Most Prowear NZ Superlap competitors have driven Hampton Downs Motorsport Park more than they can count, however when it was announced that round three of the 2015 series would be at Pukekohe Park Raceway, held December 12–13, everyone got a little excited.
With lap times almost parallel with Hampton, you’d think the circuits would be similar, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Pukekohe is a very fast circuit, with less curves and undulations than Hampton, but with much longer straightaways. For those with big horsepower, or the ability to carry speed into turn one, and through turn three, times were competitive.
With more than 30 drivers signed up to take part, it was always going to be a good one. Pro drifter Cam Vernon, decided to turn up in his wife's RB29DET-powered Nissan Skyline R32 GTS-T.
Certain to be a potent combination, Cam managed to pull together a very low 1:16.132 lap, right behind Hans Ruiterman, in his 500kW-plus Mitsubishi Evo grocery getter.
Hans’s usual Superlap vehicle, the Nissan Silvia, is currently undergoing an engine rebuild at his workshop, E&H Motors, just across the road from Pukekohe Park Raceway.
Instead, he chose to run his road car, a very capable 10-second machine with over 500kW at the wheels.
With stock brakes and road tyres, Hans manhandled the Evo to a 1:15.072 lap taking out Street in the all-wheel drive category, and outright Street win.
Emil Roshan’s 430kW-at-the-wheels Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R is always an entertaining watch. With full interior, no roll cage, and road tyres, Emil managed to punch out an impressive 1:18.876.He has plans to upgrade a few suspension components before the next round, so lap times will no doubt continue to tumble.
Once again, Garth Walden and the team did an excellent job piloting the 666 Mitsubishi Evo, and finished off the weekend with a very fast 1.06.217, to take out Pro Open, and the overall win.
Although the Evo does suffer its fair share of problems, when it is going it’s a complete animal and will continue to dominate the series.
Scott Kreyl was really hoping for a low 1:03, but we’ll just have to wait until next time.
Although Leon Scott managed to take out the overall win last round, there was just no match for the 666 Evo this time around.
Leon’s Evo is sporting a new front aero package, which is infact the old aero package of the 666 car.
He was only present on Saturday, and drove the Leon Scott Motorsport Evo to a very fast 1:13.329
Unfortunately, Joe Ardagh’s mighty reliable Honda Civic EG bit the dust this weekend. After noticing a drop in power during one of the sessions, Joe pressed on, only for the engine to starve of oil, resulting in a decent-sized hole in the block.
Thankfully, non-VTEC motors are fairly affordable, so hopefully we’ll see him out next round, as his driving improves each time. Joe drove the Civic to a best time of 1:29.240.
Here’s an image of the moment Joe’s engine went kaboom. Courtesy of my GoPro, which unfortunately, due to a user error, was taking images, not video.
With an RB30 engine, and a large single Garrett GTX3582R turbo, Dion Clerke’s Skyline R32 was a serious piece of kit.
Not your usual-looking street, or drift-spec Skyline, Dion’s example sported a very tasteful race car appearance, with Work Wheels, full slicks, and roll cage.
A frequent NZGT driver, Dion was fast, running a best time of 1:13.192 in Pro Open. I’m hoping we get to see more of this driver and his R32, as it certainly reminded me of the Group A Skylines of the early ’90s.
Kat Benson proved her might once again in her Mitsubishi Evo. Kat’s Evo is hands down one of the best-presented vehicles in the series, and she can pedal the thing, too.
All weekend, she battled with Cam Vernon and Hans Ruiterman — which no doubt forced lap times to drop.
For Ian Clegg, it was the first time he’d taken his R35 GT-R out onto a circuit, but you wouldn’t think so with the lap times he was posting.
Ian managed a 1:12.571 in his lightly tickled R35. It just goes to show how competitive the package is from the factory, and with the addition of a few select upgrades such as he was running.
Special mention has to go to Barry Manon. His front-wheel drive Levin continues to amaze. This time around, consistent 1:10's were on the cards.
Once we have all the results through for this round, we’ll post them up. But for now here’s an epic image gallery.