RACING - John Rae


April 2010

A challenging weekend in Taupo for the Corvette, only had one test session on Friday which ended after the throttle cable melted leaving the engine at full throttle down the back straight at 260kmh.  Luckily we were able to pull up without crashing but did kill two tyres in the process.

Qualifying on Saturday was our worst since having the Corvette, only managing 5th on the grid!  Some four seconds slower than when we raced there in February, were we frustrated?  Absolutely yes!

Race one starting from grid five we got a great start and found ourselves in a position to take the lead on turn one however with cars pushing and shoving, we had to take evasive action to avoid hitting Grant Brennan who drove directly across our nose, this left us to rejoin the race dead last bringing the car home in 6th place.

Race two (Sunday reverse grid), a standing start, we managed to win this race and record the second fastest lap of the race so definitely a step in the right direction.

Race three, full reverse grid with GT2 cars starting in front.  We were in the lead after four laps despite being hit repeatedly by Dayne Running who showed no regard for the slower cars we were finding the right time to pass without taking them out.  We did flat spot the right front in a late braking attempt to gain a quicker lap time, unfortunately the flat spot was huge and the car now had severe tyre shake both under throttle and braking.  Our biggest concern was not to lock the wheel again.

We had a decent lead which wouldn't have been challenged however the safety car changed this.  We ended up losing the lead on the last lap due to the fact we had to brake earlier than usual.   Once back in the pits and looking at the front tyre, I'm as surprised as the crew were it even ran a lap let alone five.

So the result even after missing one meeting due to commitments to Americarna was third place overall in the GT1 championship.  Things would have been different had we not missed the Pukekohe round.  We finished every race we started which is pleasing.  The engine has run without any issues thanks to Willie at Eagles attention to maintaining our valve lash.

We have a non championship round at Hampton Downs on May 8th which we intend doing then its major strip down and rebuild with a colour change!  Yes the black looks great however there are too many black cars racing now and the car is hard to spot by the car you are passing so it's time for a change.

Thanks Willie at Eagle for your assistance with our C5 Corvette.


John Rae



March 2010

Having missed the Pukekohe round due to commitments with Americarna, we slipped from second in points to third.  A shame but sometimes you just have to do what you gotta do!

Our Manfeild round was exciting with Grant Brennan and I swapping the lead in every race with Grant going on to win all three and us second in all races.  He deserved to win as my fitness let me down which I figured it would given the work load the last few months and not getting to the gym (back there now!!!). 

The car had good pace, we have never been this fast before.  In qualifying both Grant and I were in the low 1.05's which is extremely quick around Manfeild. 

One round to go at Easter at Taupo, so even though I don't particularly like the track, we will just have to step up. 

Want to race next season but will need to find a sponsor or have a better year than last. 

Our engine is running well and hopefully does so for just one more meeting.  Willie's attention to detail when it comes to the valve lash is one good reason.  Thanks mate.




January 2010

An interesting weekends racing, plenty of rain to challenge us.  Qualified 2nd in the wet, which surprised us, as we hadn't driven the car in the wet at Manfeild and we had windshield fogging issues.

Race one Saturday very wet.  Had good tussle with Grant Brennan with both of us swapping the lead with a somewhat brave move at speed down the outside on the back straight and clearly moving away until the continued steam coming off the headers on right turn finally fogged the windscreen to a point we couldn't even find the entrance to the pits!!  Naturally we were all gutted so the team went to work making temporary space shields and improving the screen blowers.

Sunday's first race was wet and thankfully the work done by the crew worked and we won our first in the Corvette in the wet.

Race two on Sunday we started 20th (reverse grid race).  Had a great start and passed a number of cars before turn one, some nose damage after hitting Cameron Jones who had checked up for a slower car.  Found ourselves leading after lap six when brain fade under braking into turn one saw us fall off but managed to get back on track after driving through what must have been a swamp judging by the look of the car after the race.  We managed to get back up to 5th.

Definitely not the results we were hoping for!  So close to a perfect weekend but we just couldn't pull it off.  Well one win in the wet made all the effort worth it (I think).

Next round is Pukekohe in February.  Unfortunately due to other commitments we will only be able to race on Sunday which coupled with a DNF at Manfeild and a fifth placing will more than likely cost us second place in the championship.




December 2009

After our second round at Pukekohe on December 5th, we are still running second in points.  Unfortunately we have lost a little ground on Grant Brennan who leads the GT1 points.  Grant had another great weekend with gaps opening at the right time and along the way he took some risks that paid off.

We are making progress with the cars handling but still lack the budget to go test so will just take one meeting at a time. 

We qualified 4th which given we didn't practice was a fair result.  Race 1 finished 2nd and recorded the quickest lap in the race which we were thrilled with.  Race 2 reverse grid of GT1, started 9th and finished 3rd, didn't run as quick as we made some changes that turned out to be a backward move.  Race 3 is a complete reverse grid - we started 25th and managed to finish 3rd after avoiding a turn two incident so all in all, not a bad weekend.

Next round is towards the end of January in Manfeild so will prepare the car over Christmas and do this meeting.




October 2009

Well we have our first meeting of the season behind us and were very pleased with the results.  The C5 Corvette qualified 2nd quickest and placed 2nd in each of the three races.

We recorded the fastest lap in the second race along with the highest back straight speed of 275kph and start line straight of 204kph.  Not bad for Taupo!

We still have some slow speed under-steer to overcome and once we get a handle on this it will be hopefully 1st placing not 2nd's!