Arrow Races Pukekohe 19th & 20th February 2011

3 03 2011

Hooray¬† ūüôā¬† We are back at the old Turbo’s favourite track and on our ‘normal’ size tyres… ¬†ūüôā¬† and the old girl feels as good as it ever did.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† :o)

I only managed to qualify 2nd to Bruce Manon’s Escort, but that was OK. We were both lapping¬†in the 1.05’s which is the ‘break out’ time for the Arrows Class at Pukekohe, so we were both pretty much on the ball.

I won the drag start to the first corner and managed to hold Bruce off for the first half of the race, but he was all over my back bumper for the last couple of laps. Luckily the back markers worked to my advantage for the last lap, as the old Turbo developed a misfire… I managed to win by half a car length..¬† whew… then discovered that the fuel gauge has gone on the blink… and I finished almost out of gas…!! Luck was with me to notch up win number 152 for the ‘Ivory Beast’

Sunday’s races were both handicap events, and I was well off the back of the grid…¬† 5 seconds behind Bruce’s Escort!! But as we have shown, the Porsche gets off the mark so well that I think we could have made up a lot of time on the first lap BUT that was not to be.. I took off so quickly that the newly fitted fan belt spun, then disintegrated!! So that was that, for race one.. a DNF. (lucky I saw the ignition light come on so I slowed before the engine melted).

After a couple of hours hard and hot work refitting the old (Hampton Downs) fan belt, I was able to take my place for the last Arrows handicap race, at the back of the field, this time along side Bruce Manon’s Escort. I took off more gently to save the fan belt, but still managed to lead Bruce’s Escort as we fought our way through all the traffic for 8 laps. The traffic was kind to me and I took the lead towards the end of the last lap to notch up win¬† number 153.¬†¬† WoW…¬† another great day for the ‘Ivory Beast from Bahrain’.

NZ Festival of Motor Racing, 28/29/30 January

31 01 2011

What a great Weekend of Motor Racing celebrating Chris Amon¬† ūüôā¬† We started with a wet qualifying on Friday 28th. The wet track suited my old Turbo and we qualified on pole position by more than a second, ahead of Neil Tolich’s¬†Capri¬†and Stuart Eyre’s Mazda RX3.¬†Mike Delmont had trouble getting all his horsepower down to the track and qualified 15th. Sadly Bruce Manon had suffered gearbox problems and was off home to rebuild it for tomorrow. He would start from the back of the grid.

I figured that if I got a good run in our first race on Saturday (now on a dry track) I could beat Mike Delmont’s¬†big horsepower BMW2002¬†Turbo. I knew he was a second a lap faster than me, but with only 8 laps I thought he would be held up in the traffic. All was going to plan as I held a slight lead over Neil’s Capri, and a good lead over Mike’s BMW, but then¬†with 3 laps to go, the Safety car was put out when Mike Sexton got stuck in the sand at turn 8. This closed the field right up of course and I could see Mike Delmont¬†and Bruce Manon (with gearbox fixed) right behind Neil’s Capri. At the restart I tried to sprint as fast as I could but the Safety car had given Delmont the Christmas present of his dreams…. I managed to hold him off until the final sprint up the hill to the finish line, but he powered, wheelspinningÔĽŅ past¬†at top speed, to beat me by .160 sec.

This set the trend for the Weekend as I had no answer (with 420hp)¬†to his 800+hp, especially while my car is running on the required¬†narrow tyres. Saturday’s second race was much of the same. I could easily win the start and lead for a few laps until my tyres overheated and then it was more of an ice skating display as I tried to hold off the following pack. This time Bruce’s car stopped with an electrical fault, so it was Neil Tolich chasing me across the line for 3rd place.

Sunday dawned¬†dry and warm so I knew I was to have more trouble trying to control the Porsche on overheating tyres. I started 4th on the grid, won the drag to the first corner yet again and lead for a lap or two before suffering the usual frying of the tyres. This time I seemed to have less grip than before and I slowly got caught and passed by the BMW, Manon’s Escort,¬†Neil’s Capri and then Mike Sexton driving his¬†Mk1¬†Escort really well. We (Neil Tolich, Mike Sexton and myself) really enjoyed some fantastic passing and re-passing, slipping and sliding all over the place for the last half of the race. I tried to repass them both¬†on the run up¬†the hill to the finish but the tyres just spun so I finished 5th, behind Delmont, Manon, Sexton & Tolich, but at least the engine, gearbox and new clutch stood up to the terrible thrashing I was dishing out to the poor old girl.

