2017 ITM Auckland SuperSprint
- PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.
2017 ITM Auckland SuperSprint – After an exciting set of endurance rounds for the Pirtek Enduro Cup, this weekend's round of Supercars in Auckland sees the return to the shorter sprint races, said Mr Brian Boyd.
"There are now just two rounds of the championship remaining in what has turned out to be one of the closest championships in the series history.
Five drivers are in the running, so they will be hoping to stay out of trouble, both on track and reliability-wise", said Mr Brian Boyd.
GRM Team Driver changes make for a break – Brian Boyd ...
Unfortunately for Team PAYCE drivers, Garth Tander and James Moffat, they are out of contention for the championship, although Garth is still in the top ten and the GRM team has a strong hold on fourth place in the Teams Championship. This could work in their favour over both the remaining rounds as they have little to lose and with the pressure off - everything to gain.
In addition to the race for all-important points for the drivers and teams championships, all drivers will want to put their name on the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy", noted Brian Boyd.
The winner of the coveted trophy will be decided by the cumulative points over the two races of the round.
With the GRM team knuckling down … Brian Boyd.
"Garry Rogers and the GRM team continue to approach every race with a determination to do well", said Brain Boyd - pointing out "they have had some great results at the track in the past, including giving Scott McLaughlin his first win in Supercars in 2013, coincidentally in a Commodore.
No team has worked harder this year than GRM to sort their cars and their pit work has been faultless", praised Mr Boyd. "A couple of recent serious incidents have put a lot of pressure on the crew to have cars repaired and ready to race, but they keep bouncing back with increased resilience and determination".
The Pukekohe track presents some interesting challenges – Brian Boyd.
Pukekohe is a track characterised by its fast and flowing layout, but has a reputation for its bumps in a number of sections of the track. There has been resurfacing work and scraping of bumps since last year and more upgrades are planned over the next couple of months. But by all reports, some bumpy sections remain and new bitumen patches may make it interesting, especially as rain is forecast on both Saturday and Sunday.
"Overall, the demands on braking are relatively low as is tyre wear, but the 2.9 kilometre track with its 11 turns still has the fourth highest average speed of any circuit on this year's calendar", noted Mr Boyd.
Auckland 2017 promises...
For the 2017 round, the race format reverts to two 70 lap races over the two days, in contrast to last year when there were four shorter races. There will be two 40 minute practice sessions on Friday, then a 20 minute qualifying session on Saturday and Sunday to set the grid for each day's feature race. Pit stops will play a big role in strategy, noted Brian Boyd, as each car is required to take on 120 litres of fuel over two mandatory stops. Most cars will probably start with low fuel levels, although there are enough options open to the engineers to play out different strategies. Throw in the strong possibility of safety car periods and it becomes even more interesting, commented Mr Boyd. Since 2007, there have been 19 safety car interventions in the 18 races run at the track, so the probability is high that the safety car will appear at some point, especially with a strong chance of rain. We will see Garth in the #33 Commodore and James in the #34 Commodore both drivers enjoy racing at this track and we wish them both safe racing and some solid results, closed Mr Brian Boyd.