Car set up will be key as the BNT NZ Touring Car Championship heads to Teretonga this weekend for round four.
Last weekend drivers faced hot conditions at Ruapuna near Christchurch, but with bad weather currently lashing the lower South Island, the V8 field could catch the tail end of the weather pattern.
Defending champion, and current points leader Simon Evans in his Smeg Racing Holden Commodore, holds a 151 point lead over Tom Alexander in his Holden Commodore, with Sam Barry driving a Toyota Camry a further 51 points back in third place.
Evans says that if like last year the field faces wet conditions, car set-up will be key and the teams and drivers who get a handle on their cars the quickest will benefit on track.
“The nice thing about Teretonga is that it’s not a bad track to race on in the wet. The track itself doesn’t flood and hold a lot of water,” says Evans.
“For ourselves, we raced here last year in the wet, so we have a lot of the set-up information already for a wet track, so we’ll be able to hit the ground running on Saturday and fine tune it even more.”
Local driver Jamie Conroy has had an up and down season in what is his first year in class two of the championship, and sits in third place, 231 points behind fellow Southlander Liam Macdonald who leads.
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend on our home track. It’s great to be able get our supportive local sponsors in amongst the action and Teretonga always turns out a massive crowd for us to put on a good show,” says Conroy.
“We’ve fallen behind in points after more bad luck last weekend, so we’ll be giving it 100% this weekend and go for the outright win.”
Conroy says the fast and flowing Teretonga circuit will provide some good racing should the conditions be wet, and drivers will need to be careful.
“It is a good track, but there’s definitely a few tricks to finding more speed in the wet there. There’s good drainage to get the water off the track itself, but it can make for big pooling in the run off areas that can be pretty dangerous too.”
“Having the NZ Super Trucks racing there this weekend may make it interesting for us in the wet if there is some diesel or oil on the track.”
The BNT NZ Touring Cars will race this weekend at Teretonga near Invercargill Jan 21-22.