Our last race saw me in 2nd place on the grid (I had managed one fast lap between all the ice-scating¬†laps…)¬† I won the start again, as the Porsche has good initial grip with it’s engine¬†over the back wheels. Neil Tolich¬†got a good start too and chased me for the first lap, which held Mike’s BMW back for a while. Gradually Mike, then Bruce Manon got past Neil and set out after me. I really drove the wheels off the poor old Porsche for the entire 8 laps (using high revs and watching the temperature climbing) and finished quite close to Mike’s BMW, with Manon’s Escort and Tolich’s Capri close behind.

So the weekend finished with all the cars nice and straight. Good close racing, sometimes only inches apart but no touching, showed that all the drivers respect each other’s cars.

I am now really looking forward to racing it on¬†the factory size tyres again, to remind me that it is not normally a bad handling car…….¬† I think we can close the gap to the very powerful BMW but it is always going to be hard to beat.¬† Luckily we thrive on a challenge…..

NZ Festival of Motor Racing, 22nd January

26 01 2011

What a Weekend ! ! This was my first time out in my trusty old Ivory Beast, 930 Turbo since last February, when we had all that trouble with the clutch…

The new clutch is fantastic, but I did have trouble on the narrower tyres, trying to¬†stay with the faster cars. We had to fit the front tyres onto the rear to suit the Series rules, and this seems to have cost me approximately 2 seconds a lap, and made it a real handful to drive as it slides at the first hint of a corner…

Bruce Manon’s Escort and Mike Delmont’s BMW 2002 (with huge horsepower)¬†were clearly quicker in practice and qualifying, so I had to settle for 3rd on the grid.

I managed to win the start and sprint to¬†the lead into the first ‘Turn One’¬† BUT… there I went from “hero to zero”.¬†The tyres were just not up to the task as I gave the car a flick to give Bruce Manon some racing room, causing me to touch the grass at the exit of the corner. Wet grass is not good traction for a fast Porsche so I gave the Armco¬†a full-on headbut, dropping to the back of the field. Amazingly I was able to continue around to the pits where a quick inspection showed very little damage and I was soon back out to finish the race, just 1 lap down on the winners.

After adding a bit of race tape to fill some gaps I was back out for the second race as the heavens opened and saturated the track. Mike Delmont¬†decided to park his BMW, as did several others, but the rest of us faced the starter. This time I started a lot more gently and followed Bruce Manon’s Escort around for a few laps to warm my tyres before I started to attack his lead. Neil Tolich¬†in his Ford Perana¬†Capri chased me hard and kept me on my toes as we¬†were all¬†slipping and sliding away around the track. I found the only place I was quicker than Bruce was on the front straight where I think my 1350kg¬†of weight helped my traction. At over 200km/hr the Escort (at 1000kg) seemed to have less traction than my car so then I could gain on him as he wheelspun all over the track in beautiful Rally style slides. I figured I could only have a go at Bruce on the last lap, as he was quicker than me all around the rest of the track, so I was sure¬†he would re-pass me if I made my move too soon.

And so it was, that on the final run up the hill to the finish line I stayed following in Bruce’s tyre tread marks to gain as much traction as possible, then moved out of the spray to blast to the line. Bruce saw my move but because he was suffering from so much wheelspin he couldn’t get the necessary traction to hold me off so I managed the win by a mere .369 of a second.

Very close, but a win is a win and I’ll take them whenever¬†I can…¬† ¬†:o)¬† ¬†so that has broken our drought at last, and¬†taken the old Turbo’s tally to 151 race wins.

The Sunday races were cancelled because of the really heavy rain, so we are hoping for better conditions for this next weekend.¬† The forecast is not looking too bright but they have been wrong before…¬† fingers crossed.

I think at Hampton Downs the lighter more nimble cars seem to¬†have an advantage over my Porsche, whereas at Pukekohe¬†I could make up on the straights what I would lose on the corners. This disadvantage is more ÔĽŅnoticeable on the narrower tyres, because¬†I can get away with a lot more on the factory tyres.

I don’t think I can make up for the large power advantage that Mike Delmont enjoys in his BMW, but I will certainly try to make him work for his victories.

Roll on 29/30th January, the NZ Festival of Motor Racing celebrating Chris Amon.

For those of you that didn’t make it to the track, “Come on out” this weekend. There is an incredible selection of fantastic racing cars with driving to match.¬† Just as an example, Ken Smith is racing 4 different cars ! !

More on the Dunlop Targa 2010

18 11 2010

WELL…..¬†¬† What a Blast…¬†¬† What a week…¬†¬† What a Car…¬†¬† What wonderful people…¬†¬† What¬†Fantastic Scenery…¬†¬† What Great Roads we have in NZ…¬†¬† I could go on and on…¬† (I know.. some say that’s what I do best ! )¬†

This Dunlop Targa¬†is an event that should be put into every petrol-head’s diary ! !

