THINGS FALL INTO PLACE FOR HEPBURN
Local driver John Hepburn finally got a chance to shine when the BNT V8s Championship visited Timaru International Motor Raceway this weekend.
Hepburn has had a tough season with a multitude of problems spoiling his efforts at the first three rounds of the championship.
However with few problems this weekend he and the John Hepburn Racing Team were able to get on with the job. The result was two top ten placings including a fifth in the final race and an overall round result of ninth overall.
Last weekend Hepburn described his season to that point as "disastrous". However he was a much happier man on Sunday evening after a great result on his home track. "For a change I got the monkey off my back," he said. "The team was able to engineer the car rather than fixing things. We had a few issues in qualifying - the exhaust broke which killed our horsepower but after that things fell into place and we started to do what we knew we could do." John took the John Hepburn Racing Commodore to sixteenth place in the opening race on Sunday morning before advancing up the order to score a tenth in the second race early in the afternoon. Making that result even more impressive was the fact that John admitted later that changes made to the car prior to the race had taken the handling the wrong way. More changes were made after race two and the highlight of the weekend came in the final, 22 lap event. The former motorcycle and Super Truck Champion raced at the front, battling furiously with some of the big names in the championship. After running as high as third John was in fourth position as the pack started their final lap. Unfortunately two-time champion Andy Booth sneaked through on that final lap but fifth place was a great effort.
"I made a mistake on the last lap and Andy (Booth) got past. I'll put my hand up for that one. I had a pretty good car in that race."
As expected John was absolutely rapt with the result. "As most people know in any type of sport once you get your tail up it gets a little bit easier!"
The result was an exceptional one for the team. The home round was also a successful one for John last season as he grabbed two top ten results while running very competitively at the front of the field.
While the result was a good one unfortunately due to business commitments John will miss the next two rounds of the championship at Manfeild and Taupo. However he and the John Hepburn Racing Commodore will return for the final round on the streets of Hamilton in April.