The Prowear NZ Superlap series, sponsored by Prowear and Replay XD, has come to a close. Round six at Hampton Downs Raceway was the final showdown, and competitors battled it out for the last available series points. With Garth Walden and the Team RevolutioNZ Hell Evo absent, and already holding the winning trophy, it really was anybody’s game for second and third — both Hans Ruiterman and Tony Satherley would fight it out for top honours.
Stepping up to the top of the Pro class was race-car builder by day, race-car driver by night Hans Ruiterman of E&H Motors in Pukekohe. Hans is no newcomer to circuit racing, having built the Nissan Silvia a few years ago for such duties.
In Superlap trim, the SR20 boasts just over 400kW (down from the high-boost 500kW-plus tune), which dramatically reduces maintenance-related costs, potential mechanical failures, and traction problems with the limited aero. Hans dominated Pro class throughout the weekend, frequenting in the 1:08 barrier, but finished the shootout with a 1:09.622, which was enough to win the round overall. Hans Ruiterman placed third for the season in Pro Open.
Barry Manon of MRP Performance, in his turbocharged AE92 Levin, has definitely been one to watch recently. His 10-second-capable Levin fought very hard on Saturday, with Barry laying down a very quick 1:10.703. Although the Levin is front-wheel drive, it struggled to get heat into the tyres, sending him off the circuit on Saturday.
Colin Abah in my mind has been the most impressive driver this season. Piloting the JTune Engineering Honda S2000 AP1 consistently every round, he finished off with a bang at the finale. We’ve featured the S2000 plenty of times in previous articles because of Colin’s talent behind the wheel, but this time it’s the S2000 that gets the attention.
Wanting to secure his position in the Street class, Colin decided to install an HKS supercharger kit to get a bit more out of the F-series engine. With peak power now up around 220kW, Colin managed a best time of 1:13.427, which although is very impressive, isn’t as fast as he’d like to be. Colin placed second overall in the Street class and first for this round.
Leon Scott had a great day of racing on Saturday, only for it to fall through on Sunday with an engine misfire, which ended his weekend. Leon’s Evo is a pro-spec build, made purely for time-attack tasks. Featuring a 2300cc 4G63 engine with a Holset HX40R, it produces 450kW (603hp) at the wheels and was enough to get Leon a 1:10.962. Keep in mind, Leon's Evo is the only car to run semi-slicks in Pro Open and has placed in the top three all season. Leon assures us, he is ready to come back stronger for next season after placing fourth overall.
Craig Benton has one very serious Subaru WRX GC8, which he piloted in Pro Open and snatched second place.
After running a set of tyres down to the canvas, Craig was forced to switch to a very old set of slicks for Sunday and actually managed a new personal best on them, which now sits at 1:14.702 for the circuit. Craig finished second overall for the season, only topped by Garth Walden — an impressive feat.
Karl Patterson from Team RevolutioNZ has been without a doubt the most consistent driver of the season and even managed to score the most points overall.
Karl drove the Evo faultlessly in the Pro Street class and managed a best time of 1:13.148
Drag-racing regular, and owner of JRCOZY, Carl Robertson made an appearance at round six and surprised all of those who thought it was just your regular 1995 Ford Laser. Carl perfected his lines throughout the weekend and secured a very impressive 1:18.145 — not bad for a drag vehicle.
Definitely one of the most well-presented race cars out on track belongs to Kat Benson, who pilots the BurgerFuel Mitsubishi Evo. Kat has been improving all season with times dropping continuously — the most noticeable improvements coming from Kat’s renewed confidence at Hampton Downs Raceway after suffering a brake failure coming into turn one at well over 200kmh at a previous event.
However, after working with her crew to overcome that fear, she has really made a huge improvement, laying down consistent 1:15s all weekend, with a best time of 1:15.460. Kat plans to attend as many track days in the off-season as she can, in preparation for next year along with an upgrade to E85 fuel for a bit more power.
Kat had hoped to get her times into the 1:13s, but it wasn’t to be after a string of mechanical failures. She placed second overall in the Pro Street class — with 382 points — proving consistency is key.
For many, there will be some serious changes in the off-season so to keep updated, check back here at themotorhood.com. Let us know your favourite car of the series in the comments below and enjoy the gallery.