Posted: November 30th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Zealand | Tags: vip | No Comments »
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Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Zealand | Tags: Mobile Marketing | No Comments »
Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: United States | Tags: Bonanza General Store, Las Vegas | No Comments »
Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Zealand | Tags: Porsche, Triple X | No Comments »
Winning three from three races at this weekend’s second round of the New Zealand Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge near Christchurch has extended the title points lead held by the Triple X Motorsport driver Daniel Gaunt.
Now with a 52-point advantage, Gaunt, driving the MPD – VnC Cocktails Porsche 997, has won five of the six races contested so far of the six-round season. Setting fastest in qualifying, the 25-year-old Auckland based driver was never matched around the 3.33 kilometre Ruapuna circuit despite the searing conditions.
“Dealing with the heat, and breathing, they were some of my biggest challenges during the races,” said Gaunt. “It seems stupid, but they are crucial to that top couple percent of performance. With the Porsche car it’s a sealed unit – there is no air coming in, none going out – you sweat from areas of your body you didn’t know could sweat.”
“The first round I was very lucky. Lucky Michael Morton let me use his car, and that Craig Baird got the puncture and I inherited the first race win of the season.”
“This weekend I certainly ramped it up. I came in to it wanting to stamp my authority on the championship – to be a serious contender – that was my goal. It certainly puts me in good stead for the rest of it. Although I can never count out Craig or Jonny (Reid), they’ve had bad rounds and I’ve got to keep making sure I have only good rounds.”
With a ten lap race this morning, Gaunt again stormed to an unmatched lead, while defending series champion Craig Baird languished even further when he punctured during a passing move. The Gold Coast based Kiwi again suffered when he punctured the radiator of the Mad Butcher ZM Porsche 997 at the third turn in the final race. Baird now drops to sixth in the standings.
Series debutant and saloon car rookie Earl Bamber had a further rise in performance by finishing third successively in the morning and afternoon races.
“It’s a fantastic achievement and to even be racing this weekend after arriving not expecting to be driving a car. A big thanks to Michael Morton, Shane McKillen and the Triple X Motorsport team to give me the opportunity and support me,” said the 20-year-old.
“There are a lot of very very quick guys up front so to be near them so early has been a real thrill – I can’t believe it really. Certainly the experience from driving single seaters and a test in a DTM car gave me a good feel for the Porsche – which is a real race car.”
“Now it’s a case of laps, learning how to get the last little bit from the car and improve even more.”
Fourth for the final race and the weekend, Hugh Gardiner mixed up the field with fierce duel with his Triple X Motorsport team-mates that dominated the opening laps of the final race. Driving the Gardiner Motorsport Porsche 997, the 28-year-old Aucklander never made it three from three after having to sit-out the first race round earlier in the month.
Whangarei’s Scott Harrison moved up the championship standings to fourth overall, despite not finishing the opening race on Saturday afternoon. Starting down the order for the first Sunday race, Harrison in the Mad Butcher Carpet One Porsche 997 ended his weekend with a pair of fifths.
Team principal Shane McKillen again battled for track position, especially when awarded pole position for the top-six reverse grid final. Finishing seventh he has climbed the championship ladder to now place fifth after the second round.
Dropping the team to six cars for the day, Christchurch businessman Paul Kelly was forced to retire from the meeting following Saturday’s race. In preparation for the Sunday’s racing a mechanical fault was discovered that necessitated an engine change in the Paul Kelly Motor Company Porsche 997.
Re-grouping before the half-way mark of the season, the team will take all seven cars back to Auckland to prepare for the series third round in mid January 2011. To be raced at Teretonga, south west of Invercargill, the southern journey is the first of two in two weekends, with the fourth round contested at Levels near Timaru a week later.
Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Zealand | Tags: Christchurch Porsche race | No Comments »
Triple X Motorsport driver Daniel Gaunt, in the MPD VnC Cocktails Porsche 997, won today’s opening race at the series second round being held at the Powerbuilt Raceway near Christchurch.
Having set fastest time in qualifying to pip team-mate and early pacesetter Craig Baird (Mad Butcher ZM Porsche 997), Gaunt made a clean start to the ten-lap afternoon race. Held on a track with a surface temperature of 55 degrees Celsius, Gaunt made it to the first turn first, to hold the preferred track position and take an early advantage.
“Leading on the inside in to turn-one is the place you want to be – so long as you can keep it there – so that made it a good start. I was just managing the gap and left a lot on the table because I wanted to have something to fight with if there was a safety car period and I needed to fend off,” said Gaunt, who had to contend with a cabin temperature of 46.5 degrees Celsius during the afternoon ten-lap race.
