Driv­ers com­pete on track

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Speed­ster An­drew Waite is feel­ing con­fi­dent go­ing into this week­end’s TR Group 250 meet­ing for the BNT V8 Su­perTour­ers be­cause he has been get­ting so much track time over the past few months.

The Pt Che­va­lier res­i­dent has been rac­ing a Toy­ota TR 86 coupe and work­ing at the new High­lands track in Cen­tral Otago.

‘‘I’m work­ing at High­lands as their res­i­dent pro­fes­sional driver, with driver train­ing and hot laps,’’ the 24-year-old says. ‘‘I’ve been driv­ing all sorts of ex­otic cars – Lam­borgh­ini, Porsche, As­ton Martin, you name it re­ally.

‘‘I’m def­i­nitely con­fi­dent go­ing into Pukekohe be­cause I’ve done quite a few miles lately.’’

Waite con­tested four rounds of the cham­pi­onship last year but this is his first 2014 out­ing in the BNT V8 Su­perTour­ers.

He drives for the Tas­man team run by Steve Horne, who has run Indy­car and Indy Lights teams with suc­cess in the United States.

‘‘We had the pace in the en­durance races last year and the car’s had a full goin­gover for this sea­son; it’s pretty much a brand-new car again so I’ve got all the con­fi­dence I need in the team,’’ Waite says.

He used to work as a DJ but gave it up to fo­cus 100 per cent on his rac­ing.

The driv­ers all know that beat­ing reign­ing cham­pion Greg Mur­phy this week­end is a very big ask.

Mur­phy has won all six races this sea­son and his Su­per­car suc­cesses at Pukekohe have earned the track the nick­name ‘‘Murph’s Turf’’.

Mur­phy, now liv­ing back in Hawke’s Bay, en­joys fast tracks like Pukekohe, as his four vic­to­ries in the Bathurst 1000km clas­sic at­test.

His strong­est com­pe­ti­tion is likely to come from Auck­lan­ders An­dre Heim­gart­ner and Si­mon Evans, both in Hold­ens, and Hamil­ton Ford driver Ant Ped­er­sen, who came so close to win­ning the cham­pi­onship last year.

Only bad luck stopped Evans from beat­ing Mur­phy at Man­feild and Heim­gart­ner, sec­ond in the cham­pi­onship, is ben­e­fit­ing from a new pol­icy of re­duc­ing risk in or­der to gain cham­pi­onship points with con­sis­tent high fin­ishes.

Fif­teen of the 550hp V8s are en­tered, with qual­i­fy­ing on Satur­day and all three races on Sun­day.


Feel­ing con­fi­dent:

An­drew Waite leads An­dre Heim­gart­ner dur­ing V8 Su­perTourer ac­tion.

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