Tauranga’s Robert Wallace will campaign a Class Two Ford Falcon in the upcoming BNT NZ Touring Cars season.
Having made his debut in the championship earlier in the year, competing at Pukekohe in April, 39-year old Wallace has purchased the Class Two Ford Falcon formerly owned by Autotek’s Peter Cunliffe, the car previously raced in past seasons by Hugh Gardiner, Sam Barry and Jamie Gaskin.
Looking ahead to the start of the new season, Wallace has revealed he was a late starter into motorsport actually starting in drag racing before realising his love for circuit racing.
“I didn’t really have the opportunity to get into racing when I was younger due to financial constraints, but about 10 years ago I decided to build a drag car and did that sport for a couple of years but it was a thrill that was all over in 11 seconds,” says Wallace.
“I bought a cheap manual VT Holden Commodore about 5 years ago and my brother told me to go do a Intermarque sprint at Manfeild with him and that was where my passion for circuit racing started.”
Wallace then upgraded to a 02 HSV R8 Maloo Ute, upping the horsepower and brakes and did track days and some more Intermarque sprints.
“I got told by one of the guys that I needed a proper race car as I was getting damn quick in a Ute with no cage. So I bought the ex Rayglass Ford Falcon of Dale Williams, which was the car I raced at Pukekohe in April.”
Looking to run in all rounds of the championship this season, Wallace says he was pleased with his debut back in April.
“The white Ford went well as I had never been to Pukekohe and the second race was my first wet race ever and managed to keep it off the walls and beat a couple of the other competitors. So I was very happy with the weekend, and the BNT NZ Touring Car organizers and drivers were so helpful, it was just awesome.”
Upgrading to the newer and more modern Class Two car, at a recent Hampton Downs test day Wallace managed a respectable 01.13.00 on old tyres and at a track he had never driven before.
“My aim in the new season of the NZ touring cars is to first and foremost have some fun, but I will be after some podiums and I will be going for the overall win like every one there I’d say.”
“I still have a lot to learn but I hope I can keep these young guys and girls honest. I will be aiming to do all the rounds so hopefully with a bit of luck, it will all come together. If the season goes well in the Class Two I’m aiming to step up to a Class One V8 SuperTourer next.”