Brad Lathrope Racing - March Newsletter Penrite Blog Post

Posted on 01 Mar 2017


Welcome to the next round of the BLR Newsletter covering the action at Circuit Chris Amon in Feilding.
As always, we wish to start with acknowledgements of all of our sponsors for their continued support
throughout the weekend; whether it was on track or at home keeping track on social media and other
news outlets.


It was great to finally have Marty and Deb from Dayle ITM out on track to see Brad and the team in action.
We whole heartedly wish to thank all of our sponsors for supporting our racing endeavours; without all of
your contribution none of this will be possible: MWN Civil Ltd, South Auckland Motors, Penrite Oils, Over &
Out Communications, Redline Electrical and Security, Papakura Auto Super Shoppe, Warkworth Safe
Storage, Brand Partners, Velocity NZ, Ultimate Performance and Jump-a-Bull.


Special thanks go to Dean Evans of Papakura Auto Super Shoppe for the help with setting up the car. It was
a rocket right out of the paddock and we wish to thank you for all the assistance before and throughout the
weekend.

 

After our less than stellar performance in the South Island, the team dug in to the maintenance and
preparation of the MWN Civil Falcon to give us the best chance at a round win at Feilding. The payoff from the hard work wasn’t immediately
apparent during the opening practice session on Saturday as we were running on tyres that were deemed “cycled out” but Brad’s feedback on overall balance was that it was excellent and with the fact that we were still within the Top 5 the team made very few changes before qualifying.


The first half of qualifying was used to validate our changes to the setup – so out we went on the same tyres
as practice. Once we saw that Brad’s times have improved but the tyres were done with lapping around a
track, we pulled him in for a fresh set of green slicks. The times immediately dropped but both Jamie Conroy
and Liam MacDonald were still battling for the top spot whilst we hovered in third; slowly dropping lap times
each time we went past the control line. With the chequered flag waving behind us, we eked out the
fastest time of the session for Class 2 on our penultimate lap. Once both driver and crew celebrations were
over for the brief moment after Brad’s lap flashed on our monitor the order to come in hot to get tyre data
was sent to Brad – no rest for the wicked.


Starting Race 1 in pole position, Liam was able to squeeze past Brad at Turn 1. With Brad hot on his tail through the hairpin, this is where Liam lost third gear and quickly fell behind the field. Leaving the chaos of the pack behind him, Brad had no challenger for
the entire race as he made a 4 second gap to second place. An incident half way through the race in Class 1 resulted in that lead evaporating to nothing as the race was soon red flagged. No matter as the race was restarted Brad effortlessly kept his lead and
by the time he crossed the finish line the gap grew to 2 seconds.


The reverse grid for Race 2 put us in fifth position for the start. Brad quickly cut through the field in the first lap
to find himself in third position behind Rob Wallace and Jamie Conroy. With Rob gaining a massive lead
Brad and Jamie were on the chase. With 7 laps to go Jamie and Brad were now fighting for the lead,
having passed Rob at Higgins Corner. Having used up our allocation of greens for the meeting, we were
once again on fairly old tyres and ultimately this prevented us from making a move on Jamie. Despite this,
the second place finish was enough to put us on pole position once again for Race 3.


Race 3 saw us in a similar situation to Race 2 with a majority of the other drivers going out on fresher rubber
but we held on to the lead regardless after the first lap. Liam’s tyre advantage finally put him in front of Brad
at lap 3 but Brad remained within range for the entire race. Towards the end of the race where Liam’s tyres
began to go off, our car got faster – slowly decreasing the gap to two tenths of a second. Liam’s defensive
driving proved unpassable that race and so we came home with another second place finish. But with
those results, it was enough to bring home BLR’s first ever round win!


Now the team begins the cycle anew with preparations for the final round of the championship already
underway. Be sure to watch this space as we make our last ditch effort for the championship title. No matter
the outcome, thank you all for the support you have given the team, we’ll be sure to do our very best



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