2011 Series Newsletter Number 7 - June& 30 2011

Rik gets ‘works’ NZ Hondas status

New Zealand Hondas, the country’s most popular car forum with around 13,000 members, has announced Hamilton’s Rik Wakelin as its ‘works’ driver in the Motul Honda Cup in a deal that is believed to be the first of its kind.

Wakelin’s Honda Civic will run with NZ Hondas branding, featuring graphics that will be chosen from a competition run on the NZ Hondas site.

The winner will receive a credit for the graphic design on the car itself and will also get some hot laps in several of the series cars.
The tie-up will add a new dimension to the hugely popular forum, with Wakelin compiling an on-site blog of his racing exploits. Keep you eyes out for the competition on the NZ Hondas forum!

“Rik fits the profile of the target group for the NZ Hondas forum and for the Motul Honda Cup series perfectly,” commented NZ Honda’s President Ben Foote.

“Our community follows Hondas in motorsport with real enthusiasm and we have been partners with the Motul Honda Cup for some time. As it has grown and developed it has become the perfect place for the guys and girls in the community who want to challenge their driving prowess  – or indeed their engineering skills – out on the track in a safe and hugely exciting environment."

NZ Hondas plans to market all future Motul Honda Cup rounds to its huge membership as it works with the series to develop Honda racing in New Zealand over the long term. Wakelin won one of the three races at the first round of the series at Taupo and is one of the country’s best Honda 1.6 racing drivers.

2010 Championship car in new hands

The Speedfactor built series winning car from the 2010 series, and indeed the Honda that secured the SS2000 title this year in the very capable hands of Justin Herbert looks set to change hands and should be campaigned - hopefully in the Motul Honda Cup - by an experienced Honda driver. Time will tell if the driver is able to extract the maximum out of the car as Herbert did.


Photography and driver profiles - Take 2

Given the awful weather at hampton Downs not being particularly useful for nice portrait shots - we'll aim to have another crack at Many thanks to tit at Pukekohe. As at Hampton, series photographer Lyall Chinnery will be on hand once again at Hampton Downs to grab the action and also a head and shoulders 'mug shot' of each driver. Make sure he gets yours!

 

Pukekohe entry looking strong

Round 3 at Pukekohe could see a grid of up to 30 cars if early indications are correct. The 20 plus regulars shoould all be racing, and Trevor Strong and Noel Anderson are likely to return, along with Hilary Ashworth in her newly acquired EK9. Two or possibly even three new cars could also run. There will be a full preview in the next issue of the newsletter. There will be the opportunity to test at the track on the Saturday before race day - and you can find out more details about that at www.hondacup.co.nz

 

Announcements due soon

We have been inundated with requests from current racers and from a large number of Honda owners with race ready cars as to what the plans are for next year and beyond.We are aiming to make an announcement soon so watch this space!

 

NZ Hondas NIMM

NIMM - the North Island Monster Meet - is one of the forum's biggest annual events and plenty of the series drivers have spent that day in recent years driving and talking Hondas! We are aiming to be there in a littlemore force this year and plans are already being made to have a couple of cars at least at the event to do hot laps and showcase the series. 

 

All general info at www.hondacup.co.nz and up and coming dates are as follows:

Round 3 - July 17th - Pukekohe
Round 4 - August 7th - Manfeild
Unofficial testing/practice - September 17th - Taupo sprint
Round 5 - Taupo long track

Series contacts

Race Director
Alan Stewart
racedir@hondacup.co.nz

Series Co-ordinator
Scotty Smith
seriesco@hondacup.co.nz

Series Secretary
Bronwyn Donald
secretary@hondacup.co.nz

Marketing and Promotions
Richard Gee
promo@hondacup.co.nz

Technical Officer
Wayne Chapman
tech@hondacup.co.nz

Rain produces three more winners

With two rounds gone and five different winners taking the chequered flag, it’s hard to fault this year’s Motul Honda Cup series for excitement and competitive racing. Round 2 at Hampton Downs was packed with action. A solid day earned Martin Dunn (pictured) the round on only his second comeback race.

The quickest man in the varying track conditions was Taranaki’s Shaun van Beers, and in the damp qualifying his speed was sensational, comfortably securing him the pole spot for the rolling start scratch grid. Mark Walters had his car on the pace as well, several seconds ahead of the rest of the competitive 1.6 battle.

In the first race, van Beers waltzed off into the distance leaving a battle behind him that was all about tyres and what was best suited to the rapidly drying conditions. On soft wets, Gary Wilson was fast, and a great start by multiple production series champion Steve Taylor in his lovely FD2 brought him into contention too.

Van Beers though, had the speed and sped off to record his first circuit win. Race two produced a much wetter surface and with the drizzle steady, it produced an unusual and challenging race with changing conditions.  The reverse top ten standing start saw Richard Gee make a good getaway to lead from third out of Turn 1 after front row starters Jason Weel and Tim Pollard went into turn 1 a little too hot. Van Beers was keen to make his way to the front quickly but locked up at Turn 7 and ended up in the gravel – which forced out the first safety car.

This changed three laps later and at the green light Gee made a good getaway and held a slight lead on Martin Dunn. Just one racing lap later van Beers embedded his car in the very same gravel and forced another safety car period. When they finally got the car out of the gravel there was just one lap to go. The rain was heavier and throughout the lap Dunn harried Gee. Coming up the hill to the chequered flag, both crossed some standing water and both had big moments, with Dunn’s braver right foot giving him enough momentum to take the win ahead of Gee.

