It's always a mega event and I really enjoy the trip to New Zealand. The local fans are super passionate (especially about their local Kiwi drivers) but we always get a warm reception everywhere we go. I think the mostly good natured Aussie v Kiwi rivalry is what makes this event such a special one on the calendar.
The Pukekohe circuit is a ripper of an old school track. A chicane was added in 2013 and it’s had a recent resurfacing in some areas, but overall the track still has lots of bumps and a lot of character.
In my opinion the most challenging part of the race weekend is the minimal allocation of tyres. All the tyres are shipped over earlier in the year, so you can’t afford to waste tyres with such a small allocation for the weekend.
The track is quite hard on tyres so during practice it can be difficult to keep the car in the optimum set up window. It can also be a challenge to test different set up options during practice, as it’s hard to get a read on diminishing tyre quality.
On the plus side, there is always a big new tyre gain there so nailing a good lap in qualifying is very rewarding.
You have to be inch perfect around Pukekohe otherwise you can find yourself off the road very quickly, especially through the bumpy high-speed last section of the circuit.
Although the enduro season is over, I’d like to continue the strong form we had at the previous Gold Coast event where we ran inside the top six. I’m sitting in 10th in the drivers championship and Brad Jones Racing are third in the Teams Championship, so the goal is to maintain or improve that as we head into the final round in Newcastle.
Remember, you can follow Nick on social media for updates across the event.
Instagram - @nickpercat