McLENNAN CONTINUES TO SHINE
Upper Hutt driver Simon McLennan felt that it would be difficult to match his efforts of the previous week when he arrived at the Timaru International Motor Raceway for Round 4 of the Porsche GT3 996 Cup last weekend.
McLennan had won all three races in his New World Metro On Willis Porsche at Teretonga seven days previously and had scorched to the top of the championship.
However not only did McLennan match those efforts at Timaru, he exceeded them. Simon was in brilliant form at the South Canterbury circuit as he topped the timesheets in the 996 Cup class in every test session plus qualifying. Once racing got underway he continued that form to win all three contests to leave the circuit at the end of the weekend with a lead of 205 points over his class rivals. However what was even more memorable was the fact that Simon took the New World Metro On Willis Porsche to some stunning overall placings in the three races against the later model 997 cars. In fact McLennan recorded overall placings of seventh, sixth and third to give him third place overall for the round.
"It was another good weekend. I was a little bit confident coming off the Invercargill round but I thought it would be difficult to do it again. When Douglas Blair of Porsche came over I thought he was coming to tell us to go to the podium presentation because we won the 996 Class. Then he told me I was third overall as well."
"As the quickest 996 I am focusing on trying to win rather than be conservative. I am trying to build on that points gap. We didn't have any serious issues this weekend but my mechanic Cam plus the boys from Motorsport Services never really rested. They were on it after each session, having a chat with me, then looking at the data to see what it showed. It was really, really good. In the past we have been guilty of rolling the car out and setting it up and leaving it at that. This time we made the car to suit and did it what! It's a shame Simon Evans had issues in race two and three."
"Race three took the cake. There was engine oil down the front straight from a previous race and ours was delayed." Simon was on pole for the finale for the second week in a row and he joked that he has virtually no fingernails left after two starts with the big name 997 drivers bearing down on him. "The front straight was muck but I had a fairly good start and then I saw an incident behind me in the rear vision mirror. The Safety Car came out and I spent two laps in the lead behind it. Once we were racing again I had to focus hard and I have to give credit to Cam and my father for doing such a good job on the radio. I was struggling to concentrate and they just say the right things."
Simon believes that the Timaru circuit allows the 996 model car to be competitive a little better than other circuits.
There are now two championship rounds remaining - Manfeild Park in Feilding over the weekend of 11-13 February where the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge will race as a support category to the New Zealand Grand Prix and the finale at the Taupo Motorsport Park in March.
However before either of those two races Simon will compete in the Bathurst 12 Hour Race with Motorsport Services early in February. "I am super excited about Bathurst. I have never been there before."
Simon McLennan's campaign in the 2010/2011 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Championship is supported by New World Metro On Willis, Auto Despatch, Ice Tech New Zealand, Orrsum Laser Services, Kinetic 121, Powder Coating Services, Teng Tools, GearWrench and Mothers.
M2 Motorsport also acknowledge Motorsport Services for their work in preparing the New World Metro On Willis Porsche.
-source: m2 motorsport/beer