We’ve arrived at the penultimate round of the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, as we head across the ditch to see our friends in New Zealand.
Pukekohe plays host to races 23 and 24 of the championship, with two 200km, 70 lap journeys across the weekend.
After the Gold Coast just over a week ago, we said farewell to our co-drivers Jack Perkins and Warren Luff for 2017, as we revert to the SuperSprint format for the remaining two events.
A massive thanks must be given to them for their efforts this year, from testing, to the three enduro events, they were fantastic.
It’s a short four-day turn around to get the cars ready between the Gold Coast and New Zealand, so it was all hands-on deck at the workshop this week.
It’s not your usual truck pack either for this event. All our spares and garage equipment must slot in to two containers which are flown over to New Zealand, while the cars were dropped off at Avalon Airport on Sunday, as they boarded a plane head over the ditch.
Having two straight cars after the Gold Coast was vitally important, because it would have been even more of a race against the clock otherwise.
Both James and Scott have been on the podium in Pukekohe before, but never on the top step. That’s something they will be looking to change in a few days’ time.
It’s a fast, bumpy track that requires maximum commitment, and is a handful for the drivers for the entire 2.91kms.
The focus this weekend will be continuing the momentum we have been building in the second half of the season, as we continue to lay the foundation for 2018.
We’re once again on the SuperSoft tyre, so expect the lap record to be under threat.
We are on track for two practice sessions on Friday, before a 20-minute qualifying session, and 70 lap races on both Saturday and Sunday
“It’s always nice to head over to New Zealand, it’s a fun track to drive, and it’s always great to get over there and see the fans. It’s a track where you really have to muscle the car around, which is always enjoyable.
“For us, we took some more positives out of the Gold Coast, especially on Sunday, so we will continue to work on the development of the car, and finish the year off strongly.
“We need to continue working at the one lap speed to make sure we are giving ourselves the best chance come race time, which is improving.
“I can’t wait to get over to New Zealand, especially to show them Car 02 first hand.
“With two rounds to go, sitting 11th in the championship, it would be great to try and push into the top 10 by the end of the year.
“Everyone has been working hard to improve the qualifying package of the car, because the race package has been good.
“It’s an important last two rounds for the whole team so that we can finish off the year slowly and build for 2018.”