Cambridge driver Nick Ross has endured a tough weekend at round three of the BNT NZ Touring Car Championship at the Ruapuna circuit near Christchurch.
Ross and his team were plagued by numerous mechanical issues on their Total Lubricants Nissan Altima throughout the weekend. In the practice session on Saturday morning, the oil pump on Total Lubricants Nissan Altima stopped working, not allowing Ross to get a single flying lap on track.
"We managed to get that fixed and were lucky it didn't damage the engine when it stopped. From there we went straight into qualifying and despite not getting an practice laps in, managed to qualify fifth which is only about a second off where we were last year, so I was happy with that," says Ross.
Ross went on to record a third place finish in race one, before a did not finish result in the second race of the weekend due to a broken axle ended his race.
"I was rapt with the result in race one, particularly as the conditions were really hot."
"In race two, I got bit of a messy start and had a light touch with the car of Sam Barry, which caused one of the axle's to break. I tried to keep going to get some points but it further damaged the differential and I had to stop."
The team worked hard for the rest of the afternoon to repair the car in time for race three, and got the Total Lubricants Nissan Altima to the starting grid.
The bad luck would continue for Ross however, while waiting on the start line it became apparent that the rear hub seal was leaking oil, forcing the Concept Motorsport team to push the car off the track and out of the race.
"It was a very frustrating weekend only highlighted by that third place finish in race one. What is the most frustrating part is that before the weekend we put a lot of new parts on the car, and they are the ones that broke."
Looking ahead to next weekend (Jan 21-22) at the Teretonga circuit for round four, Ross says he's excited to get there and to put a bad weekend behind him.
"I love the Teretonga circuit. It's a short track, but turn one has to be the best corner in the country. It's just such a fast corner and critical to setting up the rest of the lap."