Callum Quin and co-driver Simon McLennan will be looking to bounce back at Hampton Downs this weekend after a tough start to North Island Endurance Series (NIES) at Taupo last month.
Having qualified ninth in the 28-car field, Quin started the race, doing the first hour in what were changeable conditions for competitors.
“The conditions were really challenging and changeable throughout the race. At times it seemed like we were coming in every 20 minutes to change from wet to dry tyres. But Simon and I were both really happy with the pace of the car, and the team was doing a brilliant job at calling our strategy.”
While holding fifth position with just over 20 minutes of the race remaining and McLennan behind the wheel, the team elected to make one final pit stop. During the pit stop the car developed an engine issue and despite efforts by the team to get the car back out on track for the last minutes of the race to gain some valuable championship points, the car was unable to rejoin the race.
Post race, the damage to the engine proved to be quite extensive. It was found that the engine had dropped a valve, damaged a piston and also cracked the engine block.
While the damage is repairable, the team is waiting on some engine parts to arrive – hopefully in time for the next race this weekend.
A philosophical Quin said that despite the unfortunate end to the race, there were still plenty of positives to take away as he and McLennan shift their focus to the next race at Hampton Downs.
“The car has really good pace which is encouraging. We tried some new things with the set-up at Taupo, so we’ll look to see if we can replicate that again at Hampton Downs. Hopefully we get the engine all fixed up and ready for the race this weekend.”
“Hampton Downs is probably the track that I’ve driven the most on, and I enjoy racing there. We know the track quite well, so we’re hoping we should be on the pace reasonably quickly.”
The NIES is run over three rounds, starting at Taupo (May 20) before moving on Hampton Downs (June 24) and Pukekohe (July 22).