November 30, 2000 - Winners of the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy at Manfield Park last Sunday, Australia's NRC Racing Formula Holden team is currently preparing for the major event of the four race Tasman Express New Zealand Grand Prix Series at...
November 30, 2000 - Winners of the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy at Manfield Park last Sunday, Australia's NRC Racing Formula Holden team is currently preparing for the major event of the four race Tasman Express New Zealand Grand Prix Series at the super-fast Pukekohe circuit located 60 kilometres south of the city of Auckland, New Zealand.
NRC Racing drivers Andy Booth, 25, from Hamilton (NZ) and 21 year old Auckland born and bred Matthew Halliday are eager to get back into their NRC Racing Reynard 95D's at this fast 2.9 kilometre circuit that includes a 1.3 kilometre back straight which will see these state of the art Formula Holdens reach top speeds in the vicinity of 270 kph.
Booth, the surprise winner of the 2000 Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy after a confident and consistent race performance in dramatic circumstances last Sunday at Manfield Park, is well prepared for this Sunday's 28 lap opening Formula Holden challenge followed by the gruelling 40 lap 2000 Tasman Express New Zealand Grand Prix.
The Propecia / NRC Racing Reynard 95D driver recovered from a disappointing opening Manfield Park race due to an overheated clutch to take a prestigious first victory of his career in his home country. Booth's victory has given the former Formula Palmer Audi driver a great deal of confidence leading into the final two races to decide the 2000 Tasman Cup this weekend.
"We are in a good position heading into these races at Pukekohe, where the Formula Holdens will be spectacular given the fast flowing layout of the circuit. I am really looking forward to it as I am sure the entire team is after having tasted their first ever trans-Tasman victory last Sunday," Andy Booth said.
Halliday, the third placed driver in the 2000 Holden Australian Drivers' Championship, is pulling out all stops to win the prestigious New Zealand Grand Prix accolade. Cruelly denied a possible podium finish in the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy race due to an engine failure (after finishing second in the Manfield Park opening race), the Auckland driver is clearly focussed on making amends this Sunday.
"This is the race above all that I want to win and I am sure that we will be on the pace at the fast Pukekohe circuit. The team has fitted a brand new engine to my Turners Auctions / Empower Reynard 95D today and all is in place for us to mount a strong challenge on Sunday. Being my home circuit and my national Grand Prix you can imagine how badly I want to win on Sunday," Matthew Halliday said.
The team started preparation work on the NRC Racing Formula Holdens today (Thursday) in readiness for tomorrows' practice sessions. The ten member crew completed an engine change to Andy Booth's Reynard 95D, detailed gearbox ratio changes for both cars (to suit the team's high speed set ups), fitted new brakes and performed total system checks on both NRC machines.
On the marketing front, Matthew Halliday's Reynard 95D will feature newly designed sidepods for new sponsor placements, including larger space allocations for Empower and new sponsorship from Holden New Zealand. Andy Booth's car will also sport some subtle signage modifications for optimum Propecia brand television and action photography exposure.
Both drivers have been busy with media commitments, Booth visiting his hometown of Hamilton enroute to Auckland completing a number of interviews, followed with his appearance this morning with Kiwi rival Simon Wills on Auckland radio station The ROCK FM, Halliday completing several national newspaper interviews between the two events and appearing with his co-driver at a charity golf day at the Pukekohe Golf Club that raised $15,000 for highly deserving New Zealand benefit organisations.