Articles: Concept Corner: Corvette GTP – 96
The Corvette GTP is essentially a Corvette in name only. Built exclusively for the IMSA racing series, only seven were …full story
The Corvette GTP is essentially a Corvette in name only. Built exclusively for the IMSA racing series, only seven were …full story
That’s mental”, “Check out the size of the turbo”, “That’d be a handful”, “Wonder what it’ll run down the strip” are just a few of the comments heard at the unveiling of Robert Morrow’s HSV Clubsport R8 at the recent Jenners Hall of Fame (held at the 4&Rotary Nationals) where it rightfully took out an award for best driveline.
While from the outside the car looks pretty much as per any other first-generation VE R8 out there, it’s what sits under the hood that makes this car something special. And by special, we mean it’s most likely sitting within the top 10 most powerful street cars in the country — ever.
Rod Dunn from Creative Auto Photography (https://www.facebook.com/creativeautophotography55?ref=ts&fref=ts) sent through these shots from the recent Falcon And Fairlane show held in Kaipoi, Canterbury. As well as the indoor show was a cruise, and as you can see, a great range of vehicles was on display.
The 12th NZ Holden Nationals, hosted by the Holden Club of Canterbury took place in Christchurch over Easter weekend, March 29 to 31 2013. The show which took place at Pioneer Stadium, featured the oldest registered Holden in the country, right through to the latest models.
Thanks to Rod Dunn from Creative Auto Photography for the great photos. You can see more of Rod’s work here https://www.facebook.com/creativeautophotography55?fref=ts
Look out for our full event report in our next issue, and more galleries over the next few days. Until then, here’s the official V8 Supercars press release, and some of our favourite images from the event thanks to Christian Hartung from Amore Photography.
V8 Supercars Press Release follows-
The Jason Richards Trophy will head to the trophy cabinet of his team after Jason Bright scorched home in the final race at the ITM 400 Auckland at Pukekohe Park Raceway today.
A tearful Bright, a former teammate of the late Jason Richards, was delighted not only with the win but his overall performance over the weekend earned him the trophy to return to the Brad Jones Racing team based in rural New South Wales.
Strong performances from Ford’s Will Davison, including victory in the first of two 100km races today, earned him the lead in the V8 Supercars Championship, taking over from defending Champion Jamie Whincup.
It gave the beleaguered Ford fans something to cheer about after a slow start to the season.
Bright’s victory also emphasised the remarkable effect of the new cars this year, with four different winners at Pukekohe this weekend featuring teenage Kiwi Scott McLaughlin, Whincup and Will Davison.
The experienced Bright earned the ARMOR ALL pole for the final race, and after slowly hauling in early leader Whincup, he took the lead on lap 11 and from there cleared out.
While the victory was meaningful, it was a special celebration as he hoisted Richards’ daughter Sienna in his arms and hugged wife Charlotte who presented him with the Jason Richards Trophy.
“I got a message from Charlotte during the week passed on from Sienna saying that she wanted to present the trophy to me this weekend – talk about putting the pressure on,” Bright said.
“I think it sums it up. Car 8 wanted to win this race, the whole team wanted to take that trophy back to Albury. I was awake last night thinking about it.
“Yesterday when I got tagged by James Courtney, I think he (Jason Richards) jumped in the car and saved that one for me because there was no way I was going to save that one.
“All I thought about this weekend and all the team thought about was that trophy so it’s very special.”
He even carried the “JR Star” signwritten on his car throughout the weekend.
It marked another strong weekend for Brad Jones Racing, following Fabian Coulthard’s win last weekend in Tasmania with the New Zealander now fifth in the championships, just ahead of Bright.
The third race of the weekend earlier in the day proved a humdinger.
If it was 2-0 in the collision stakes between Whincup and Ford’s Mark Winterbottom based on yesterday’s bash, it is now 2-all after the pair came together twice but the upshot was that both finished at the tail of the field.
It proved a race of drama, with Whincup colliding with Winterbottom on lap 18 allowing Coulthard to slip through into the lead. The Kiwi had to withstand a further Pedders safety car, but he hit the kerb hard on turn three and the resulting loss of speed and flattening tyre allowed Davison and Shane van Gisbergen through.
The race finished on the fourth safety car after Scott McLaughlin, the hero yesterday with the opening win, hit the wall over the ITM Mountain with Davison grabbing his 15th career victory.
It was Ford’s first win at Pukekohe since Marcos Ambrose in 2007.
“It’s a cool stat to break that drought but nine years – we haven’t been here since 07, yeah there is obviously four years in there somewhere where they did it, but I think Muprh may have won all those races, so it’s cool,” Davison said.
“FPR won both races in Hamilton last year. So it hasn’t been all doom and gloom for New Zealand Ford fans. I’m not sure how many cheered me on the hill but hopefully there were a few Ford fans who were pretty relieved, they haven’t seen that here for a while.
