ASTC: NZTC Final Test Day for Bathurst 1000

Preamble An unprecedented number of New Zealand Touring Cars will contest the gruelling AMP Bathurst 1000 over the first weekend in October 1998. Ten "S" Schedule cars have made the commitment to attend the event - more cars on mass than at any...

Preamble

An unprecedented number of New Zealand Touring Cars will contest the gruelling AMP Bathurst 1000 over the first weekend in October 1998. Ten "S" Schedule cars have made the commitment to attend the event - more cars on mass than at any time in the history of the event. In addition, the teams will fly in around 100 Kiwi personnel to campaign the cars at Mt. Panorama.

Increasingly the New Zealand Touring Car 'S' Schedule is being used as a basis for discussion by both media observers and event organisers who want to develop an International Touring Car Class. The idea of bringing the Super Tourer and 'N' Schedule cars under one set of regulations raises some exciting possibilities for the future of the sport.

It is expected that the cars will be loaded into containers for Australia on Saturday 19th September and depart for Sydney on the following day. They will join the other 35-40 cars on the grid to swell the number of cars to approximately 50.

Final Test Day

The teams have only had 10 days between last weekends NZRDC Meeting and departure for Bathurst to modify their sprint configurations for the Endurance car event. In addition to extra capacity fuel tanks and a Dry Break Fuel System (used in Formula 1 to allow rapid gravity fed refuelling stops) the cars haved paid attention to their suspension and drive componentry. As Schedule S regulations don't allow for any major modifications to these systems, work has concentrated on eliminating flawed equipment rather than beefing it up. The addition of 80 litre fuel tanks will make the handling of the cars considerably different from that experienced in the 10 - 15 lap sprint races normally seen in New Zealand so testing is an essential part of the cars preparation.

Estimates at the lap time differences between the 2.0 litre Super Tourers and Schedule S cars ranges between 15 - 20 seconds per lap. Differences that give the Super Tourers an advantage include the use of aerodynamics, horsepower, differentials and gear ratios. Despite these disadvantages, the New Zealand cars are equipped with incredibly strong engines and Bathurst's reputation as a car breaking track may be to their advantage.

As part of the final shakedown before transportation to Bathurst a testing session has been organised (weather permitting) for:

Where: Pukekohe Raceway When: Tuesday 15th September from 12 noon.

Who will be there: It is expected that Ford, Nissan, Peugeot, BMW and Suzuki will all have a presence at the track.

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Series Road racing