It’ll be a new car and a new number for Rob Wallace when he makes the progression into class one of the BNT V8s Championship this season.
In the off season, Wallace purchased the ex Greg Murphy V8 Super Tourer and now plans on running the car in the top tier of the New Zealand V8 Championship – with the famous #51 still on the door.
“The car clearly has a lot of heritage – I actually still can’t quite believe that we have one of Greg Murphy’s cars, and he said we can keep #51 on the door, which we wanted to do to help in keeping with the history of the car,” said Wallace.
Having campaigned a Ford Falcon in class two of the BNT V8s, Wallace said that class one is where he wants to be.
“A number of drivers are making that step up into class one, so that’s where I want to be. The field is growing in class one and I want to be part of that.”
The #51 Holden Commodore has a rich heritage, campaigned by Greg Murphy and winning two V8 SuperTourer Championships along the way in 2013 and 2014 and with limited testing, Wallace says he has lots to learn to extract the best speed out of the car.
“Its immensely different to the class two car. The amount of speed the car has, and the braking is just so much different and it’s so responsive on the turn into corners. It’s an awesome car to drive.
“The car is a lot more driver friendly than what I expected. But there are a lot of small things I’m needing to adjust to such as not using the clutch on up shifts, and getting the right amount of brake pressure on to get it to stop.
“This season is going to be all about learning.
As part of the deal of purchasing the car and spares package, Wallace will have a one on one track day with Murphy to help him not only get the best out of the car, but also himself.
“A day at the track with Murph was part of the deal with buying the car, and I think some driver training from him will be hugely beneficial to me. I still have a lot to learn.
With rounds one and two being held at the notoriously fast Pukekohe circuit, Wallace said it will be a cautious approach.
“Pukekohe can be bit of a scary place at times, so it will be baby steps for us and slowly getting ourselves up to speed.”
The BNT V8s Championship has six rounds starting at Pukekohe, November 2-4 and finishing at Hampton Downs in March.