McLENNAN SCOOPS ROUND HONOURS Powerbuilt Tools Raceway continues to be a happy hunting ground for young Upper Hutt Porsche GT3 Cup star Simon McLennan. The twenty-three year old has enjoyed plenty of success at the 3.33 kilometre circuit on the...
McLENNAN SCOOPS ROUND HONOURS
Powerbuilt Tools Raceway continues to be a happy hunting ground for young Upper Hutt Porsche GT3 Cup star Simon McLennan. The twenty-three year old has enjoyed plenty of success at the 3.33 kilometre circuit on the outskirts of Christchurch and that trend continued last weekend. As Round 2 of the Porsche GT3 996 Cup was played out at the venue Simon took the round honours, winning two of the three races in the process. His success has moved him into second place in the championship just 14 points off the lead after a non finish at the opening round three weeks ago had cost him vital points.
"It's my favourite circuit," said Simon as he reflected on the weekend. "That track is something special. When I purchased the MINI Challenge car that I got my start in the previous owner lived in Christchurch so I flew down and drove it on the track there. That was my first experience of the place. It's a very technical track and it has got a bit of everything."
Despite his victory Simon described his weekend as one full of ups and downs. Fortunately the downs were mainly confined to Friday - testing day. "We blew a rear engine seal and we had a problem with the steering rack. However the guys, Matt Gibson of Motorsport Services and Cameron McCormack, did a real good job on the car. I was a bit nervous though. The car was still in the garage halfway through qualifying on Saturday. However when it emerged McLennan and the New World Metro On Willis Porsche were quickly on the pace, qualifying second fastest just .019 of a second behind Aucklander Simon Evans.
Normally on Friday the focus is on car set-up but with the time lost Simon said the car was not 100% in the opening race on Saturday afternoon. However you would not have realised it as Simon produced a good drive to cross the line first to start the weekend in the best possible fashion. One of his major rivals, Simon Evans of Auckland, was out of the race early allowing McLennan to bridge a points gap created when he failed to finish at Pukekohe.
The following morning McLennan made it two from two. Again Evans was out of the race early while Simon drove superbly to rack up win number two for the weekend. While McLennan and Evans are tough rivals on the track they are good friends off it and McLennan remarked after the race that it was a shame that Evans had been forced to retire again. "You really want to battle it out for the result," he said of his fellow competitors demise.
With two wins from two races Simon just had to bring the car home in the third race to ensure himself of the round win. The race was won by Evans who bounced back well. "I tried to stay with him," said Simon later. "I don't think my tyres were as good as his." Nevertheless Simon brought the New World Metro On Willis Porsche home in second place, wrapping up the round win.
"It's important to win but it is also important to finish races," said Simon at the end of the weekend. While the two Simons have been trading blows at the front of the pack both have failed to finish races - Evans on two occasions and McLennan on one. That means that Mark Whyman is currently leading the series despite the fact McLennan has won four of the six races to date.
"Mark Whyman, a newcomer from same team as me, is driving well and he has been nice and consistent," says Simon. It really shows the importance of finishing races."
However Simon cannot fail to be happy as the series now takes a break before resuming at Teretonga Park in Invercargill early in the New Year. "It is good to go to the break on a good note," he says.
While it was great to collect two wins and the round victory Simon also appreciated the opportunity to pay tribute to the Pike River miners whose plight touched the nation over the last week. " I'm from the Wellington area and I don't know anyone involved in the mining industry but I was really impressed with Porsche New Zealand and Motorsport New Zealand for their efforts in remembering the Pike River miners throughout the weekend." Douglas Blair of Porsche organised 'Racing For The Miners' stickers that adorned the flanks of all the Porsche grid while Motorsport NZ organised a minutes silence with all the drivers from every category gathered on the grid on Sunday.
Simon McLennan's campaign in the 2010/2011 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Championship is supported by New World Metro On Willis, Auto Despatch, Ice Tech New Zealand, Orrsum Laser Services, Kinetic 121, Powder Coating Services, Teng Tools, GearWrench, Mothers and Glu Clothing.
M2 Motorsport also acknowledge Motorsport Services for their work in preparing the New World Metro On Willis Porsche.
-source: M2 Motorsport