HALLIDAY ON THE MOVE AT TERETONGA Matt Halliday again led the way for International Motorsport during the weekend of racing action at Teretonga Park in the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge. A huge relief for all the team's drivers...
HALLIDAY ON THE MOVE AT TERETONGA
Matt Halliday again led the way for International Motorsport during the weekend of racing action at Teretonga Park in the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge.
A huge relief for all the team's drivers was the dry weather that graced the world's southernmost track, after the fire-brigade was required to pump the pit lane after it flooded the previous time the GT3 Cup Challenge visited Teretonga last season.
Battles were tough on track all weekend, with the top three drivers in qualifying separated by 0.02 seconds, with the advantage to David Reynolds, Craig Baird then Matt Halliday.
Starting from the second row of the grid, LA based Kiwi Halliday was running in third place prior to the pitstops, however he elected to pit later that the David Reynolds and Craig Baird who were in front of him. Slick work from the International Motorsport crew saw Halliday emerge in front of rivals Reynolds and Baird once all three had completed their compulsory stops.
Reynolds set about chasing down Halliday in the later stages of the race, and despite closing the gap in the late stages of the race, Halliday controlled from the front to score victory by 0.5 seconds from Reynolds, with Baird a further 18 seconds back.
Race two was another good battle between the top three drivers, with Halliday running second early in the race after Reynolds passed him. Baird also passed Halliday, but did so under yellow flag conditions, so track officials called for the two to swap places while the field was under the control of the safety car.
When the race got underway again with six laps remaining, Halliday put in a determined drive to finish hot on the tail of Reynolds, with Baird right behind him.
Things didn't get off to a great start for Halliday for the final race of the weekend, particularly upsetting as he was leading the points score for the weekend after race two. In the formation lap prior to Race 3 even starting, Courtney Letica made accidental contact with Halliday's car, forcing both drivers to pit to replace damaged wheels and tyres.
Adding insult to injury for Halliday, racing rules then meant Halliday had to start the final race of the weekend from the pit lane, handing the 2009 Porsche Supercup Rookie of the Year a huge mountain to climb. Never one to back down though, Halliday quickly got to work and was up to sixth place within the first two laps. He continued to move forward all race, eventually crossing the line in fourth place, just seven seconds off race winner Reynolds.
This finish was enough for Halliday to score second in the points for the weekend, and moves him from third to second in the championship behind perennial rival Craig Baird.
Jonny Reid continued his momentum in his first full season of racing cars that feature a 'roof over his head'. The Aucklander qualified his Fisher and Paykel GT3 in fifth for the opening race, despite being unhappy with the balance of the car, which tended too much to understeer for Reid's liking.
Reid held fifth in Races One and Two, with determined drives in both races.
Come Race Three, Reid started off the Pole Position after the top six lap times from Race Two were reversed. As the race got underway, Daniel Gaunt jumped past Reid, who pushed hard into the first corner.
As positions changed mid race, Reid was caught up in a racing incident with Gaunt as they battled for third position. The event stewards judged that Reid should take a drive through penalty as a result of the contact, dropping Reid to seventh place by the chequered flag.
Andrew Bagnall was another on the move over the weekend, jumping up the championship points standings from eighth to sixth, after a consistent weekend in the deep south.
The very experienced Porsche racer qualified his Life Pharmacy GT3 in ninth place, before finishing in the same place in Race One. He moved forward to eighth in Race Two, before proving how consistent driving pays dividends, with sixth place in Race Three.
This vaulted Bagnall from eighth to sixth in the championship, behind fifth placed David Reynolds.
On the other hand, Mitch Cunningham endured a weekend to forget. Cunningham put his Placemakers Mt Wellington GT3 sixth on the grid for the start of the 38 lap Race One, however a gear selection issue soon ruled the reigning Toyota Racing Series champion out of the race.
With the problem resolved for Race Two, Cunningham started from the rear of the grid, and worked his way up to sixth place in just twelve laps in what turned out to be his best result of the weekend.
With the two grid positions in front of Cunningham clear due to Halliday and Letica starting the race from pit lane, Cunningham was off to a strong start in Race Three. That was until race officials judged Cunningham responsible for contact with Shane McKillen mid race, handing him a penalty that saw him scored in thirteenth place.
The fourth round of the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge gets underway next weekend at the Levels Raceway in Timaru, so International Motorsport's dedicated crew are hard at work preparing the team's cars for the next battle in the world's fastest 'one make' racing category.
-source: international motorsport