McIntyre brings Porsche power to Nelson
Nelson motorsport driver John McIntyre has a new race car – a 2016 Porsche 991 GT3.
While racing at Germany's Nurburgring ten years ago, McIntyre visited the headquarters of Manthey Racing to marvel at the company's development of Porsche racing vehicles.
He is now just days away from racing its 2016 Porsche 991 GT3 Cup MR model at the South Island Endurance Series in Invercargill.
"I never imagined I'd be racing one of their cars in New Zealand, that's for sure," he said.
McIntyre races for Gilbertson JMR and team owner Simon Gilbertson bought the car from specialist European Porsche Team FACH Autotech. FACH Autotech had previously taken Kiwi Earl Bamber to the Porsche Supercup title.
One of only two in New Zealand, the car recently arrived from Switzerland where it had has already raced and won the Porsche Cup race at the Monaco Grand Prix.
"The first drive we had in the car, it's kind of a pleasant surrounding to be in from a race car point of view – It just does things very nicely."
"Being a factory-built race car [Manthey Racing] make a lot of the base cup cars – hundreds of them each year, so you know it's done right."
McIntyre said there had been a number of modifications required to get the Porsche ready for endurance racing in NZ because of different rules here.
As well as cooling systems for body and helmet, some telemetry and GPS sensors had also been installed to get more information out of the car.
"It's a lot of small things that add up to quite a bit ... a huge amount of work and not a lot of time for testing," McIntyre said.
Prior to the first race of this year's South Island Endurance Series in Invercargill, McIntyre will present the car to sponsors and supporters at Nelson's MS Ford on Monday evening.
"MS Motors and Talley's have been my longest-serving sponsors – 18 years and counting – not many race cars come through Nelson of this calibre, so I thought we'd bring it through and get a bit of attention and show it off."
McIntyre said while an opportunity for a joyride was unlikely, he hoped those coming would be interested in the intricacies of the car or the driver aids crucial to long stints behind the wheel.
"The car will only just get into the showroom in regards to how low it sits – you'd probably take the cat's eyes off the centre of the road if it was there."
"Unless they've been lucky enough to go for a ride in a race or hot lap situation, it's really hard for people to comprehend the g-forces, heat and concentration [while racing] – you're always moving one part of your body."
McIntyre will then transport the vehicle to Invercargill for two days of testing before racing on September 9.
McIntyre hoped the Southland leg would provide him with a successful return to driving Porsches, three years since his last race in the sports car.
"It should come back to me pretty easily – it's easily the fastest Porsche I've driven – it's always exciting to be going faster than slower as you get older."