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Motorsport Team Dominates Event Results

Motorsport Team Dominates Event Results

Offroad racing is a family affair for Carlyle Motorsports

Motor racing team Carlyle Motorsports pulled off a rare achievement in off road racing with two brothers taking out two separate class wins in the recent Peter Howell Memorial event in Maramarua Forest.

True team based racing is a relatively rare phenomenon in off road racing with the majority of racers traditionally competing as single entities. Few teams support more than 1 car, so the Carlyle Motorsport team of 4 vehicles certainly stands out in the off road fraternity.

Better known for their Challenger class buggies of Ash Carlyle, Louis Carlyle and Brad Brown, the Maramarua event revealed a hectic winter development program with Ash Carlyle sporting a re-engineered Cougar 1600cc and Louis Carlyle stepping out of Challenger class and into a 200HP Nissan powered Class 1 car.

The Peter Howell Memorial is traditionally run in the Maramarua forest providing an exciting mix of rally and clay roads. After a disappointingly wet winter that saw many North Island events cancelled, it was a relief to many when the sun finally returned for the running of the 2016 event. With 35 cars facing the starter, the relief turned to concern however as dust quickly became the bogey of the event, thankfully only in patches. Chaos reigned at the start finish corner and organisers quickly imposed a yellow flag section at this point so that lapscorers could see the cars.

From 20th on the grid, Ash Carlyle quickly tore through the field to 3rd place in a masterful display of speed and skill, lapping every other car in his class before the halfway point. Buoyed by his new-found power in a class sporting technology and class rules unchanged from the 1980’s Carlyle’s lap times were on par with the much vaunted UTV cars. One V8 powered driver unable to catch Carlyle was mightily impressed with Ash’s wheelstanding efforts coming off the corners. While there was some controversy to the finish results with the event winner rolling on the first lap, Ash Carlyle was placed 4th overall and first in Challenger class.

Louis Carlyle, stepping into a car that he had never driven and a class that he had never competed in, was mindful of the extra fuel injected power on tap and was intent on taking things quietly. With new co-driver Matt Sparks on board, a spin in the first lap and a stop to fix a broken power steering ram did nothing to settle the nerves, but the younger Carlyle quickly underlined his National Challenger class ranking by out-distancing the other Class 1 cars to take the class win. According to Carlyle, “We quickly discovered that our suspension setup was completely wrong for the conditions but thankfully our Mickey Thompson tires proved perfect for both the hard gravel and soft clay. That gave me the confidence I needed today.”

Off road aficionados could not remember two brothers taking out two separate classes at the same event before, let alone two cars from the same team. The twin wins give the ITM Drury sponsored team confidence for the upcoming summer schedule with Brad Brown yet to return for the Counties Classic series in his Challenger Class car and the teams new American V8 Prolite Stadium Truck due to begin testing in December.


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