With the rain bucketing down for the race three handicap, Weel, Gee and one or two others opted to sit out the race and not risk big accidents from aquaplaning. At the start Dave Harker put in a couple of great laps to establish a handy lead. Just as the field was beginning to sort itself out and give the brave spectators a real treat in the closing laps, van Beers hit Garry Morrell and took out both cars, and once again forced the safety car. In the closing laps, even the safety car was suffering from poor visibility and it picked up the wrong lead car, effectively giving Harker and second place man on the road at the time Peter Dudson a lap on the field. The race finished under the safety car giving Harker a well earned first outright win.

Looking after her - Gearbox and Diff - Part 1

Once you have sorted oil for your engine the next thing is the gearbox and diff(s). Gearbox and Diff oils are separated by either API GL4 or GL5 and also by viscosity i.e.; 75w90, 75w140, LSD modifies or not and so on....

The question is, “What does all this mean and how does it affect your choice of lubricant for your car?” GL4 and GL5 are extreme pressure specifications set out by the API, the difference between GL4 and GL5 is that GL5 rated oils have specific additives for Hypoid gears, this is the sliding action that occurs between the crown wheel and pinion gears in a differential.

The additives provide a protective barrier between the gear teeth when the load between them becomes too much for the oil film to continue protecting them, without the additives the teeth are subject to excessive wear and excessive cost to you when the gears are worn out. In a lot of road cars the manufacturer will only call for a GL4-rated oil. However it can’t hurt to have extra protection in a race gearbox so we traditionally use GL5 rated oils in race applications. The other thing is that particularly in Honda front wheel drives they normally have the diff unit in the gearbox so a GL5 rated oil is required.

The different viscosities also offer different levels of protection, like engine oil heavier oils like 85w140 will offer better film strength than say a 75w90 however we can’t always just opt for the heaviest film strength available as there are other factors to consider.

The more horsepower you put through a gearbox and diff will determine what lubricant you need to use, in the range of Motul gear oils we choose like this, up to around 350 horsepower a 75w90 GL5 gear oil offers ample protection, over 500 horsepower we normally use 75w140 or 85w140. This is temperature dependant (so in extra high temperature applications we go to heavier grades at lower horsepower) hence the gap between 350hp and 500hp, in high temp applications heavier grades will offer better protection so if we are able we like to use the 75w140 however it is not always possible to use these grades in all gearboxes.

Firstly there are different types of gearbox, for race cars the gearbox would be a manual, this just leaves syncro gearboxes or dog-type gearboxes. In dog gearboxes you only have to worry about gear protection and bearing lubrication so running a heavier grade oil is going to offer better protection for the gears, it is advisable though to be guided by the manufacturer of the gearbox as there may be special lubrication requirements for your particular gearbox.

Chatting with Yun

Yun Liu is so far the only female racer in this year's Motul Honda Cup (though she is almost certain to be joined by at least one more soon) and has made good impression as she takes her first steps into racing. We caught up with her after Hampton Downs for her first impressions.

What made you want to race in the Honda Cup?

I've been secretly looking at the Honda Cup forum for almost a year after I got my DC2 and was drooling at the people who got to race in it, it just looked so exciting and professional! So I said to myself, why not? and just went for it.

Have you done any racing before?

Not really any competitive racing, only track days and I did one club hillclimb at Hampton Downs, that was like a time trial so I didn't get to race with other cars on the track.

Is it tough being the only woman out there?

It's not tough at all, I didn't really think about being a woman when i'm out there, I'm just another racer trying to do their best.

What would you say to other girls thinking about going racing?

Stop thinking and just do it! If you want something bad enough, you will put in the effort to get there.

You seem very competent indeed on the track – what are you learning out there?

Thanks, I feel like everytime i'm on the track i learn something new. At Taupo. the most important thing I learned was to transfer the weight of the car by gently guiding the car and not forcing it. At Hampton down, I learned what aquaplane felt like and I need to look out for standing water in the rain.

What is your favourite track and why?

I used to love Hampton down because its very technical with lots of turns on slopes, but now i've been to Taupo i'm starting to love that tight and flat course. Now I can't wait to race at Manfield to see what thats like.

What do you think of the series?

It's so much more fun than I imagined! what makes it great are the people involved in the series,  everyone's so friendly and supportive i don't feel the pressure of being in a serious competition. I feel like i can go my own pace and learn from other drivers, and there are so much i can learn from other drivers too. I still can't believe i'm in the Honda Cup series, I'm on a high for days after every round.

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Series points after Round 2

 

1 Mark Walters Civic H1  198
2 Richard Gee Civic H1  182
3 Martin Dunn Integra H2  175
4 Gary Wilson Civic H1  169
5 Shaun Van Beers Integra H2 160
6 Ben Sunckell Civic H1  132
7 Peter Dudson Integra H2  122
8 David Harker Civic H1  115
9 Jason Weel Civic H1  112
10 Colin Abah Civic H2  107
11 Steve Taylor Civic H2  97
12 Andrew Johnson Civic H2  84
13= Logan Morrell Civic HU  79
13= Rik Wakelin Civic H1  79
15  Tim Blackwell-Chin Civic H1 67
16  Haden Walsh Civic HU  63
17= Garry Morrell Integra H2 61
17= Mike Brownlie Integra H2 61
17= Yun Liu Integra H2  61
20  Trevor Strong Civic H2  52