14 Apr 2008 The NZV8 Championship may be over for the season but this weekend sees Pinepac Racing driver Andrew Anderson hit the streets of Hamilton for a one off Trophy event as the class plays major support category to the Australian V8 Supercar event.
With the transformation almost complete, the normal business area of Hamilton has been replaced with kilometres of concrete walls and catch fences, making way for what many are describing as a world class street circuit.
Enthused by the late season competitiveness of the Pinepac ITM Holden Commodore, Anderson is looking forward to continuing that strong form this weekend which enabled him to secure three top 10 round results in the last three rounds and secure 12th outright in the championship. ‘From what I have seen driving the track in the last couple of weeks, it’s going to be fast and a real challenge. Whoever can adjust to the circuit quickly is going to have a real advantage’ commented Anderson.
Having already sighted, driven and walked the circuit, Anderson is confident that he will be up to the job when the NZV8s hit the track for their one and only practice session on Friday morning before they are thrown straight into qualifying that afternoon, akin to another inaugural event Pinepac Racing attended over 20 years ago, the Wellington Street Race. ‘Unlike Bruce, I don’t have to help set this track out. He actually got a chainsaw and cut up railway sleepers with Denny Hulme to form some of the track on the water front’ said Anderson on his memory of Dick Johnson driving with his father behind the wheel of the Pinepac Group A XE Falcon.
During the Wellington Street Race era, Anderson competed on that circuit – an experience that will now be invaluable for him as he prepares for the challenge ahead this weekend. Although distinctly different in their configuration, the one thing that is certain to carry over is the high levels of concentration required as the cars compete within millimetres of concrete walls.
Although the track has not been officially opened yet, Anderson has already driven it at race pace courtesy of spending hours on the simulator getting a feel for the general layout of the circuit. In addition to the hours of driver preparation Anderson has undertaken for this weekend’s event, the team is ensuring that no stone is left unturned and have been going over the Pinepac ITM Commodore methodically from their West Auckland base.
Anderson and the Pinepac Racing team are very motivated to exceed results to date as they fly the Pinepac ITM flag around the streets of Hamilton in front of the large contingent of ITM Building Centre corporate supporters who will be at the track during the weekend. ITM are a platinum sponsor of the Hamilton 400.