He cemented the championship lead that with his fifth placing in the final race to be on 697 points, with Whincup on 681, his Red bull Racing Holden teammate Craig Lowndes third on 591, Holden’s Garth Tander on 553 ahead of Coulthard on 552, Bright on 539 and Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen on 532.
“This time of the year, don’t really want to talk about it (the championship). I found myself in this position last year, three rounds in and everyone is talking about Championship – so much can change so quickly,” Davison said.
“It is definitely encouraging. I expected these first rounds to be a bit tough for us. We don’t have a great handle on the car, but we have dug really really deep at all the moments when it counts and I have been able to have a really clean free run so far, so we will see. I didn’t expect to be leading now so who knows what December will bring – we will certainly be fighting really hard to hold on. ”
McLaughlin’s win, becoming the youngest in V8 Supercars Championship history, was mixed with a non-finish and resulting non-start in the final race to drop him to 10th overall in his rookie season in the main game.
It has cemented three New Zealanders in the top 10 with Coulthard fifth, Shane van Gisbergen seventh and McLaughlin 10th.
The name Trevor Halstead is a familiar one to these pages. Over the years we’ve seen a few of his creations in print. The man doesn’t do things by halves, building almost every aspect of his cars himself, be it panel work, painting, or fabrication; you name it, he’s a metalworking genius.
So a few years back after completing his well known Studebaker delivery (a car that Studebaker never made themselves), he was at a loose end as to what to build next. With no less than five Studes already in the shed, four of which are radically customised, there was never any question as to what make of vehicle it’d be, only a matter of
Motor racing is in the blood for teenage brothers AJ and Brad Lauder – and so is winning.
Heading into the final round of the NZV8s championship at Pukekohe next weekend (April 12-14) AJ, who is 18, and Brad, just 16, stand first and second respectively in the Gold Star championship for the original-specification cars.
That is remarkable but not so surprising when you know the background of the brothers, who are based at Turua near Thames. Their grandfather – and team manager – is Frank Radisich, a top driver in his day, and their uncle is Frank’s son Paul, whose accomplishments include winning two World Cups for touring cars.
“We’ve both done motocross since we were five,” Brad Lauder says. “We’ve always wanted to race – it’s just been in the blood.”
AJ is already a champion, having claimed the 2012 Suzuki Swift Sport Cup. Brad finished seventh in that championship, with a few podium finishes along the way.
Now AJ has a big lead in the NZV8s championship, having finished on the podium in all 12 of his races. Switching from a small, front-wheel-drive car to a big rear-wheel-drive one proved less difficult than expected.
“It took a few runs to get the gist of things,” AJ says. “After following a few people around for a few laps I got on to it pretty fast.”
Advice from the family was a big help. “Paul was a champion at it so you couldn’t go wrong.”
The high-profile Pukekohe V8 Supercar meeting has attracted a big entry of almost 30 NZV8s, including triple champion John McIntyre. “It will be good with a lot of cars around,” AJ says.
Driving is his work and his sport, as he drives trucks for a living. “I enjoy getting around and seeing the country. We’re based by Thames so I get all over the Coromandel and it’s nice seeing it in the morning.”
Sibling rivalry – illustrated by banter in the pits — is always going to be strong when two accomplished brothers compete in the same sport.
“It’s always him trying to get at me, always trying to beat the older brother, but it’s all good fun,” AJ says.
Brad adds: “We don’t do anything silly on the track but I always want to be ahead of him and get the bragging rights.”
He also adjusted quickly when moving from the little Suzuki to the much heavier and more powerful NZV8.
“There’s certainly more power there but it’s been easier than I thought it would be,” Brad says. “They are big old taxis and you have to brake a lot earlier than in a Swift. Granddad and Paul both gave us a lot of tips.”
Their Ford Falcons are painted in identical colours, featuring sponsors Discount City Cars and the Radisich company Aegis Oil, except that AJ’s roof is green and Brad’s is yellow.
Both see touring car racing as the most realistic and cost-effective way of developing a motor-racing career in New Zealand and Australia, and aspire to join V8 Supercars.
Frank Radisich says his grandsons certainly have natural talent.
“And they’ve been brought up on it, that makes the difference,” he says. “They were driving cars round the back yard when they were seven or eight.
“I had my doubts about putting Brad in an NZV8 at 16, but he’s absolutely loving it.
The brothers also play rugby together for the Hauraki North under-19 team. AJ is the number eight, Brad the hooker.
“We won the first game of the season last weekend, 23-10 over Pukekohe,” Brad says. And winning is so important for the Lauder brothers.
Attached photographs of the Lauder brothers are free to use but should be credited to Euan Cameron.
The NZV8s entry list for the Pukekohe V8 Supercar meeting is attached.
