Improvements earn a class podium for one of the two Aston Martin GT8R's in the GT New Zealand Series

Sunday, February 05, 2023


It was to be better performance all round for the (now) two Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT8R’s entered into this weekend’s second round of the GT New Zealand from the Hampton Downs circuit.

With accomplished dirt track racer Joel Giddy racing what would be his first GT4 based race programme this weekend having only tested his former Shane Helms machine at the turn of the year, it was the veteran ex. pat racer Stephen Harrison who showed the early pace in Qualifying to come home on class pole ahead of Saturday’s opening thirty-minute race.

However, a breach of safety apparel protocol saw the #78 driver loose that top slot after his qualifying time was disqualified and he found himself starting from the rear of the grid. In an unprecedented audition, Giddy would come home fourth in class and just three seconds off the podium whilst Harrison would charge through the class to finish in seventh from his fourteenth (in class) starting position.

Better news would eventually come Harrison’s way as during the Sunday morning hour long feature race, he and his Race Lab team would earn themselves a P2 finish in class having pushed eventual class winner Jason Leifting all the way with just a 2.7 second gap between them. Giddy would finish ninth in class.

Sundays curtain calling climax to this second round out of four from the GT New Zealand Series saw the series race by race balance of performance take effect upon the #78 car where another mid class finishes were the best from the two Aston Martin runners to finish the day in P6 and P6 as the series now gets a six week break before their penultimate round of the season from Taupo in mid-March.

Photo credits – Teams / Series
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