Brinck And Van Breugel Add Depth
Brinck And Van Breugel Add Depth To Caltex Havoline Challenge
Top ranked New Zealand Touring Car drivers Greg Brinck and Peter Van Breugel will add depth and experience to the Caltex Havoline Racing team's Yellow Pages 500km endurance race challenge this weekend.
Brinck, 45, and Van Breugel, 40, will drive the second Caltex Havoline Racing Ford Falcon AU.
The car is the sister car to the #111 Caltex Havoline Racing Ford Falcon AU to be driven this weekend by motorcycle-turned-touring car racer Aaron Slight and British Touring Car championship front-runner Andy Priaulx.
The Tracer Motorsport-run Caltex Havoline Racing squad is one of the few running two cars this weekend and experienced long distance racer Brinck says that he is surprised there are not more.
"There are some real advantages in running two cars and I think that as this race and as the Enzed New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship evolves you will see more people following our lead."
Brinck and Van Breugel are rated as the dark horses of the 40-strong Yellow Pages 500 field, and both are confident that they will 'be there at the end.'
" In a race like this," says Brinck," it is important to pace yourself. Four hours is a long time in a race car and as anyone in motor racing will tell you, to finish first, first you have to finish."
Like Caltex Havoline Racing teammate Aaron Slight, Brinck got his start in competition on two wheels.
The Wellington-born man was one of country's top motocrossers before he seriously injured his hip in a road accident.
The injury put a stop to his World 250cc MX GP aspirations so he returned home and threw himself into a business career.
Over the years he kept fit by cycling - he remains one of the country's top Masters cyclists - and developed a keen interest in motor racing.
That interest led him to enter the inaugural Nissan Sentra GT Cup series. After proving immediately competitive in the first season he won the New Zealand title in the second, then set his sights on the New Zealand Touring Car Championship.
Over the years he has driven Toyota Coronas in the New Zealand 2 Litre Touring Car Championship and a Holden Commdore in the New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship.
Auckland company director Peter Van Breugel has a similar background, though he got his competition start in rallying.
Seeking a new direction he tried circuit racing and for the past 10 years has been a regular top five finisher in the various (2 litre and V8) New Zealand Touring Car Championships.
The highlight of his career to date was an emotional victory - ironically over Greg Brinck and Aaron Slight - in the 2000 LK DriveSafe 500 km race (the forerunner to the Yellow Pages 500) at Pukekohe.
In that race he and teammate, the late Ashley Stichbury, worked their way through the field to challenge for the lead in the last hour.
Brinck and Slight were in front, but late in the race their Holden Commodore suffered a broken axle.
Stichbury swept past and he and Van Bruegel won the race in their Tracer Motorsport Commodore.
This year's Yellow Pages 500km has attracted a star-studded field and host broadcaster TVNZ expects the Sunday afternoon race to be a ratings winner.
Last year it rated favourably compared to the annual Bathurst 1000 Endurance race and the decision to limit it to Enzed New Zealand V8 Touring Car Championship cars (Ford and Holden V8s) has been widely applauded.
Lining up to challenge Caltex Havoline Ford Falcon AU drivers Slight and Priaulx and Brinck and Van Breugel are former World Touring Car champion and current Australian V8 Supercar championship front-runner Paul Radisich, 2001 New Zealand Grand Prix winner Andy Booth and 2001 New Zealand V8 Touring Car champion Paul Manuell.
Also expected to do well are the Mike Pero Mortgages pairings of Wade Henshaw and Bernie Gillon and Mike Pero/Rick Armstrong.
The Yellow Pages 500km endurance race will be broadcast live on TV1's Shell Helix motorsport show on Sunday October 20.