NZ GT3: Darryn Henderson Hamilton summary

TORRID FINALE FOR HENDERSON Wellington driver Darryn Henderson had one of his most eventful outings of the 2008/2009 motor racing season at the Hamilton Street race at the weekend. Henderson, in his Radio Sport/Samsung Porsche GT3, chose to...

TORRID FINALE FOR HENDERSON

Wellington driver Darryn Henderson had one of his most eventful outings of the 2008/2009 motor racing season at the Hamilton Street race at the weekend.

Henderson, in his Radio Sport/Samsung Porsche GT3, chose to compete in two classes at the event held on the daunting 3.4 kilometre circuit laid out around the streets of the Frankton district of Hamilton.

In addition to his regular place in the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Trophy Round field he also elected to run the Porsche in the GT1 Class amid heavily modified big banger saloons such as V8 powered Jaguar's, Chev Corvettes and Falcon V8 Supercars.

In hindsight Henderson candidly admitted the heavy schedule may have been a mistake. The idea was to have some fun, gain more track time and achieve more coverage for his sponsors, particularly as he was carrying an onboard television camera. The weekend started well too, as the Wellingtonian qualified ninth amongst his regular rivals and third fastest in the GT1 category.

The first race of the weekend for Darryn was the opening event for the GT1 Class and that race really defined the remainder of his weekend. In a torrid race in which he started from the second row of the grid Henderson eventually brought the Radio Sport/Samsung Porsche home in twentieth place after a spin and the addition of a 50 second penalty. "The guys just weren't used to a small car ducking in under brakes. There were some big gaps and then not realising I was there they would shut the door - I was probably too aggressive."

The race also brought about the onset of clutch and gearbox problems and consequently the Radio Sport/Samsung Porsche was absent when the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup field fought out the first two races of their Trophy Round later in the day.

Henderson was back on the case the next morning however and after starting the second GT1 race from the pitlane he stormed through the large field to finish fifth. That left just the third and final GT3 Cup race but unfortunately it was over all too quickly for Henderson. "I was unlucky. I got caught up in someone elses mistake and the radiator was punctured."

Darryn's race was over after just one lap and one of his least memorable weekend's of the season was finished.

However the season, his first full year in the 997 Porsche GT3, was an extremely good one. The highlight was the non-championship round at Taupo on the same programme as the World Cup Of Motorsport A1GP. In front of the huge crowds at Taupo Henderson was amongst the frontrunners throughout the event. The format at Taupo saw a combination of sprint and fifty minute endurance races. Henderson and his co-driver, former World Superbike Championship star Aaron Slight, were third in both the enduro races and took a podium spot for the weekend. In the sprint race Henderson drove a brilliant race to dice with two of New Zealand's best young overseas based professionals, Shane Van Gisbergen and Matthew Halliday. After passing Van Gisbergen at one stage during the race Henderson eventually finished in third place behind the two young guns.

After a big effort at the central North Island track Henderson expressed his disappointment that there was no championship round at the venue where he has done so much testing.

However the championship too was very rewarding for Darryn. Henderson and the Radio Sport/Samsung Porsche were eighth in the championship points in their first full Porsche GT3 Cup Championship campaign, an outstanding achievement amongst some of Australiasia's best drivers.

Darryn is keen to return to the series again next season.

Support for Darryn Henderson's 2008/2009 Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Championship campaign comes from Radio Sport, Samsung, Xtreme Forwarding, Hi Tech Commercial Interiors, Laserlite, Ricoh, Excel Digital, Brandish Advertising, Apparel Master, Zoagn, Anhydro and Global Signage.

-credit: dh

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Series Road racing
Drivers Aaron Slight