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McIntyre back in winning groove at NZV8s

McIntyre back in winning groove at NZV8s

Nelson’s John McIntyre made a successful one-off return to the NZV8 category he and his team won three championship titles in, by emphatically winning the round held at last weekend’s Pukekohe ITM400 V8 Supercar event.

The category’s most successful driver, McIntyre wasted no time on showing his intentions - rocketing to pole position in the JMR #47 Falcon by a margin of 0.8 seconds to his closest competitor.

Driving the same championship winning Falcon used to secure his last title, the Taupo based and prepared car showed it had the goods in the right hands. McIntyre said he was enjoying being back in his old ride and working out how to negotiate the new and slower section of the revamped Pukekohe track.

“The circuit changes took a bit to get used to as our set-up was better suited to the fast corners than the new slow section, but we proved our car is still very quick,” he said.

In the weekend’s opening race, held on Saturday morning, McIntyre was passed early in the race by another former NZV8s campaigner – Andrew Anderson.

After a very close battle the #47 Blackwoods Protector Falcon, McIntyre regained the lead on lap four going into what is now the fastest corner on the track: turn one. McIntyre then eased away, taking a comfortable 4.5 second win.

Now a full-time driver in the V8 SuperTourer series it has been a couple of seasons since McIntyre had experienced a reverse-grid field similar to the top-six swap around experienced on the Sunday morning. Describing the conditions as ‘torrid’, McIntyre passed all but one car by the fifth lap. Following a safety car break that bunched up the field McIntyre was hit at the hairpin. Dropping two positions as McIntyre returned to the racing line he re-passed JMR development driver Mark Gibson but ran out of laps to catch eventual race winner Kevin Williams.

In the third and final race McIntyre experienced his first ever standing start in the category of aged cars – where he leapt from the line. Finishing the 12 lap race with a winning margin of nine seconds McIntyre’s cumulative results rewarded the team with the weekend trophy.

“Winning the first and third races increased my total to 62 in the category in what is likely to be my last time in the car. It’s always nice to win and do so in front of such a big crowd.

“I really enjoyed myself and the car’s performance is a credit to our team in Taupo who prepared it to the exact specification that I raced it at Pukekohe back in 2010. These older TL spec cars have a strong future and I can see plenty of young drivers who are already learning their craft in these cars. Our winning car is now available to lease for the next V8 SuperTourer round in May.

McIntyre’s focus now turns to the V8SuperTourers third round, also to be held at the Pukekohe circuit on May 25-26.

Photo Credit - Geoff Ridder


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