Trucks driver John Hepburn in his element

JACOB PAGE
Last updated 05:00 18/01/2013
John Hepburn
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ

READY TO RUMBLE: Tim Wheeler (left), son of leading Kiwi Super Truck driver Troy, keeps Timaru’s John Hepburn’s McGinty’s Super Truck looking its best ahead of racing at the Timaru International Motor Raceway.

John Hepburn
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
Timaru’s John Hepburn’s McGinty’s Super Truck looking its best ahead of racing at the Timaru International Motor Raceway.

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Timaru's John Hepburn has driven and ridden pretty much everything on wheels around the Timaru International Motor Raceway over the years, so again bullying a Super Truck around the twisty circuit this weekend should not be a problem.

A former New Zealand Motorcycle and Super Truck Champion and a regular in the NZV8s in recent times, Hepburn got behind the wheel of John McGinty's bright green W900 Kenworth Super Truck for the first time at the first round at Teretonga, last weekend.

"Two or three weeks ago, John rang me out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to run it.

"The first time I sat in it was at qualifying in Invercargill.

"I couldn't quite reach the steering wheel and a few other things, so we did qualifying and changed a few things and by the end of the weekend we ended up winning a [non championship] race so we were obviously headed in the right direction.

"I have raced trucks before but it's certainly different and not knowing what the truck is going to do is the hardest thing.

"You have to learn the boundaries and that's tough to do when you're out there qualifying.

"I'm not saying we're going to win this weekend [in Timaru] because realistically we won't have the horsepower but I want to be up near the pointy-end."

Aussie Steve Zammit leads the competition after one round, with Troy Wheeler second and Brent Jones third, with Hepburn fourth.

The Timaru veteran said he hoped Wheeler's machine remained reliable because he was beginning to show the consistency with his driving which could challenge Zammit if things went his way.

He was also happy with his own speeds. "Our lap-times got faster [last] weekend, everyone's else went the other way, so that's encouraging for us at Timaru."

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- The Timaru Herald

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