INVERCARGILL driver Jordan Michels has backed up his class win in the ENEOS North Island Endurance Series last month with another class win at the final round of the series at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park last weekend.
Michels, the NZ F1600 Champion, received a late call-up to drive the Racer Products Hyundai i130 N TCR car with Gene Rollinson last month and acquitted himself so well as the pair took a class win and sixth overall that he was invited to stay with the team for the final round.
Products team had sorted out a few teething problems from the previous round after a full rebuild of the car, which was virtually straight out of the container last time out, Michels said as he reflected on his weekend.
Rollinson took the wheel for the first qualifying session with Michels driving in the second. The Hyundai eventually set a time good enough for 11th on the grid.
Hankook wet tyres for qualifying but decided to go for Pirelli hard tyres for the start of the race with the track still wet. It was decided I would start the race but unfortunately our tyre choice was a pretty bad call. Our main class rivals John McIntyre/Matt Penny in a Honda were using soft Michelins and my stint became an exercise in damage control,” Michels said. a tough stint. I couldn’t find front grip and had no traction out of corners. The windscreen wipers stopped working too, so it was a very tough hour.
However, Michels managed to stay in reasonable touch with the McIntyre/Penny car and at the pit stops Rollinson took over. The track started to dry and Rollinson, on the same tyre which was better suited to the conditions, clawed back time before the McIntyre/Penny car pitted for slicks.
to cover them and resumed directly behind. After the safety car made an appearance Rollinson managed the pass to take the class lead and the win in a fine fifth place overall.”