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Toyota makes V8 history at Teretonga

The 2013 NZV8 series has started and they are running Vi-PEC engine management.
Toyota makes V8 history at Teretonga

Martin Short winning the NZV8 race over Nick Ross. Photograph by Euan Cameron

Press release from Motorsport NZ (Saturday, 12th January 2013)

Martin Short made motor racing history when he drove his brand-new Toyota Camry to victory in the first race of the 2013 NZV8 championship at Invercargill’s Teretonga circuit today.

The young Hamilton driver was the first to win an official Australasian V8 championship race in any car other than a Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore.

The arrival of the Toyota is the result of new regulations allowing any large four-door sedan to race so long as it can be fitted with a suitable V8 motor. The Camry’s engine was developed for long-distance sports-car races like the Daytona 24-hour.

“That’s awesome, absolutely great,” Short said after the 10-lap race. “We only got the car going on Tuesday and it works great straight out of the box.

“It’s got good acceleration out of the corners, it puts the power down well.”

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Short, who looked tired and sweaty after the race.

“There was no power steering and it was very heavy; it was quite hard work,” he said.

Australian V8 Supercar driver Jason Bargwanna was expected to be Short’s main opposition, driving a new-generation Commodore, and he tailed the Kiwi for the opening laps.

But then Bargwanna slowed and came into the pits to fix a suspected alternator problem.

“We came out of the pits in front of him [Short] and pulled away,” the Aussie said, pleased that he had proved his speed. He was still classified as third in the new-generation class, with Cambridge driver Nick Ross second in another Commodore.

Turua teenager AJ Lauder, winner of the 2012 Suzuki Swift championship, had no trouble switching to the much bigger V8s and won the class for the original cars, driving a Falcon.

“It was my first rolling start – a bit of a nerve-wracker, that one,” Lauder said. “But we started off the front and led all the way.”

Aucklander Shaun Varney was second in that class, in another Falcon.

A star-studded line-up of 15 internationals and three local drivers took to the track in the opening race of the Toyota Racing Series championship.  Austrian Lucas Auer lead from start to finish and won the race over defending champion, Kiwi Nick Cassidy.

James Munro won the Formula Ford race after a close battle with fellow Christchurch driver Michael Collins.

The Sports GT race was dominated by local driver Colin Dawson, driving a V8-powered Mazda RX7, and the Production GT race went to Darryn Andrews of Lincoln driving a Nissan Primera.

Troy Wheeler won the Super Trucks scratch race in his Scania while heat two, a handicap, saw defending champion Steve Zammit of Australia come through to win in his Kenworth.

Each class has two races tomorrow.

MSNZ Race Championship calendar:

  • Round 1: January 12-13, Teretonga (Invercargill)
  • Round 2: January 19-20, Timaru
  • TRS: January 26-27, Taupo
  • TRS: February 2-3, Hampton Downs
  • Round 3: February 9-10, Manfeild
  • Round 4: March 9-10, Taupo
  • Round 5: April 12-14, Pukekohe (V8 Supercars meeting)

Issued by MotorSport NZ

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