CHANCE OF A LIFETIME FOR HENDERSON The chance of a lifetime has arrived for Wellington driver Darryn Henderson with the opportunity to race at Bathurst this weekend at the wheel of a Greg Murphy Racing 997 Porsche GT3 in the Carrera Cup ...
CHANCE OF A LIFETIME FOR HENDERSON
The chance of a lifetime has arrived for Wellington driver Darryn Henderson with the opportunity to race at Bathurst this weekend at the wheel of a Greg Murphy Racing 997 Porsche GT3 in the Carrera Cup Series. The series is part of the weekend's programme at Australia's Great Race, the Supercheap 1000.
Henderson, who joined the New Zealand Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Championship midway through last season, made a good impression in his short time in that series. While at the Hamilton 400 in April he approached Greg Murphy regarding the possibility of a drive in the team run by Murphy's father in the equivalent Australian series. As well as the approach one of Darryn's mechanics in New Zealand last summer has been working in Murphy's team in the Australian series and that assisted in forming another link with the team.
Initially an opportunity was made available for Henderson to drive the car at the recent Phillip Island round of the series but the Wellingtonian decided against taking the drive as he had not been behind the wheel since April and the circuit is an exceptionally fast one. However when the opportunity arose for Bathurst he reconsidered despite facing the same scenario. "It's a bit of history. When you are fifteen years old watching television, saying one day I am going to race cars and have a go there then when the opportunity comes you have to take it!"
Henderson had been keen to race a Porsche at the famous circuit but the grand plan was for him to tackle the Bathurst 12 Hour race for Production Cars early next year before racing at the circuit in the extremely quick Porsche later in the year. However his opportunity has arrived earlier than expected.
Henderson has recently spent time testing at two New Zealand circuits - Taupo Motorsport Park and Manfeild Park in Feilding. He improved his times from last season by one and a half seconds at Taupo with the help of two of New Zealand's top drivers, Matthew Halliday and Daniel Gaunt, and turned in some ultra-quick times at Manfeild as he worked with Ant Pedersen.
Before his departure for Australia on Tuesday Henderson spent time in Auckland on the hypersimulator attempting to learn the vagaries of the 6.23 kilometre, high-speed Mount Panorama circuit. Then upon arrival in Bathurst he took the opportunity to trace his way around the track in a rental car while the roads were still open to the public. His first impressions of the circuit? "Steep, very steep!"
Once the meeting gets underway Henderson will receive only twenty minutes of practice time before qualifying gets underway. That is only enough time to complete five laps of the daunting layout.
Henderson is very appreciative for the support of Rob Gifford of Hamilton and his companies IPS, Zoagn and Anhydro who have made it possible for him to take up this opportunity. Additional support comes from longtime New Zealand series supporters Radio Sport and Xtreme Forwarding. Gifford and some of Darryn's other supporters will travel to Australia to watch him race.
After a twenty minute qualifying session on Thursday afternoon Henderson will take part in three races, all of eight laps duration. The first takes place at 3.55pm on Friday, the second at 11.20am on Saturday and the third and final race is scheduled for 8.45am on Sunday (local Australian time).