“It was a good race for us, especially after how we started with this car at Pukekohe. The guys rebuilt the whole thing in three days and here it is winning races, so full credit to the Triple X team, Todd, Ian and especially Adam, along with Michael Morton – I can’t thank them enough.”
A mere 0.008 second behind in qualifying, Baird’s outer starting position saw him squeezed to the outside as the field filed through the first turn, having to tuck in behind in fourth spot. From there he picked up one spot to chase down Jonny Reid. Lap after lap the six-time champion tried for a passing opportunity, but had to settle for third place in an effort to pressure Reid yet conserve his tyres.
A very last minute change to the line-up saw Earl Bamber pilot the Michael Morton Outlaws Bar Porsche 997 to fourth in qualifying having only done five laps in practise on the Friday. The first time the New Zealand Grand Prix winner and former A1GP driver has raced a saloon car, Bamber settled for fifth position – having set third fastest lap time for the race.
“I really have to thank Michael Morton and Shane McKillen from Triple X Motorsport to allow me to fill this opportunity,” said Bamber. “I’ve always wanted to drive one of these cars – and they are every bit of impressive that I expected. My goal was to learn its characteristics, so to set fourth fastest in qualifying and third in the race is a great result to start with.”
In sixth, Auckland’s Hugh Gardiner, driving the Gardiner Motorsport Porsche 997 started and finished his first race of the season. Engaged in a mid-pack duel with fellow Triple X Motorsport driver Paul Kelly, Gardiner reclaimed the advantage when the latter spun to finish eighth in the Paul Kelly Motor Company Porsche 997.
Team principal Shane McKillen finished between the pair in seventh, the VnC Cocktails Porsche 997 constantly in the middle of the Gardiner/Kelly sandwich.
Disappointment for Whangarei’s Scott Harrison came mid-race when he ran wide and damaged the radiator of the Mad Butcher Carpet One Porsche 997 when he ran up the exhaust pipe of McKillen’s car – forcing him to retire.
Racing for the miners: Each of the team’s seven Porsche 997 cars bore livery in memory of the mining tragedy on the South Island’s West Coast. Pit-side, the Triple X Motorsport team wore black arm-bands to acknowledge that while time moves on, their thoughts are with the friends and family of the 29 miners who lost their lives at the Pike River coal mine last week.
Sunday’s two remaining races include a 10-lap race in the morning with the top-six reverse-grid race of 14 laps set to start at 3:10pm. Each race is worth 75 points for the win.
Posted: November 25th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Zealand | No Comments »
Posted: November 24th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Zealand | Tags: Manufacturing, Tauranga, VML Bay of plenty times | No Comments »
New Zealand’s only cocktail-in-a-bottle manufacturer has opened its global manufacturing centre in Maleme St, Tauranga, after searching the world for a suitable base.
VnC Cocktails scouted areas in Thailand, India, Asia, Russia and the United Kingdom but the search ended in Tauranga. “These places are all good options. They’re low cost, close to our market and when put up against the rest, Tauranga was right up there,” VnC executive chairman Andrew Walker said. “We’ve chosen Tauranga for our global manufacturing centre because it’s a dynamic and fast-growing part of New Zealand.
“In Tauranga there is a very skilled workforce, you’ve got a very strong port and it’s easy to do business from there.”
The global manufacturing centre will help VnC Cocktails achieve its goal of quadrupling its exports through the Port of Tauranga by 2015. To accommodate that, the company will boost its local workforce by more than 60 per cent in the next three years.
For now 31 people are employed by VnC Cocktails in Tauranga. The new centre will open up 19 positions. In addition, VnC employs 13 other staff in New Zealand and 25 across the world. Mr Walker said both numbers were forecast to grow.
VnC was founded in 2007 by entrepreneur Shane McKillen and is focused mainly on exports.
Around 95 per cent of its production goes to customers in 25 countries.
Speaking to the Bay of Plenty’s top business and community leaders at the official opening yesterday, Mr Walker said the company planned to become a major player in the Bay of Plenty business community.
“We’re committed to New Zealand because it is home and because it provides us with a strong domestic market, and it is vital to have a company’s manufacturing centre based within a strong domestic market,” he said. “Within New Zealand, we’re committed to Tauranga because our analysis indicates that this is the best place in New Zealand from which to build an export business.”
The centre was officially opened by MP Simon Bridges.
Posted: November 24th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: New Zealand | Tags: Porsche, Triple X | No Comments »
With Triple X Motorsport driver Daniel Gaunt taking an early lead in the 2010/2011 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, his fiercest competition will come from team-mate and defending champion Craig Baird for this weekend’s second round at the Powerbuilt Raceway near Christchurch (26-28 November 2010).