MSNZ Race Championship calendar:
Round 1: January 12-13, Teretonga (Invercargill)
Round 2: January 19-20, Timaru
TRS: January 26-27, Taupo
TRS: February 2-3, Hampton Downs
Round 3: February 9-10, Manfeild
Round 4: March 9-10, Taupo
Round 5: April 12-14, Pukekohe (V8 Supercars meeting)
Check back in later for more pics and a full report from the event. Till then, here’s some action from qualifying, along with some info you may not have known about the event
The duo have combined to win nine of the last 14 races at the Tasmanian circuit since 2007 with Whincup scooping eight and Lowndes one.
Whincup has won more championship races at Symmons Plains than any other drivers, his eight race wins moving him clear of Peter Brock and Garth Tander on seven apiece.
2. This year is the 41st time the Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars Championship has visited the Symmons Plains circuit in Tasmania – only Sandown in Melbourne has hosted the ATCC/V8SC on more occasions (43).
The championship first visited Symmons Plains in 1969 and ran every year through to 1999 before returning from 2004 onwards.
Hall of Famer Norm Beechey won the first ATCC race at Symmons Plains in a Holden Monaro GTS 327 in 1969 by just 0.3s over Alan Hamilton’s Porsche 911S.
3. Since the Clipsal 500, Kiwis Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin have racked up their first V8 Supercar race wins – albeit non-championship victories at the showcase event at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.
However, both drivers have contrasting histories at the Symmons Plains circuit.
Coulthard took his only (so far!) V8 Supercars Championship podium finish at the venue back in 2009 and will line up for his sixth appearance on the ‘Apple Isle’ in 2013, while McLaughlin has never seen the 2.4-kilometre circuit – let alone driven on it!
The 19-year-old sits sixth in the V8 Supercars Championship points after a sparkling full-time debut at the Clipsal 500.
4. The new ’60/60′ Super Sprint format will make its debut at Symmons Plains and so too will the double-file rolling restart.
The 60/60 format will be used on Saturday with drivers to race for 25 laps before a half time break.
The cars will line back up in the running order as of the end of the first half in double file for a rolling restart and another 25 laps of racing will follow.
The order across the line at the end of the second half is the finishing order of Race 3 and championship points will be applied to that finishing order.
5. Supercheap Auto Racing’s Russell Ingall will make his 221st Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars Championship event start at Symmons Plains, moving him to second overall on the all-time starts list.
Ingall now moves past Mark Skaife and is second only to Hall of Famer John Bowe on the list.
‘The Enforcer’ won the Symmons Plains round back in 2004 and sits fourth in the V8 Supercars Championship after the Clipsal 500.
The last time Ingall finished fourth or higher in the championship was in his 2005 title-winning season.
6. The tight nature of the Symmons Plains circuit and closeness of the cars generally means the appearance of the Pedders STP Safety Car is highly likely at some stage.
Since the V8 Supercars Championship returned to the circuit in 2004, 69.5% of races have seen the appearance of the Safety Car.
In that time there has not been a year where the Safety Car didn’t appear in at least one of the races over a weekend.
7. Nissan will make its first ATCC/V8SC appearance at Symmons Plains since 1992 at a track that holds great history for the Japanese manufacturer.
George Fury won the 1987 round in a Nissan Skyline DR30 (and also took pole position in 1986), while Jim Richards won in 1991 from pole position aboard the mighty Nissan GT-R.
The best Nissan Altima in the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship is Rick Kelly, who sits 11th in the points after the Clipsal 500.
The 2006 V8 Supercar champion hasn’t had much luck in Tasmania in recent years though – he hasn’t finished in the top 10 in a race there since 2008.
The Tasmanian event was one of his best last year, finishing 17th and 13th in the pair of races.
He currently sits 13th in the V8 Supercars Championship pointscore.
9. Five drivers are making their first start in a V8 Supercar at Symmons Plains this weekend. They are:
- Maro Engel (SP Tools Racing)
- Jonny Reid (Dick Johnson Racing)
- Tim Blanchard (Dick Johnson Racing)
- Scott McLaughlin (Fujitsu Racing/GRM)
- Scott Pye (ekol Racing)
Blanchard and Pye have both raced Formula Fords previously at Symmons Plains – Blanchard finished third in the 2007 round, while Pye finished third in 2009.
10. The Holden Racing Team’s James Courtney is fifth in the V8 Supercars Championship after the Clipsal 500 – and that also remains his best race finishing result at Symmons Plains.
Courtney finished fifth in his very first V8 Supercar race at Symmons Plains in 2006 with Stone Brothers Racing – and in 16 races there since he hasn’t been able to match it!
Last year Courtney finished 18th and 8th in the pair of Symmons Plains races.
He last qualified in the top 10 at the circuit in 2009.