Team Jenkins Motorsport 2015/16 Season
Welcome to the 6th and Final Report from Team Jenkins Motorsport. This report giving you an insight into D1NZ Round 6 at Pukekohe Raceway.
Last Saturday & Sunday - The Team Jenkins Motorsport Crew travelled a small distance south to the famous Pukekohe Raceway.
As there was a Practice Day on Friday - This allowed us to get down there early on Friday morning to set up our Pits and dial in the cars for the BIG weekend of drifting.
Day 1 - Practice & Qualifying: We arrived at the track knowing that this would be our only day of the 2 day race weekend that it was going to be dry. Forecasts were showing that the Sunday had a 97% Chance of rain , which wasn't great odds at all.
We warmed up both cars and got out on Track as much as possible to ensure we had our line sussed for the Qualifying Sessions that afternoon. Throughout the day we had a minor issue of Power Steering Loss in the S15. We changed multiple belts and pulleys to try and remedy this but it became apparent that we still had the problem later in the day.
As Ben was up for his qualifying session first , the team worked hard to ensure his S13 was dialled in and set for the high-speed Pukekohe Sweeper. Throughout the weekend we saw speeds of 170 - 190km/h into the first corner. This made it paramount that the team ensured the cars were always 110% when going out onto the track.
Ben's qualifying session began early afternoon. Wanting to bank a safe score first Ben went out and put down a score 68 out of 100. Troy kept the live scoring up on his laptop to see where Ben was losing points - which in this case was the Line component. After informing Ben that his Style and Angle scores were good , but line was suffering , Ben went out and pushed hard to lay down a super slick run whilst ensuring he was on line and hitting all the clipping points along the way. Ben smashed this and managed a score of 82 out of 100 - Giving him the Number 2 Qualifying Spot for the weekend.
Troy's Qualifying was up next. With a confident mind after doing multiple laps over the weekend , Troy went out to complete his 2 Qualifying runs. First run of the day and Troy came in too hot. Over cooking it on the sweeper and not being able to slow down for the important switch into the left hander , this put 2 wheels off onto the grass which gave a 0 Score for that pass. His 2nd pass would shape up to be the most dramatic pass of the season - After the crew advised of the 0 Score for the first run , Troy knew he just had to lay down a run to gather some points to be in the battle order. Run 2 of the 2 run Qualifying Session began and Troy entered into the sweeper with a little less pace than the last. Being perfectly on line around the sweeper the worst then occurred. Troy's Power Steering Pump fully giving up this time and stripping the belt off the pulley. Locking the steering and sending the Brian Roberts S15 straight off into the grass at pace. A VERY disappointing moment for the team as they had pushed hard all weekend to eliminate this issue.
Troy limped the car back into pits to have the boys from Speedtech Motorsport lift the bonnet and see that the belt had been completely shredded and the power steering pump given up with a large amount of play in the shaft. A very disappointed Troy got out of the car to see what had ended his race weekend. With another Zero Score , this had pushed him out of the Sunday Battles.
On the upside - Ben had qualified high. Meaning he was in shape for securing a decent finish for the Grand Final. Being in the number 2 spot, Ben would battle the person in 15th Spot - Bex Bennett. As our crew had seen that Bex was a little slower than Ben in the practice sessions , We advised Ben to give her a bit of a gap when entering. This definitely paid off as Ben chased her down and closed the gap between them before the last corner. Ben took the win here and advanced forward to the Top 8 Battles.
Top 8 saw Ben come up against another R32 Skyline - That of Vincent Hopkins. The first run saw Ben lead in which he left Vincent behind on the entry and put down a very solid lead run. Ben then swapped over to chase Vincent next. It was here that Ben would give Vincent a little gap and chase him down. Around the sweeper, the gap closed fast as Vincent was alot slower than Ben's S13. Ben came around the sweeper and dialled on alot of angle to try and slow his Brian Roberts Silvia down as he crept closer and closer to Vincent. Before the switch, Vincent slowed down a heap which gave Ben nowhere to go but to hit him. Pushing the R32 over into the grass and wall and Ben's car sitting in the middle of the track with some decent panel damage after meeting the rear quarter of the R32 Skyline. This was classed as a Zero Score Run for Ben , in which gave the win over to Vincent.
The team thought this was a little harsh considering we are always wanting to keep close proximity between the lead and the chase car. We immediately went and enquired with the judges to see if they can have another look at the footage before making their call. They agreed to do so, but it was deemed as Ben's fault for not giving enough gap between Vincent and himself on entry to ensure he did not hit him like he did. It was here that Ben would not advance any further for the weekend and gave him a Top 8 Finish for the weekend.
This weekend was a mix of emotions with Ben qualified high in the Pro Sport Series , whilst a Power Steering Gremlin stopped Troy's weekend prematurely. This breakage being nothing to do with lack of servicing but one of those unfortunate problems that you cannot control. From here , Troy's S15 will now undergo an upgrade in the Steering System which will eliminate this issue from happening again. We will install an Electric Based Power Steering Pump which runs off its own 12V Motor instead of using a belt and powering off the S15's RB30 Engine. We simply cannot afford to have an issue like this happen again.
As this was our final round , many of you may ask- "Where to from here?". Well, we don't stop here! In the coming days, we will begin a full strip down of both cars. Each and every item will be checked over to ensure they show no signs of wear or damage. As the engine setups were fresh at the start of this season , we won't be doing a massive rebuild of both motors this year. But checking the vital areas such as bearings and lines to ensure no wear and tear has occurred throughout the high RPM season they have both endured.
We will also be installing the remainder of the CHASE BAYS product in which was supplied to us this season also. This being overflow bottles for the diffs, power steering coolers/lines and oil lines throughout both of the cars.
Both Troy & Ben wanted to take this opportunity to say a MASSIVE Thank you to you all for your outstanding support of the Team Jenkins Motorsport Team this season. Troy , Ben and the Crew could not have done what we have without each and every one of you. We feel this has been our strongest year ever in the sport as the backing from all of our sponsors & supporters has been huge throughout 2015-16. We hope that we can move forward from here to more events over the offseason and prepare ourselves for the next season of D1NZ later this year. At present, we do not have any dates set in concrete but will see these released in July at the Speedshow Event in Auckland where we will be having our D1NZ Awards Night also.
Troy & Ben Jenkins