We’ve arrived at the penultimate round of the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, as we head across the ditch to Pukekohe for the Auckland SuperSprint.
The 2.91km circuit plays host to races 28 and 29 of the championship, with two 200km, 70 lap races across the weekend.
As the endurance season wrapped up last weekend on the Gold Coast, and we’ve waved goodbye to Warren Luff and Jack Pekins for the year, James Courtney and Scott Pye are back solely behind the wheel for the remainder of the year.
A massive thanks must be given to Jack and Luffy for their efforts this year, from testing, to the three enduro events, they were fantastic. Both stood on the podium as well, which was a great reward for effort.
It’s just 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 fly-away containers which are flown over to New Zealand, while the cars were dropped off at Avalon Airport yesterday as they take a separate flight to the North Island.
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, so it’s a place they are more than familiar with.
It’s a fast, bumpy track that requires maximum commitment, and is a handful for the drivers for the entire 2.91kms.
We are on track for two practice sessions on Friday, before a 20-minute qualifying session, 70 lap races on both Saturday and Sunday, and a top-10 shootout on Sunday only.
“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.
“The podium on the Gold Coast was a nice reward to some really good work over the last few months. It was great to finally stand on the podium with Jack this year.
“We need to make sure that momentum continues on to this weekend. The car has been really good out of the box of late, which will be important with just two practice sessions before qualifying.
“It’s just about finishing the year on a high now.”
“I can’t wait to get over to New Zealand, it’s always a really enjoyable round.
“Sunday at Gold Coast was a lot better in terms of the qualifying car, so it was disappointing not to get out there and finish the race on Sunday. The car has been really good since out test days, so I’m looking forward to getting out on track.
“I’m really keen to get out there these last two rounds and finish the year on a good note.”