Auckland’s Daniel Gaunt will start the Triple X Motorsport VnC Cocktails Mad Butcher Toyota Racing Series car from pole position for the 2009 New Zealand Grand Prix being held at the Manfeild Park Raceway near Palmerston North.
Today’s two-part qualifying was held in the wake of the low-pressure weather system battering the northern reaches of the country. The varying wet conditions made decisions regarding optimal suspension setup for the race qualifying a lottery for the Triple X Motorsport engineers.
“We thought the session was going to be really wet – given the conditions,” said 24-year-old Gaunt. “Seeing it starting to dry we headed towards a different setup – which took a bit of time, so we didn’t get out until late in to the first half of the session. I felt reasonably comfortable with the result, but made a fairly subtle change for the second part of qualifying. I knew that’s all I had to work with so had to push. So that’s what I did – push and we managed to be on the right side of a few tenths’ to put it on pole for the Grand Prix.”
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Gaunt ahead of tomorrow’s 35 laps around the 3.03km Manfeild circuit.
One of only two Grand Prix races not contested by Formula One cars, the New Zealand Grand Prix is world first at using E85 blended biofuel in the Toyota TT104ZZ Racing Series wings and slicks car.
Preceding tomorrow afternoon’s race, Gaunt will race the 20-lap Dan Higgins Trophy event, before a 10-lap sprint race Sunday morning. The Grand Prix is set to begin at 4:10pm (16:10) with a predicted improvement in weather conditions.