternally grateful to the Winger directors: Wayne Leach Grant Vincent, to allow me to be a part of this. The time away working on the class has been good for our business of selling new Suzuki cars – that I could quantify the results meant I could get that time to do what we have.
“Also Suzukis Darren Stevens was a big part of it. While he no longer works there – the start of the series was his first ever visit to a motorsport event and it’s fair to say he was hooked and never missed a round while he continued to work there. Rob Ryan is another, from Palmerston North. He’s helped engineer and run the scholarship car and would always be available to work through the issues that arose from running a one-make series. Plus too Chris Pelletier, who works with me at Winger and looks after the parts that's kept the cars in pristine condition after they've been rubbing on the race track. And Aaron Thornton, who as series scrutineer has taken care of all the tricky technical aspects at keeping a one-make series fair for all."
Following the conclusion of the 2013 at Pukekohe on 1 December a programme for 2014 has yet to be decided.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time with the series and now I hope it continues,” concluded Burborough.