Simon McLennan encouraged by M2 squad’s 2013 V8 SuperTourer prospects
The M2 Motorsport operation is confident it can be challenging for podiums when the second V8 SuperTourer season kicks off in February.
Team spearhead Simon McLennan remains confident as he builds up for his first full-season in the premier tin top category where all cars use 7-litre control Mosler engines and a set suspension geometry.
M2 faced a massive task when they built their V8ST Commodore in a barn on the family property at Wellington mid-year.
The car was one of several additions to the Championship in time for the first of the three endurance rounds at Taupo in early September.
It was a massive step for the team which has decent experience in Porsches and the BMW Mini Challenge however was taking its first plunge into the new era of the SuperTourers.
“The idea for us was to get three rounds under the belt before we have a full tilt at the championship next year,” McLennan said.
“I think if someone was to say that we would card a top five in these first three rounds I would have looked at them sideways. That is not to doubt our ability – it was more about being realistic.”
McLennan originally drafted in Craig Innes as co-driver for the squad’s V8 debut at Taupo with the pair finishing 12th and 18th.
For the next two rounds at Pukekohe and Ruapuna, McLennan signed up Aussie teenager Cameron Waters who was plunged into the deep end by winning a drive in the 2011 Bathurst 1000 as part of a reality TV deal and ran a Commodore under the Kelly Racing banner.
McLennan and Waters showed promise at Pukekohe but were out of luck finishing the tri-race format in 17th, 13th and 10th.
Better was to come at the Ruapuna grand finale when the pair finished fifth in the opening race before finishing 12th in the season’s final heat.
“We’re learning a lot about the car, what it needs, what it wants and what we need to do logistically as a small team to deliver that over a weekend,” McLennan added.
“We were nearly there and we just know we will be stronger when we take to the track again at the start of season two.
“The big highlights for us (at Ruapuna) were seeing the car up towards the sharp end in both races. We’re completely new to any type of V8 racing and we learn every time the car goes out.