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Forceful approach pays off for BNT V8 SuperTourers racer

28 March 2014

Forceful approach pays off for BNT V8 SuperTourers racer

Racing driver Dominic Storey believes a bit of aggression will help him achieve his goal of racing V8 Supercars in Australia.

The 24-year-old from Remuera in Auckland is in his second season in New Zealand’s BNT V8 SuperTourers and achieved seventh placings in two of the three races at Pukekohe last weekend. Now he is looking forward to racing as the main support category to the Supercars back at Pukekohe over Anzac weekend.

Getting the hang of the Kiwi V8s has been taking a little time because his earlier career had been entirely in single-seaters, including the Toyota Racing Series and stints in Europe in categories like Formula 3 and Formula Renault 3.5.

“Last year was the first time I’d driven tintops [touring cars] so it took a little bit to get used to and there’s only seven rounds so there’s not a lot of seat time,” Storey says.

One significant difference is that touring-car racing allows a little contact, whereas disaster often ensues if two single-seaters touch each other.

“I was always quite aggressive in karting, assertive with my moves, and I was quite known for that,” Storey says.

“I have brought that back a little bit with the tintops. In race two on Sunday I started off the back of the grid -- we hadn’t qualified on Saturday due to a fuel-pump issue -- and I got through to seventh.

“People might be saying I made some silly moves but at the end of the day to move up positions you’ve got to go for gaps that are there, you can’t just sit behind people. They were all pretty clean moves and there was nothing that I was pinged [penalised] for.”

Storey’s ambition is to become a co-driver for the Supercar endurance races like the Bathurst 1000km classic, and he sees the BNT V8 Supercars – feature category in the Hankook Super Series – as the ideal pathway.

Traditionally drivers have made it to the Supercars main game through the Dunlop Development Series but Storey points out that the BNT V8 SuperTourers are similar to the current Supercars as both have proper race chassis, whereas the Development Series now caters for the older-technology Supercars. The Supercars are only slightly faster than the Kiwi cars.

“There’s no reason why they can’t take SuperTourers drivers,” Storey says. “I mean, they take drivers from Europe who have never driven on these circuits before.

“At the moment I’m just 100 percent focused on SuperTourers – it’s a fantastic category -- and as soon as I can start winning there and getting podiums regularly, I can look at that option [Supercars] but I’m only 24 and I don’t have to be over there in the next year.

“I am really looking forward to competing at the V8 Supercar meeting in April for a number of reasons. Obviously as a kid standing on Ford Mountain watching Murph [Greg Murphy] win and now being able to compete at the same event against Murph himself it's pretty special even though it's not in a V8 Supercar.

“Also I'm excited from the perspective of a V8 SuperTourers team owner as we can showcase our racing and cars to the V8 Supercar fraternity and actually get a clear comparison of the two cars.”

Storey set up his iSport team last year to run his Ford Falcon and strengthened the engineering side of it recently by recruiting Dennis as chief mechanic. Huijser prepares the car at his workshop in Kelston and helps Storey tune the setup on race days.

“We’re not a long way off now; I think now we’re about three-tenths of a second away [from the fastest drivers].”

When not running his team Storey works as a driving instructor for BMW New Zealand so he gets plenty of track time; the week before the last meeting he did about 800 laps of Hampton Downs.

At the track Storey’s pit is probably the second most popular with the fans. Murphy’s always attracts a good crowd but a steady stream go along to Storey’s because one of his sponsors is Gloria Jean’s Coffees and they usually set up a stand selling the best coffee available at the track. Proceeds go to charity.

Storey has recently signed SGFleet as a new sponsor, joining existing supporters B&F Papers and Image Centre. It all helps build up the team as they aim to advance further up the field.

ENDS

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