23.05.2009 PACE HEATS UP AT NURBURGRING The pace was much hotter for Final Qualifying at the Nurburgring, run in warm, dry conditions on Friday afternoon. Both of Kiwi Team Nurburgring's Honda Civic's elected to stay in the pit garage,...
PACE HEATS UP AT NURBURGRING
The pace was much hotter for Final Qualifying at the Nurburgring, run in warm, dry conditions on Friday afternoon.
Both of Kiwi Team Nurburgring's Honda Civic's elected to stay in the pit garage, with Qualifying for these cars not proving to be too important with such a long race ahead.
Such a conservative strategy has paid off for the team in the past, with a fine line between fast pace and steady driving required.
The team's Audi RS4 did venture back on track for the Final Qualifying. Andy Booth was sent out first on track, with the chance to set a super fast lap time as the RS4 being released as one of the group of 'fast cars' that left pit lane three minutes earlier than the remainder of the field.
With a set of pre-warmed, soft 'Qualifying' tyres fitted, Booth got to work, recording his first lap at 9:50:868.
This time ended up good enough for sixty eighth position of all cars from Qualifying. Again with a similar mindset to the team's Honda's, it was decided against making a second run to attempt a better lap time, with 24 hours still remaining to the team to work forward.
In 2008, race winner Manthey Racing spent two laps in the pits early on, yet still came back to win the race by three laps, showing how Qualifying very quickly carries only minor relevance when compared with the actual race.
Tim Martin and Lewis Scott also ventured out on track in the RS4, with both drivers quickly feeling comfortable at the faster speeds in dry conditions after the first Qualifying run in wet weather.
Late in Final Qualifying, the RS4 developed a brake problem, with a brake hose for the right-front calliper leaking. Happily for the team, the cause of the problem has been identified and the car is all set to run in the race.
Race start is 4pm Saturday, with Tim Martin taking the RS4 for the first laps of the track in the 24 hour race. The Audi starts as part of the first group of cars, with some impressive cars joining the RS4 in this fastest group, with cars such as four Audi R8 GT3's.
Brian McGovern will start car 192 of the team's Honda Civic's after qualifying in position 170 with a time of 12:43:661. The Honda's would have been further up the field as their lap time for Qualifying was set in wet weather, but the team's strategy sees them near the rear of the field, in a relatively safe position.
Over in car 193, Dean Cockerton is first behind the wheel, starting just ahead of the sister car after qualifying in position 165, from lapping the track in 12.05.714.
Pole position for the race was something of an upset, with the Ford GT40 of Raeder Motorsport setting a lap time of 8:36:536, just ahead of the Manthey Porsche that has won the race for the last three years, which lapped just two tenths of a second slower.
Progress of the team can be followed on the Kiwi Team Nurburgring website, www.KTN.co.nz. The website will be constantly updated with modern technology including Twitter, as well as links to live timing of the race, and video streaming when available. These links can be found on the team's home page.
Coverage of Kiwi Team Nurburgring at the 2009 24 Hours of Nurburgring race will be shown on TV1's Powerbuilt Tools Motorsport show on 5 July 2009.
Kiwi Team Nurburgring efforts at the 2009 ADAC 24 Hours of Nurburgring is proudly supported by Big Ben Pies, Racetech, Smith & Smith, Carglass, Cosmeticart, One Health, Dunlop, Hellman, Castrol and Oracal.
Driver Line-up 2009:
Car 11 - Andy Booth, Lewis Scott, Stu Owers, Tim Martin
Car 192 - Ali Taylor, Brian McGovern, Dr Greg Taylor, Jeff Lowery
Car 193 - Brent Greer, Dean Cockerton, Mark Corbett, Rod Hicks
Greg Taylor, Team Owner and Driver
"I can't believe we're about to do this again! There are so many Kiwi shirts in our pit box!"
Tim Martin, Driver
"It's a great honour to start the RS4. This is my second time starting a car in the race, and from last year, we know it's pretty manic on the first lap or two. My number one goal is to make sure the next driver has a good car to get into.
Stu Owers, Driver
"With only limited laps in the RS4 so far, my learning the car will be under pressure when we get into the race. I'm pretty relaxed though."
Alistair Taylor, Driver
"Let the race begin! The atmosphere here is really amazing, we're all looking for a consistent result."