Hampton Downs is not a new track, nor is it unknown for being an amazing circuit for both drifting and grip racing. New Zealand’s very own Superlap series is kicking off in a major way and where better to host a finals than the very best around Auckland, Hampton’s.
The weather on Saturday very misleading with sun and a dry track. Cars were all out to set the fastest lap times and find the perfect lines before the final run on Sunday. Leon Scott was out in the extremely quick Evo along with another blisteringly quick Evo piloted by Kat Benson. Scott was out with some new rubber and while still not familiar with the setup and added grip, he surely pushed hard and got to grips with the car very quickly.
Sadly Kat wrecked her gearbox putting her out of contention and with not enough time to fix it, it was a pack up and head home affair. Best thing about Superlap is that next season no doubt, Kat will be back and stronger than before so keep following to see the progress. Another casualty of Saturday was Barry Manon and his amazing Levin, while immaculately presented and crazy fast sadly things did not go the way of Barry and the engine decided to lose some weight but throwing a rod out of the block. Even though Barry was out of the final race he had done enough to secure the top spot on Pro Street which is a well deserved result for all the work he has put in.
Roll on to Sunday after all the drama and things were set for a lovely overcast day of racing. Cars were all decked out for the finals like Glenn Hodges who fitted some new aero, stripped some weight out of the car and arrived with a battle ready mindset. Brad Jesson was present after cracking a manifold at Taupo, the Evo was back on track and setting great times so getting a good spot on the final day seemed assured. With Ian and his R35 GTR pushing 1000HP plus and Andy pushing the crazy quick 3 rotor FD, Pro Open was set to be a fierce three way battle between Ian,Andy and Leon. Top 10 shoot outs was scheduled last so all these three had to do was keep their cars in top form till the end to decide who won.
With the day drawing to a close and top 10 about to start, Pro Street drivers Shamil, Glenn and Emil took all necessary measurements to make sure they have any advantage over the other come the hot lap. Cars were stripped of anything and everything that was not needed, panel gaps were taped and many toilet breaks were taken to ensure the weight reduced would be significant.
Top 10 was under way! With drivers putting their best foot forward. Andy, Ian and Leon all put on a bloody tough battle for Pro Open with Andy setting a fiery pace of 1.06 in the amazing sounding 3 rotor FD. Ian, who if you remember from earlier, has a 1000HP plus R35 set a blistering time of 1.08 around Hampton, hot on the heels of Andy and the team. Finalist and overall winner was Leon Scott, he achieved enough points to see him take the number one spot and while the season may be winding down I am sure we can expect big things from Leon in preparation for the next season.
Shamil pushed hard in the Supra to try and gain first place in Street RWD but sadly missed a few rounds allowing Glenn to take the honors. Glenn also claimed second place in overall Street King followed by the winner of the FWD class Jason Hsu who also claimed third in the Street King class. Winner of Street King for the season was Emil and his beautiful R34 GTR.
Emil won Street King and Street AWD class with Brad putting on an impressive drive to clinch second. Rounding up the AWD class was Michael Nealis who placed third in a heavy Legacy wagon but sadly blew the motor before the top 10 could happen.
lastly with a blown engine, Barry still managed to secure a top podium spot in Pro Street and well deserving too with a stellar drive and amazing skills. Cannot wait to see Barry back again next season to hopefully decimate all again.
Overall the short time I have covered Superlap I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Both competitors and spectators make this ever growing format of racing in New Zealand amazing with everyone being supportive and helpful.
I cannot wait for next season, with promises of revised rules and redesigned cars that will push the limits of each track around the North Island. I will be sure to cover as much as I can on the off season to share what everyone is doing with their cars.
Feel free to comment and share guys 😀