Team Wellington's McLennan eager to take on V8's big guns
Wellington-based M2 Motorsport young gun Simon McLennan is raring to go at round two of the 2013 BNT V8 SuperTourer series, and is eager to go toe-to-toe with the men of the moment in Australasian V8 touring car racing - Shane van Gisbergen and Greg Murphy.
Van Gisbergen led from start to finish in the feature race at the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar race in Australia last weekend while Murph dominated the whole meeting at the first round of the BNT V8 SuperTourers last month at Hampton Downs.
"I have a definite respect for those lads, I am a fan as well as a competitor. If I'm not racing them, I am hoping they are racing and kicking butt over the Tasman. Knowing what some of the critics have said about Shane in the past, he couldn't have done anything more than go out and win. It was a proud moment to be a Kiwi driver watching him win, and I hope it silences a few people out there.
"It shows that V8ST has some of the best talent down at this end of the world - and that they can foot in with the best drivers in Australia. It makes me hungry to beat them and is a huge motivator for the team too. On the track when I race them I do just forget who they are though – they are just other competitors I have to try and beat."
McLennan is optimistic the weekend at the Powerbuilt Tools Raceway, Ruapuna can go well for the small family-run team. The team were ultra-competitive at the enduro round of the 2012 series at the circuit last November and hope to build on a strong base the minute they take to the track. The young ace is more than comfortable going hard on the circuit too.
"I love the Christchurch track, it really rewards a good full lap and has a lot of great qualities. The famous 'Pot hole' section requires full commitment, is fast and is probably my favourite corner in New Zealand. I enjoyed our time there last year in the V8ST both driving and meeting the local crowd who have a real passion and knowledge. In short, I am certainly taking some confidence through to the weekend."
McLennan is also hoping to get to one of the BNT V8ST school visits on Friday and is fully behind the kids and parents go free day at the circuit on Saturday.
"The profile of V8ST is growing and I think that is very important to the future. The cars are great, the drivers are class, the spectacle that is V8ST is getting better and better. I enjoy the entire show, it's not so much about one or two great things - the fans are what makes this show go on and I hope that we get more and more along to the track and interacting with us teams, so the free day for school kids is a cool way to help that process."