Wellington’s only V8 SuperTourer team – M2 Motorsport – will be ready to go at the forthcoming Father’s Day 400 at Taupo and number one driver Simon McLennan is revved up and prepared to take on the country’s very best drivers in the endurance rounds of the category’s first full season.
The build of the Holden Commodore V8 SuperTourer car – at the barn next to the family home – is progressing well under the guidance of father Colin McLennan and the team is also well advanced in terms of extending the M2 Motorsport team originally set up to run cars in the BMW Mini Challenge. Several mechanics from the team’s time during its Porsche campaigns will be retained, and there are also new recruits coming on board.
McLennan is an acknowledged top performer in the globally-used GT3 Porsche 996 and 997 Cup cars and in a recent trip to Mount Panorama in Scott O’Donnell’s 997 GT3 Cup car finished fifth overall and second in GTB, beaten only by Steve Johnson, Steve Richards and Nathan Tinkler.
He also won the Pukekohe 6 Hour race in the 996 GT3 Cup car with Craig Innes and has competed in two Bathurst 12 Hour events.
He hopes to be able to transfer many of the skills he has learned in endurance racing and the Porsche series into the V8 SuperTourer car but acknowledges the challenge of joining the championship with the majority of the teams already established and fine tuning set-ups is a significant one.
“I hope the Porsche experiences do help though I have never driven a V8 and never driven a race car that’s a right hand drive either,” said Simon. “So if there are similarities I will be holding on to them tightly and anything that I can transfer from the Porsche to the V8ST will be helpful. However, I am prepared to learn as much as I need to and I know there will be plenty to learn.
“Having said that I do enjoy longer style races so will be happy whether that is longer sprint distances or endurance events. I find the endurance events really bring the team together and I think that is important in racing.
“The sprint races in V8ST are a step up in race length from what I am used to so I am looking forward to that too. Honestly, I am just very excited to join the series in the endurance rounds and we are quietly confident we can make our mark. Both the team and I are more pumped than we have ever been prior to joining a racing series and we’re just itching to get out there and be part of it all.”