Following her breakthrough race win at round two of the BNT V8s at Taupo last month, Chelsea Herbert says the history making achievement in being the first female to win a New Zealand Touring Car race will give her a boost ahead of round three at Ruapuna this weekend.
“My first win in the BNT V8 Championship will be one that will stick with me for a long time. Making New Zealand history is such an awesome feeling which I hope to see a lot more of in the near future,” says Herbert.
“It’s given the whole MTF team a boost knowing that we have a winning package between car, driver and mechanics. Our goal is to be consistent this season and focus on those top three results.”
Herbert currently sits in third place in the class two championship, 111 points behind leader and reigning champion Liam MacDonald of Invercargill.
With her first win under her belt, the 19-year old Aucklander says for her and her team it is now about trying to continue that winning momentum and mindful not to incur any more DNF’s, with one already to her name this season already.
“Naturally the result at Taupo puts us in a good space mentally however a win only lasts until the next race. It’s important for us to start winning a few more races however we are already carrying one DNF with us so it is crucial that we don’t incur another throughout these final four rounds.”
This weekend will mark Herbert’s third trip to the Ruapuna circuit, having debuted there last year with recent experience at the track to be crucial for the all important qualifying session on Saturday.
“I’m feeling slightly more confident heading to Ruapuna this year compared to last season as I had never driven the V8 around that circuit. I’ve raced the Aston Martin in the 3 hour South Island Endurance Series a few months back so it will be a lot fresher in my mind which will help us get on the pace a lot quicker, which is fortunate as all we have is one practice session to get the car right for qualifying.
“The main front straight is quite long so it’s going to be really important to get a good exit off the final turn to help the momentum of the car for the run down the straight.”
Drivers faced hot conditions at Ruapuna last season, and this weekend temperatures expected to hot once again, Herbert saying it is important to keep her fitness up.
“The heat in Christchurch last year was a real shock having never raced in those extremely heated conditions previously so I’m more prepared and knowing what to expect this time around. Fitness and hydration is going to be crucial at Ruapuna.
“Over the Xmas break I’ve spent a lot of time running around at the beach and made sure I’ve kept up my training so I haven’t lost too much fitness. My training won’t stop when I hop on the plane to fly down on Wednesday, I will be continuing to train whilst I’m down in Christchurch and the week in between when we head to Teretonga.”