Top New Zealand motor racing team International Motorsport and one of its key sponsors Stahlwille tools celebrated the beginning of the V8SuperTourer series in the best possible way - Ant Pedersen won the 30-lap feature final at the opening round of the seven-round series at Hampton Downs.
The series round was won by expat V8 Supercar star Greg Murphy with International Motorsport teammates Johnny Reid and Pedersen in third and fourth place.
“Without the help of Stahlwille this win wouldn’t have been possible. Building the cars once and building them properly takes the right tools for the job” says International Motorsport head Nick Williamson.
“With only six weeks to build the cars from a fl at pack that’s never been truer.
“The use of specialised tools when building a car from scratch is imperative - and coping with an array of both metric and imperial sizes is a big challenge.
“The first build of a car is where you get the biggest gain of speed in a cars life,” he says.
The V8 SuperTourer is based round a purpose-built chassis and 410kW (550hp) 7-litre V8 engine.
Designed from the outset as a category to keep competitor costs down, V8SuperTourers are built on a common racing chassis.
The brake rotors are, in the front 355mm ventilated and 328mm in the rear, fitted with forged alloy brake calipers and F1 style brake-ducting.
The brake package combines to stop the comparatively light car, which has an all up weight including the driver of less than 1390kg.
A dry-sumped alloy V8 engine powers all V8 SuperTourer cars. The 7-litre “small block” all aluminium, fuel injected V8ST control spec engine is hand built in the US.
“This is proving a master stroke with all the cars having very similar straight line speed and making the racing so close. It puts the onus on the driver and team to rise above the competition,” says Mr Williamson.
The drive-train consists of a triple-plate clutch, which delivers engine torque through a Quaife 6-speed sequential transmission via a two-piece pro-shaft feeding a classic 9’ Ford differential, which is fitted with a Torsen-style limited slip, crown wheel carrier assembly in order to provide excellent traction in most conditions.
The rear suspension adopts the proven, yet simple in design and maintenance, three-link live rear axle fitted with camber and toe, CV style, floating rear hubs.
The front suspension is a sophisticated ‘clean sheet’, double wishbone layout that is also cleverly symmetrical from left to right, thus reducing spares’ inventories.
“There is a massive amount of work that goes into the suspension setup when working within a millimetre of tolerance and thousandths of inch in the gearbox and driveline,” says Mr Williamson.
The rack and pinion power steering assembly is mounted ahead of the engine in order to better optimise the front suspension geometry and the high loads generated under long distance racing events.
The test of time is always a good sign with how tools are made.
“With some of the Stahlwille tools in our workshop being over 20 years old and still going strong at the highest levels in New Zealand motorsport says a lot,” reckons Mr Williamson.
“Buying the right tools first time means you have something you can use for life.”
Follow the progress of International Motorsport drivers Johnny Reid and Ant Pedersen on www.internationalmotorsport.co.nz or on the team’s new Facebook page.