The first of three South Island events, in the six round series, will be one of the hardest for the new championship leader. Gaunt’s early 25-point lead has him in the coveted position the rest of the field would like to claim – including six-time champion Baird.
“It’s elbows out,” says the Melbourne now Auckland based Gaunt. “It’s only the beginning of the championship and way too early to think about the size of the lead. You’ve got to think about the big picture and try to win races. While it’s a nice buffer it’s by no means enough.”
That’s despite badly damaging his original car in the first practice at the series opener early in November. Having won two of the three Pukekohe weekend races in the loaned Michael Morton Outlaws Bar Porsche 997, Gaunt will be back in his original MPD Porsche 997.
“You have to give 100% and not think about anything else or get distracted for the slightest moment. And that’s where I have to thank Michael Morton for loaning me his car at the first round and the Triple X Motorsport team for getting my car ready. Repairing a damaged car is never a quick job – and given the time pressures the team have had to put some long days in to getting my car, along with all the others, ready.”
Tyre failure and a controversial drive through penalty has left Baird languishing in fifth place after the opening round. The six-time New Zealand Porsche champion says the 48 point gap to the lead is just the sort of stimulus the series needs.
“Winning races is very important and that’s what I have to do – so there will be a lot of passing – particularly in the final top-six reverse grid race of the weekend. That will make it very exciting for the spectators and have heart’s pumping for the drivers – there’s a lot at stake,” said the Gold Coast based Kiwi.
“If Daniel Gaunt is going to have his elbows out then we’re going to see pressure poured on. With the cars so evenly matched it’s a battle of driver skill, ability to conserve and manage tyres, along with prowess.”
Gaunt agrees, citing Baird as the ‘master’ at rattling drivers to make a mistake that relinquishes their position.
“Pukekohe showed guys like Jonny Reid and Mitch Cunningham are right there, but Bairdo is still the one to beat – so no-one will be consolidating their position.”
Notoriety earned by Whangarei’s Scott Harrison saw him finish on the podium twice in the first three races of the season driving the #5 Mad Butcher Carpet One Porsche 997. Having only raced the South Island tracks once before in a Suzuki Swift, Harrison’s progress marks him as a reliable finisher for the six-car Porsche team.
Followed in the overall standings by team principal Shane McKillen, the businessman and VnC Cocktails mogul similarly had a sterling start to his fourth season with the team he founded late in 2007. Racing wheel-to-wheel with the championship superior Mitch Cunningham, McKillen comfortably kept the #4 VnC Cocktails Porsche 997 ahead of the junior at the Pukekohe final race for his best result of fifth.
Christchurch businessman Paul Kelly, with four car dealerships bearing his name, will have the benefit of a home weekend. Continuing the consistency theme in the #90 Paul Kelly Motor Company Porsche 997 by finishing every race, he is placed seventh equal out of 12 competitors in the series. While still dealing with earthquake related damage, of his extensive vehicle inventory only his race car suffered damage. Housed in his service workshop, a gas cylinder toppled to lightly dent the front-right fender of his Porsche in the 4 September incident.
Team director and Mad Butcher CEO Michael Morton will return to his original #8 Outlaws Bar Porsche 997 after loaning it to Daniel Gaunt for the Pukekohe series opener. Originating from the earthquake devastated Canterbury region, Morton has not raced his previous home circuit since 2008.
Upping the Auckland based operation to seven cars; Auckland’s Hugh Gardiner will join the team for his first race meeting in the 997 model Porsche after several years in the earlier 996 version. Gardiner, last season’s 996 class champion, missed the opening round, with the team having to repair accident damage from pre-season testing. The 28-year-old will start the Ruapuna weekend with a clean tally as he plays catch-up.
At 3.33 kilometres, Powerbuilt Raceway at Ruapuna Park, 13 kilometres west of Christchurch, is known as a technical circuit that drivers either love or hate. Flat in nature with great views for spectators, the variety of corners rewards drivers who set the car a corner ahead of where they are aiming.
While the magnitude 7.1 earthquake, centred 24 kilometres away, has not left any significant damage to the circuit, Gaunt, Baird, McKillen, Harrison, Morton, Kelly, Gardiner and the rest of the field will still have to learn the state of the track and any unique changes compared to previous visits. With two test sessions on the Friday, the drivers get a chance to relax and entertain hospitality guests and prize winners with hot-laps late in the afternoon. Saturday morning returns to business with qualifying in the early afternoon setting the grid for the 29-lap race that starts at 3:05pm.
Sunday starts with a 10-lap race in the morning with the top-six reverse-grid race of 14 laps set to start at 3:10pm. Each race is worth 75 points for the win
Posted: November 16th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: United States | Tags: Cool Springs, Loser's Bar | No Comments »