From the time I collected the Near New Porsche Cayman ‘S’ from Greg Clarke, at E.M.L. (European Motors Ltd) until I delivered it UNSCATHED to Armstrong Prestige in Wellington, I knew that I had a very special sports car under my right foot…¬†¬† This Porsche has the most amazing handling I have ever experienced in a road car. With Porsche PSM (Porsche Stability Management) ABS and the mid-engine chassis, this car can get you out of ‘tight spots’ that would see most other cars off the road and into a paddock !¬† As I got more used to it I was able to explore the limits a bit more, here and there, and all the while sharing these experiences with 16 different Dignitaries along the way.¬† Every one of them, Men and Women, Mayors, Deputy Mayors, District Councilors, CEOs, City ÔĽŅCouncilors, all seemed astounded at the car’s capabilities, and performance.

We sure did have loads of fun. One of the high-lights was leading, then chasing Shane van Gisbergen in his new Ford Falcon XR6 around the track at Manfeild.

ÔĽŅÔĽŅThe Porsche Cayman S ran flawlessly all week. All it needed was petrol each day. I didn’t have to lift the bonnet (luckily, because the engine is hiding somewhere in the middle !) and the only wear and tear was to the¬†brakes and tyres (which did a truly fabulous job of stopping the car and keeping it on the road).

Thanks again, must go to Peter Martin and his whole crew, for putting together this magnificent event, and to Richard Giltrap and Greg Clarke at E.M.L. for supplying the car, and to Porsche for building such an Awesome fun-to-drive road car.

Bring on the next one….¬†¬†¬† ūüôā¬†¬† ūüôā

Kids in Cars K.I.C.

18 11 2010

Sorry this has taken so long to update…

We had a fantastic day on “Bathurst in the Park” day at Pukekohe 10th October 2010.

I am so happy and proud to be invited each year to be a part of this wondeful and very worthwhile event.

We are all about raising money and awareness for Kids, and families of ¬†‘Kids with Cancer’.

I was fortunate to be allowed to drive¬†the fabulous bright red Commodore GTS¬†of Pete & Donna Kerr… ALL DAY¬† ūüėģ¬†¬†¬†¬† What a fun way to make kids (and older kids) all Happy

A BIG Thank you to Brian Service as well, for bringing along the HUGE TV screen for us to watch the Bathurst Race at the same time.

I think everybody involved in this very ‘sharing and giving’ day deserve a big pat on the back.

Well Done…………..¬†¬†¬†¬† ūüôā¬† ūüėģ¬† ūüôā¬† ūüėģ

2010 Dunlop Targa NZ

26 10 2010
Ray is thrilled and honoured to have been asked to take an official role in the 2010 Targa.  He will drive the 003 Promotional Vehicle.
Targa introduced the 003, 002 & 001 promotional cars last year and not only did they prove to be very successful, they also help to keep the special stages secure prior to the competition vehicles.   This year, 003 is a Porsche Cayman S that has been supplied by Porsche New Zealand . Thanks must go to Richard Giltrap and his team for providing this car. 

¬†Ray’s role is to pick up the various dignitaries¬†from the local regions and give them a taste of what the Dunlop Targa event is all about.





Manfeild 1st Round of Bridgestone Porsche Series

5 10 2010

I was invited to join the support team by the Dempsey Wood drivers, Jeff Lowrey and Conal Dempsey.

What an enjoyable weekend we had. As Team Mentor I helped with setting up both the Porsche 911’s suspension, then settled in to the passenger seat of each car on Friday’s testing, to assist with racing lines around the tricky and demanding Manfeild¬†circuit. The results were better than we had expected with Jeff¬†finishing with¬†a 2nd and two 3rd places in class.¬† Conal¬†managed an impressive¬†2nd and two 1st places in the Bridgestone¬†Races, but even more ‘Icing on the Cake’ was his 1st¬†across the line¬†in the GT2¬†race. This was especially rewarding for the team, because the GT3s¬†had previously been unbeatable at the Manfeild circuit.

Conal¬†has really come to grips with his 911 fitted with twin turbo engine, lapping Manfeild¬†at 1.12.6 in the GT2/GTNZ¬†races, on slick tyres. The engine is now putting out 530hp¬†for the GT2¬†class, but for the Bridgestone¬†Porsche Races, Peter Booth has to add penalty weight, fit exhaust restrictors, and change the engine management map to lower the power to just 409hp. Even though Ian Hayr’s¬†GT3¬†put in quicker lap times in the 1.15s, to Conal’s¬†1.16s, the racing was very, very close, as the Turbo’s torque worked well on the tight track. Several spectators were heard to comment that the racing between these two cars was the best racing of the weekend, with them often circulating side by side through many corners and never more than a few meters apart,¬†but not touching.¬†Great spectacle and very good for the Race Series.

Roll on the next Bridgestone Porsche Series round at Taupo 23/24 October 2010.