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John McIntyre On Pole Position For Bnt V8s Grand Finale At Taupo

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Nelson racing driver John McIntyre has powered his Prime Explosives Ford Falcon to pole position for tomorrow's opening BNT V8s race for the Hydraulink Grand Finals at the Taupo Motorsport Park. Lining up on the front row of the grid alongside McIntyre will be championship points leader Craig Baird (Queensland) in the United Video Falcon with Kayne Scott (Hamilton) third fastest in the Fujitsu heat Pumps Falcon.

Qualifying was held in fine and warm weather although a strong south-westerly wind made setting up cars difficult for both drivers and teams. Teams had to work hard between the two free practice and then qualifying sessions owing to the technical nature of the Taupo circuit. The most remarkable aspect of qualifying was the fastest six cars all setting lap times under the current lap record to confirm the expected competitiveness for tomorrow's three races.

In the first qualifying run for all 27 cars it was McIntyre setting the pace with Auckland's Tim Edgell (Chesters Falcon) next ahead of Scott and the first Commodore piloted by Andy Booth (Auckland) in the familiar Big Ben car. Baird and Christchurch's Andy Knight (Radio Live Falcon) were 5th and 6th respectively with Angus Fogg (LG / Newstalk ZB Falcon), Clark Proctor (VIP Falcon), Taupo's John Penny (Penny Homes Commodore) and Simon Richards (Sew Eurodrive Falcon) completing the top ten.

The second qualifying for the fastest 20 cars saw McIntyre on top again ahead of Baird, Edgell, Scott, Booth, Knight, Auckland's Paul Manuell (now in the Orix Falcon), Proctor, Andrew Anderson (ITM Commodore) and Penny. Two notable performances worthy of mention came from Aucklander Kevin Williams (Commodore) who qualified 14th and Palmerston North's Ant Pedersen (Falcon) who is set to start 12th. Williams is making his first start in the series this season while Pedersen is making his BNT V8s debut.

As usual the top ten shoot out was a cliffhanger with cars contesting a single flying lap to determine the final grid for tomorrow's first race. Teams and drivers were in suspense as each driver set his best time with McIntyre eclipsing Baird by a mere 0.026 secs. Baird was then followed by Scott, Edgell, Booth, Manuell, Knight, Penny, Proctor and Anderson.

As usual there will be three races contested tomorrow (Sunday) with Race 1 (10 laps) set to start at 10:00am with Race 2 (10 laps) at 1:05pm and the 22 lap full reverse grid Race 3 (20 laps) scheduled for 4:30pm.

Driver Quotes:

John McIntyre (Nelson) - Car No 47 - Prime Explosives Falcon:

"We are really proud of the fact we have scored four pole positions in one season which nobody else has done before but we feel that is the only way to take Craig Baird on - to start from pole."

Craig Baird (Queensland ) - Car No. 3 - United Video Ford Falcon:

"Today was a good start but I'm not really racing Johnny or anyone else as I just have to get enough points to get the job done. There is actually more pressure on the guys racing for 2nd and 3rd than there is on me."

Kayne Scott (Hamilton) - Car No 1 - Fujitsu Heat Pumps Ford Falcon:

"We are really missing not having a race win from this season and that's just what we are here for this weekend - so it's going to be fingers crossed."

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