Making the step up into class one of the BNT V8s this season, former class two front-runner Brad Lathrope says he’s ready to take the next step of his career at round one of the championship at Pukekohe next weekend.
Finishing runner up in the class two championship for the past two seasons, Lathrope will campaign a Ford Falcon SuperTourer in the series, and in the off season has been steadily familiarising himself with the more powerful class one car.
“We’ve had one day taking people for rides just trying to get used to the power of the car, and one day of proper testing, both days went surprisingly well for us. I can’t get over how much torque the SuperTourer has, it’s awesome! We showed a bit of promise with our test day and are hoping to carry that into round one next week,” says Lathrope.
“The car is very different to what I’ve become accustom to over the last three seasons in class two. The biggest difference is the power, you keep pulling gears and you just keep getting pushed back in the seat. I still have a lot to learn with the new car and I need to adapt my driving style to get up to speed as quickly as possible.”
With the ex-Storey and Richards class one car being a much more technical package than class two, Lathrope says he and his team have a lot to learn to get the most speed out of the chassis.
“With this chassis we have a lot to learn in regards to set up and how to get the most out of it. Thankfully we will be getting assistance from AV8 Motorsport for this season to assist us with getting up to speed with running the car. The whole team, myself included, are very excited to get to grips with the set up so we can start getting some positive results.”
Lathrope has also set himself some modest goals for his rookie class one season.
“Realistically I’d like to see us finishing in the top five overall for my rookie season in class one. However that will be no easy task. I’m not expecting to set the world on fire straight away with our pace at round one.”
“Some podium race finishes are definitely a goal for this season, but as long as we continue to improve and get quicker each time we are on track is the main goal for us. This season is all about learning and improving to get us ready for a full attack next season.”
The first round of the 2017/18 BNT V8s season gets underway at the Virgin Australia ITM Auckland Super Sprint at Pukekohe November 3-5 before it runs the rest of its rounds as part of the Speed Works Motorsport Championship.
2017/18 BNT V8s Season Calendar
Round 1: Pukekohe November 3-5
Round 2: Taupo December 1-3
Round 3: Ruapuna 12-14 January
Round 4: Teretonga 19-21 January
Round 5: Manfeild 9-11 February
Round 6: Hampton Downs 9-11 March